Elbert's Logan Franek and Simla's Kenzi Mitchell were somewhat split on their reactions to the June 8 Colorado High School Coaches girls All-State basketball game. Yet, both were extremely happy to be included on their respective rosters.
Franek played for the Black team, which came through for a much easier than expected 71-34 victory over the White. Mitchell, in this case, played for the White.
“It was just a lot of fun and I was able to play on a great team,” said Franek, who only scored six points, but was an effective force in rebounding. “The key for me definitely was rebounding. I just wanted to get the ball and go from there. We just had a lot of talent and there certainly were a lot of girls here this week with all their variety of talents. It was just a fine week.”
The Black, coached by Frank Haist and Larry Blondin of Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, was able to establish a 15-10 first-quarter lead. Then their squad really answered the defensive bell, holding the White, coached by Denver Christian's Beck Mudd, to a single three-point basket in the second quarter.
That particular basket was scored by Ifti Dunne of Mesa Ridge, who would also be the only player in double figures for the White team with 10 points. It was a basket that left the White trailing 30-13 at the half.
Mitchell was the second-leading scorer for the White team with seven. And it certainly wasn't her night, unlike the many fine games she had this season for Simla.
“Just being able to play with all these different players was great and we had a lot of fun,” Mitchell said. “I'm just excited to be able to play sports and excited to be here. The key today, though, is that I don't think we really had one. We just couldn't get going when we needed to. But credit the other team. They were able to move the ball and that's about it.”
Vanguard's Bailey Haist was able to have a fine night scoring a game-high 16 points that included a trio of 3-pointers. Sierra's Selina Barnes contributed 15 points for the winners.
“Just a good night for all of us and nice to help coach win it, too,” Haist said. “You can't be sure what will happen in special games such as these, but to play well is all that any of us could ask for.”
Skyview's Laura Malacarne was also a strong player for the White on the boards, but certainly wished she could have had more points.
“It was an exciting experience and something I will never forget, not at all,” said Malacarne, who will enroll at Otero Junior College this season. “I played the best I could and I feel that for the past four years I've been able to put in a strong effort. Being here says that I've been able to do that. They had a good shooting team and we just couldn't overcome them.”