Putting in a full day’s work July 1, Myka Glover admitted the 2021 Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State Games’ casual-Friday conclusion caught her off-guard.
“I had no idea … it was going to be best two out of three,” the Montezuma-Cortez standout said, following a fast — and most important—successful ending to the Games’ volleyball tournament, held at CSU-Pueblo. “I don’t know if you could tell, but, like, after the game-winning point, our team rushed the court ,and I was like, ‘What are you doing? We have another set!’”
About the only thing unbeknownst to the Red team’s designated captain, a decision had been made that with four basketball contests still to come inside manic Massari Arena after the four volleyball matches, that the championship and third-place clashes would be shortened from a best-of-five format.
That came as a bummer to seniors seeking to prolong their prep career. But after Red defeated the White team — including Akira Edwards (2A Dolores) and Kyle Rowland (4A Durango) — in four (25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-16), and up 25-17, 25-16 on the Black team in the finale, Glover admitted she’d had her senior-year fill.
“Honestly, this is my last time playing,” she stated, looking ahead to continuing her education at the University of Arizona. “So this means so much to me that I got to spend my last time here — playing with girls from all across the state, 1 through 5A — and I’m so happy I get to, like, retire my shoes … and win a championship!”
Likely alluding to M-CHS’ run in the state 3A state tournament run, when the Intermountain League champions (8-0 IML, 14-1 overall) fell 3-0 to Sterling in the Final Four, Glover said that though she was surprised that Red coach Don Lash (4A Colorado Springs Coronado) had named her captain, she was more surprised by how well the team adapted to instruction.
“I don’t understand how we had team chemistry after knowing each other for, like, 48 hours!” she joked. “It was incredible; it felt like it came natural to us. We just really played as a team and kept level-headed the whole time.”
Downed 14-25, 25-17, 15-25, 16-25 by Black in the second semi, team Blue recovered to stop White 2-0 for third place.
Sinking two free throws and cashing two late three-pointers, 1A Dove Creek guard Grace Hatfield not only showed spectators a quick-strike capability long feared in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League, but also shot her Red basketball team right back into third-place contention July 2, with only eight minutes left.
Having trailed Blue 10-7 after one quarter and 34-26 through two, Hatfield’s ignition helped Red — coached by 4A Falcon’s Tarike Adams and Chris Wood — power into the fourth leading 50-46. As both defenses clamped own, the score stood 54-54 when the first whistle after the midway mark sounded.
That enacted the Games’ Elam-format rules, in which the game clock was turned off (or, at Massari, reset to a 60:00 maximum) and both teams were to play to a score of 62 — the first eight points a the end of regulation.
Now knowing their shared objective, neither crew conceded much. A two-point hoop by Red’s Kammie Henderson (2A Cedaredge) and a countering three by Blue’s Jolee Ortiz (2A Rye) left the score at 61-61. But after a 51-42 semifinals loss to White the previous afternoon in which Hatfield was held scoreless, victory again eluded Red as Blue’s Shelby Hoffman (1A Briggsdale) cleaned up a missed three-pointer by Brianna Linnear (5A Aurora Rangeview) for the clinching bucket.
“We looked at each other like, ‘It’s in our heart!’ And that’s where we felt it at, right here in our heart. So we just kept pushing,” said Hatfield, who totaled 10 points. “It’s a bummer we lost, but we did everything we could and pushed hard.”
“And it’s an experience I now get to carry over into college ball, which means a lot because this is kind of what college ball looks like,” she continued. “It’s taken me to the next step, so it was really cool to be here. I made a lot of friends, I loved the support of my family who came out and watched me; it was a lot of fun.”
Able to rout Blue 74-42 during second semi, Black’s fortune waned in the Day 2 championship as White rode a combined 14 fourth-quarter points put up by 1A Fleming’s Kendyl Kirkwood and 4A Broomfield Holy Family’s Alyssa Wells to a 64-51 win, after the Elam goal was established with White leading 56-48.
Dove Creek’s Hayden Gray suited up for the South in the North-South football showdown inside CSUP’s Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Originally set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night, the clash was bumped up — likely due to stormy weather — to a 1 p.m. start.
Gray’s team came up short in a defensive-oriented game.
A second-quarter touchdown catch by 4A Brighton’s Eli Bowman, plus the subsequent point-after kick, held up as the day’s only points as North hung on to win 7-0.