The Granada girls’ basketball team is heading back to the state tournament after a long hiatus of 23 years. The last time they went to state was in 2000 when they were the state runner-up to Cheraw. The Lady Bobcats also played in the finals in 1995, when they lost to Stratton, but won the state championship in 1996 over Flagler. At any rate, it’s been a long time coming for this Cinderalla team.
What Tanner Grasmick and Shelly Grasmick have done for this program is hard to describe if you have never seen the Granada girls play in the numerous years prior to this year. The Grasmicks took a group of good athletes, not very big, but with a lot of heart and built a team around some senior warriors. What resulted is a team that is an amazing 20-3 with a berth into the Big Dance—the state tournament with a chance to bring home some hardware.
During the season the Granada girls barreled their way through all their opponents using a strong work ethic and a buy-in into the Grasmick system. They were able to put up some impressive scores with their collection of trapping presses and their excellent shooting performances. The only team they could never beat—at least yet—is McClave who is seeded #1 in this weekend’s state tournament bracket coming out of the Hi-Plains District. The Lady Cards defeated Granada twice – first in the championship of the Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament in mid-December, 54-31, and then in the regular season on January 27 in a tight game, 41-35.
Now the two teams will meet again on the biggest stage that Colorado has to offer the 1A division—at Butler-Hancock Arena on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. McClave is the top-seeded team with a perfect 23-0 record. Granada, received a questionable #9 seed from CHSAA’s mathematical equations after they lost unexpectedly to Kit Carson, 49-46, in the District 2 Tournament a couple of weeks ago. It will be the third time the two local teams have met.
Granada will depend on the experience of their upper-classmen at the state tournament. They have four players averaging in double figures led by senior Kiana Herrera who puts in 14.6 points per game. Hot shot junior guard Marissa Valenzuela is averaging 11.1 points per outing. Vanessa Ayala is averaging 10.6 points per game and grabs 4.2 steals per outing.
Trinidie Quintana is averaging a double-double performance each and every night as she hits for 10.2 points per game and pulls down 11.1 rebounds per game.
Also helping in the rebounding department will be ToriLin Riddle, averaging 5.4 boards per game, and Paula Aguirre who grabs 4.5 rebounds per outing.
Game time for the Hi-Plains League clash in Greeley is slated for 11:45 am on Thursday, March 9th.