Lone Star girls make history

History was made last Saturday at Brush High School.
The Lone Star girls basketball team won its Sweet 16 game over Merino, earning the program’s first-ever trip to the Class 1A State Tournament.

“The girls are excited,” coach Kyle Arnoldy said. “They knew the moment was bigger than them when they looked up in the stands and there were parents and faculty members crying.
“They are very excited to be a part of this, but they are hungry for more,” he said. “Just getting to the tournament is not the goal.”
The Longhorns take an 18-5 record to the 1A tourney. However, they are the eighth seed, meaning they make the program’s state tournament debut against top-seed Briggsdale, 22-0, in today’s 11:45 a.m. quarterfinal in Butler-Hancock on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley.
The Falcons have won most of their games by double-digits, including two wins over Lone Star this season. Their only close wins were 58-52 over Sedgwick County and 48-43 over Merino. They are led by senior Kylie Krise, who averages 22.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.2 steals per game, and sophomore Jenna Krise, who averages 16.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
Of course, Lone Star has plenty of its own talent, such as seniors Alivia Weathers and Alison Davis. Weathers averages 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game. Davis averages 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore Aleighcea Kuntz averages 9.7 points per game, and senior Lamya Kuntz 8.1 points per game.
“We know they are good,” Arnoldy said, “but at the same time, we don’t think we are the team they wanted in the first round either. We’re crazy enough to think we can compete with anyone, and that makes us a dangerous opponent for anyone.”
Also on Lone Star’s side of the bracket are fourth-seed Fleming and fifth-seed Sangre de Cristo. The quarterfinal winners play in the 7 p.m. semifinal on Friday, while the losers will play in the 8:45 a.m. consolation game Friday.
The other side of the bracket has third-seed McClave playing sixth-seed Dove Creek, and second-seed Flatirons Academy playing seventh-seed Cheyenne Wells.
All the 1A games will be played at Northern Colorado, except for the championship games being held Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
Lone Star made history with two impressive wins in the 1A regional last weekend at Brush High School.
It began with Friday’s showdown against Elbert, with Lone Star earning a 58-34 win.
The Longhorns ran out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter. They led 28-17 when they put away the game with an 18-7 run in the third quarter for a 46-24 led.
Weathers led the way with 18 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and four steals, Davis 15 points, four rebounds and three steals, L. Kuntz 12 points, five rebounds and three steals, Hailey Forry five points and three rebounds, Amanda Kubitz four points, and Ana Lockard four points and three rebounds. A. Kuntz added two rebounds and two steals.
Merino was waiting for Lone Star in Saturday’s Sweet 16 game after receiving a first-round bye. The Rams had beat Lone Star 51-42 in December.
However, it was a much different story last Saturday. Lone Star mostly controlled the game from start to finish. The Longhorns led 30-16 by halftime.
So here are the Longhorns holding a healthy halftime lead in a regional final, just like the last two seasons, Merino made a little bit of a run in the third, cutting the margin to 37-29.
However, Lone Star kept its composure down the stretch to claim the landmark 50-39 victory.

Weathers had 22 points, seven assists and three steals, Davis 14 points and eight rebounds, L. Kuntz 11 points, six rebounds and four steals, and Kubitz three points and four rebounds.
The victory somewhat exorcised the pain of the past two seasons’ regional finals. Two years in a row, the Longhorns held a healthy halftime lead in the Sweet 16 game, only to end up suffering painful losses.
“The last two season-ending losses were very painful,” Arnoldy said. “These girls watched their older siblings and teammates walk off the court for the last time in tears over what could have and should have been. We never ran from those games, and they have always fueled our fire to get back and go farther. They were painful, but they made us stronger and more dedicated.”
Now the Longhorns find themselves in the Big Dance for the first time ever.