ARVADA — Columbine sophomore Mason Abraham came up big early, and late for the Rebels on Wednesday night at Arvada West High School.

The sophomore guard poured in a career-high 15 points — 11 points in the first quarter — in Columbine’s dramatic 51-49 victory over A-West.

“It felt good. I got going early,” Abraham said of her three 3-pointers in the first quarter. “Whatever I can do to help my team get more points. I was confident.”

Columbine (11-6, 3-1 in Class 6A Jeffco) held a double-digit lead for the majority of the game until A-West (10-6, 1-3) made an impressive fourth-quarter rally.

Junior Saylor Swanson had nine points in the final quarter for the Wildcats. Her three free-throws with 23 seconds remaining cut Columbine’s lead to 50-49. Swanson finished with a team-high 15 points.

Columbine sophomore Taylor Speir made one of two free throws with 13 seconds left to get the lead to 50-48, but A-West had one final shot to either send the game into overtime or hit a game-winning 3-pointer.

“In tight games like that good teams try to find away to pull it out,” Columbine coach Keegan Bell said. “I’m just proud they did that.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

A-West wasn’t able to get a shot off in the final seconds. Senior Cynthia Lee got the ball off a pick near the free-throw line, but Abraham switched on defense. Lee and Abraham made some contact together that caused Lee to fall to the court and lose the ball as time expired.

“A little bit,” Abraham said when asked if she was scared she would get called for her fifth foul in the closing seconds when Lee went down. “I’ve been fouling a lot lately. I’ve been trying to keep the hands up.”

Columbine’s defense was solid for the majority of the game, limiting the Wildcats to just 17 points in the first half. The Rebels’ defense showed up big to hold off A-West, who made six 3-pointer in the second half.

“They got locked down and loaded. It was a pressure packed situation,” Bell said of the final possession. “To see our young girls come away with the victory, I’m super proud of them.”

Columbine had two other players reach double-digit points with senior Emily Allison (10 points) and sophomore Jordyn Washington (14 points).

“It is huge. We are doing our best to beat teams at their home so when they come to us at our home we can sweep them,” Abraham said of the Rebels’ goal during the twice-around league format in 6A Jeffco. “We are off to a good start.”

The Rebels’ lone conference loss so far was a 39-point loss a week ago against Valor Christian — No. 5 in the Class 6A girls basketball Colorado Preps coaches and media poll.

Columbine stays on the road to face rival Chatfield at 6 p.m. Friday night as the first game of a girls/boys doubleheader at Chatfield High School. The Rebels host Ralston Valley in a big league game Wednesday, Jan. 31.

“Our biggest thing is try to improve and get better,” Bell said. “The league is so tough. On any given night anybody can beat anybody. That is what makes basketball fun. I encourage anybody to come out and watch what all these girls can do. Everyone has some special kids.”

A-West finishes off the week hosting Lakewood at 6:30 p.m. Friday night. The Wildcats continue their string of six home games in a row on Wednesday, Jan. 31, when A-West finishes out the month facing league-leading Valor.