Daily Camera (Boulder)
Rosin puts ‘Final’ touch on win
Monarch advances to Class 6A semifinals after defeating Regis Jesuit
DENVER >> In the immediate aftermath of fourth-seeded Monarch girls basketball’s Class 6A Great 8 win over No. 12 Regis Jesuit at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday, head coach Mike Blakely only had one thing on his mind.
“I just want to go celebrate with my team,” he said.
When he emerged a few minutes later, dripping wet from a celebratory water bottle bath, he couldn’t help but smile. None of the Coyotes could. They had just avenged their lone loss of the season with a 62-44 victory when it mattered most, and they did so with a 31-point turnaround over the course of 23 minutes.
“It’s indescribable. Everyone’s just so happy right now and we can’t stop smiling and jumping around. I’m so proud of our team for coming this far in this season,” senior power forward Amelia Rosin said. “Revenge game. That’s what we kept saying all week. It was the revenge game. We were so pissed off that we lost last time and we said we had to come back and we had to beat them again. And we had to beat them by a lot.”
In their earlier meeting just before Christmas, the Raiders handed the Coyotes a 50-36 setback to set the stage for a dominant run to the quarterfinals. Saturday morning’s game, from the opening minute of the second quarter to the last, proved emblematic of their comeback ever since that fateful, freezing day.
Now 25-1, they feel almost invincible as they head back to the Final Four for the first time since 2015.
Rosin led the Coyotes with a strong performance in the post, nabbing 10 rebounds to go along with her 16 points. Senior point guard Natalie Guanella (14 points), senior forward Arezo Safi (13) and junior guard/forward Hayley Luther (13) followed her lead.
The Raiders entered the contest shooting lights-out from the 3-point line — sinking 6 of 15 — leaving the Coyotes to play catchup early on. Things would have looked grim for any other team when Monarch went down 26-13 with 6:56 left in the first half, but the Coyotes collected themselves instead.
The 8-0 Monarch run that followed concerned Regis head coach Jordan Kasemodel enough that she called a timeout to try to right the ship.
But it was already sinking. The Raiders just didn’t know it yet.
Rosin came to life after that short run, and only caused the Raiders more pain as she nailed two free throws, a midrange jumper and two layups over the course of the next minute and a half. The Coyotes trailed the Raiders just 33-31 at the half.
“She’s huge. She’s always a big threat down there (near the post),” Blakely said. “A lot of teams try to take her away and if they don’t, we do stuff like that. She does stuff like that.”
Monarch entered the second half as a brand new team, and took advantage of every turnover and every missed layup that Regis Jesuit suffered. The Raiders, having cooled off from downtown, couldn’t keep up.
What was once a 13-point deficit turned into an 18-point win. The Raiders shot just 17.4% in the final 16 minutes.
“We just stuck together,” Rosin said. “We never got in our heads and we always stayed positive. We have such a deep bench that we can score off of. All five of our people can score in double figures and we can all be leading scorers every night. A lot of teams don’t have that.”
That’s just Monarch basketball.
The Coyotes will now advance to the Final Four, set to be played next Friday at the Coliseum, against No. 8 Arapahoe, who beat No. 1 Valor Christian 62-54 during the later session on Saturday.
“We’ve always talked about wanting to hang your graduation year on our league championship banner,” Blakely said. “We look up at our Final Four and our final two banners and we don’t have a state championship banner for basketball in the gym yet, boys or girls. We got something to play for.”