Girls Basketball: Grandview finally climbs the mountain, wins first 5A state championship

Wolves lead from start to finish against Lakewood to claim crown

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Grandview junior Leilah Vigil yells as she carries the Class 5A girls state basketball championship trophy towards the Grandview student section at the Denver Coliseum following the Wolves’ 61-32 win over Lakewood in the 5A state final on March 11, 2017. Grandview led from start to finish and claimed the first state championship in program history. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Lakewood ended Michaela Onyenwere’s phenomenal sophomore season in utter disappointment in a playoff loss.

The Grandview senior paid the Tigers back with a postseason victory Saturday evening with the Class 5A state championship on the line this time.

Onyenwere matched Lakewood’s entire output with 21 points in the first half on her way to a game-high 25 and coach Josh Ulitzky’s second-seeded Wolves went on to win the first state title in program history with a cathartic 61-32 victory at the Denver Coliseum.

Grandview finished 26-1 overall and undefeated against Colorado teams — losing only at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona — and finished off the program’s fourth all-time trip to the 5A Final Four with an elusive title.

In a battle of teams both making their first appearances in a state championship game, the Wolves doubled up the ninth-seeded Tigers after one quarter and continued to pour it on.

Onyenwere made all eight of her shots in the first half and the UCLA signee racked up 21 points — the same as the six Lakewood players totaled in the opening two quarters — for an 18-point lead at the break.

The margin stayed the same after three quarters as Camilla Embsbo kept the Tigers hanging around with her performance, but Grandview put the game away with a 13-2 fourth quarter that was filled heavily with the anticipation of a championship celebration.

Lenzi Hudson, one of three seniors on the Grandview team along with Onyenwere and Kennede Brown, poured in 10 points as the only other player in double figures for her team.

One by one, Ulitzky removed his regulars from the floor in the closing minutes, with Onyenwere the last to come off.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

(2) GRANDVIEW 61, (9) LAKEWOOD 32

Score by quarters:

Lakewood     9  12   9    2 — 32

Grandview   18  21  9  13 — 61

LAKEWOOD (32)

Camilla Embsbo 8 2-2 20, Jessica Woodhead 0 0-1 0, Hannah Renstrom 1 0-0 2, Kira Emsbo 3 1-7 8, Sassy Coleman 0 0-0 0, Gaby Hayden 1 0-0 2, Nadia Trevino 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 3-10 32.

GRANDVIEW (61)

Jaiden Galloway 3 0-0 6, Alisha Davis 2 1-2 5, Michaela Onyenwere 9 7-7 25, Kennede Brown 0 0-2 0, Leilah Vigil 4 0-2 8, Lenzi Hudson 4 0-0 10, Allyah Marlett 1 2-2 5, Sariah Serrano 0 0-0 0, Kameryn Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals

3-point field goals — Lakewood (3): Camilla Embsbo 2, Kira Embsbo; Grandview (3): Lenzi Hudson 2, Allyah Marlett. Total fouls — Lakewood 10, Grandview 15. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.