LAKEWOOD — Third time was the charm for Standley Lake girls basketball team Friday night.

After dropping their first two meetings against Class 5A Jeffco rival Green Mountain this season, the No. 11-seeded Gators stunned the Rams on their home court Friday night in the Sweet 16 of the 5A state tournament.

“That is what we kept saying in the locker room. There was no way they were going to beat us three times,” Standley Lake coach Virgil Luben said as Gator fans and players celebrated in upset victory. “(Green Mountain) is a hell of a team. We fought all year coming back in games. There is no quit in this team.”

Standley Lake erased a 13-point halftime deficit to take a dramatic 32-27 victory over No. 6 Green Mountain. The win punched the Gators’ ticket to the Great 8 for the first time in the program’s history, according to Luben.

The Gators (21-4 record) was the only upset on the 5A girls’ side in the round of 16. All the other top seeds advanced, including No. 3 Mead battling back from a fourth-quarter, double-digit deficit to No. 14 Mountain View to force overtime and eventually win.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Standley Lake will face Mead (21-4) in the state quarterfinals Friday, March 1, at the Denver Coliseum. A total of eight 5A Great 8 games will be played Friday at the Coliseum.

“We know we are going to be the underdog going into our next game,” Standley Lake senior and Regis University-commit Taylin Serlen said. “We are going to go in and give everything we’ve got at the Coliseum.”

The Gators needed a remarkable 13-0 run in the second half to pull off the upset against Green Mountain.

Friday night was the third meeting of the season between Standley Lake and Green Mountain. The Rams took the first two meetings. League win 41-32 on Jan. 12 at Standley Lake High School, along with a 44-38 victory Feb. 12 during the 5A/4A Jeffco Mini-Tournament to end the regular season on the Rams’ home court.

It looked like another loss against Green Mountain was on the horizon with the Rams leading 22-9 at halftime. Junior Julia Schafer sank a bucket at the buzzer to give Green Mountain its biggest lead of the game.

“We knew coming in we were going to give them everything we’ve got,” Serlen said. “Going into the halftime, down 13, it was a bit of a reality check. We had to fix some things and we got done what we needed to get done.”

Serlen was held to just two points in the first half, but she got it going with six points in the third quarter as the Gators trimmed Green Mountain’s lead to 24-17 heading into the final quarter.

Green Mountain (18-7) couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half. The Rams could only muster five points after halftime. Schafer and senior Taylor Ellington had eight points each to lead the Rams.

“I really thought our 3-2 (zone) defense would really shutdown Ellington,” Luben said of the first half. “It wasn’t working so we went to a man-pressure, full court. That has worked on and off for us all year. It worked tonight.”

Standley Lake took its first lead with free throw by freshman Sydney Martin with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter to give the Gators a 27-26 lead. Junior Mikela Alvarado was huge pouring in a game-high 12 points.

“Mikela is that spark off the bench,” Luben said of the junior who poured in seven points in the fourth quarter. “She is an awesome shooter. We knew if they doubled Taylin someone would be open. A lot of the time it’s Mikela.”

Alvarado had a pair of 3-pointers and a couple of good looks inside off feeds from Serlen when she was doubled and triple teamed.

“Mikela had an amazing game,” Serlen said. “Her shots were dropping. She had backdoor cuts were amazing. I knew she was going to be there. I trusted her that she was going to be there. We had been working on that a lot.”

Another big key to the comeback from free-throw shooting. Standley Lake finished 10-for-20 from the charity stripe. Green Mountain struggled going just 1-for-10 for the game.

“We knew it was going to be a defensive game,” said Serlen, who finished with 10 points. “It really came down to who wanted it more. I feel like we wanted it more. This is actually the first time I’ve ever beat Green Mountain in my high school career. It was a longtime coming.”