DENVER - The Horizon Hawks had their season come to a disappointing end on March 7 in the Great Eight round of the Class 5A girls basketball tournament, which was held at the Denver Coliseum.
The No. 3 Hawks struggled to keep up with No. 1 Regis Jesuit, falling to the Raiders 55-42. The Hawks, who fell to Regis 54-51 earlier this season, struggled to make a basket in the second half shooting a dismal 27 percent from the field.
“Our team had a good season and had a tough draw against an athletic Regis team,” Horizon coach Greg Hahn said.
The senior duo of Kaylie Rader and Gabby Jimenez led the way for the Hawks with 12 points each. Rader also brought down 12 boards and blocked five shots, but she only shot 5 of 14 from the field.
Jimenez also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. It was a disappointing end for the Hawks’ two senior leaders, who were a big reason why Horizon got as far as it did.
“Down the stretch my two senior captains carried us,” Hahn said.”Their leadership and on court accomplishments were superb.”
Rader, who will play next season at Wyoming, led the Hawks in scoring (14.7 points), rebounds (9.5) and blocks (3.6). She was second in 5A in blocks, and 10th in rebounding. She scored more than 20 points five times this season and had 15 double doubles.
Jimenez led Horizon in assists (4.0) and had a team-high 61 steals, she also was third on the squad in points (8.9).
Despite losing his two captains, Hahn is excited to bring back some talented underclassmen. Many of which got some very valuable playoff experience.
“Our young players gained a tremendous amount of experience,” Hahn said. “Including what it is like at a top level in a big arena. Time will tell how much they improve and gain from this.”
Sophomore Alyssa Rader, the younger sister of Kaylie, was one of the underclassmen that saw a lot of playing time this season. She started 26 games and was second on team in points (11.4) and rebounds (8.6).
She played arguably her best game in the Hawks’ 59-51 win over Cherry Creek on March 5, scoring a season-high 20 points and making 9 of 15 shots.
Also starting this season for the Hawks were junior Ashley Rasmussen and sophomore Lauren Bennett. Sophomore Kaleigh Paplow also saw significant playing time before coming down with an injury.
The Hawks finished the season 18-8 overall and 13-3 in the Front Range League.