DENVER – The tales of shooting woes at the Denver Coliseum are often cast aside as myths or tall tales. Until they feel real.

In the first quarter of the Class 5A Great 8 showdown between Roosevelt and Air Academy, the Roughriders were on a rough ride. Nothing was falling for them as Kadet junior Caitlin Kramer buried shot after shot.

But they held strong with their full court press and battled back from a 13-point deficit to beat Air Academy 51-47 to advance to the Final 4.

It was hard for the girls not to feel the shooting struggles, especially early in the game.

“We did [feel the shooting woes],” Kyla Hollier said. “But we kept working through it and we did pretty well.”

The Roughriders (24-2) used defense to power their offense. They forced a staggering 36 turnovers during the game and made one key adjustment that made a big impact.

Cramer started the game with a hot hand and would end up scoring a game-high 24 points, but most of them came in the first half. The focus for the Roughriders was to slow her down significantly in the final 16 minutes of the game.

“We had to double-team her,” Hollier said. “We had to get in her head a little bit, but she’s an amazing player so it was pretty hard.”

Cramer was the spark that had the Kadets (17-9) holding a 19-6 lead in the first quarter. Roosevelt battled back to outscore the Kadets by 10 in the second quarter to go into halftime down just two.

But the Roughriders pulled ahead by a point at the close of the third and help on to get the four-point over the Kadets. Collier led the team with 13 points while Ryanne Bahnsen-Price had 12 and Brynn Price had 10.

Roosevelt now has a chance to reach its first state championship game since 2003. The Roughridgers have never won a girls basketball championship.


(3) Durango, 49, (11) Canon City 25

(Dan Mohrmann/

There is going to be a lot at state for the Durango girls basketball team. With a 49-25 win over Canon City in the Great 8, the Demons are just one win away from playing for its first state title in program history.

All that’s standing between them and a state title game appearance is No. 2 Roosevelt.

The Demons outpaced Canon City in every quarter, thanks in large part to the hot hand of Mason Rowland. The senior guard scored a game-high 24 points and was efficient from the floor, connecting on 7 of 12 shots. She was 2-for-4 from 3-point range. Halie Peterson added 10 points and was. 3-for-5 from the field.

That level of efficiency has gotten this Durango team to territory it has never been and that’s the state semifinals. The Demons lost to Windsor in the Sweet 16 a year ago, but they have now reached new heights for the program.

They’ll return to teh Denver Coliseum next week with a chance to make even more history for the program. While this is certainly a season to remember, the Demons have no desire in letting it end at any point before the state championship game next Saturday.