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Underclassmen helping 3A, 2A, 1A girls basketball teams

The grind of the regular season of basketball is the platform for building depth for the time when the games really matter, when one loss can end a season. And, as district play transpires this week in the small-school ranks for girls, it’s those deeper teams that typically find a way to power through those smaller tournaments on their way to the 32-team state tournament bracket.

Many programs in Class 3A, 2A and 1A are looking toward their experienced junior and senior girls to front the effort, but there are several teams getting a spark out of talented underclassmen.

Here are a few sophomores and freshmen looking to help carry their team to the next level.

Class 3A

Eve Brustkern, So., Bishop Machebeuf: Has made a huge impact for the 10-9 Buffaloes ever since the beginning of January, averaging 16.8 points. She scored 18 against SkyView Academy in a 38-37 MBHS win last week, the same team they’ll play Friday in the 3A Mile High/Foothills district tournament semifinals.

Kinley Asp, So., C.S. Christian: With state title aspirations on the minds of the Lions, Asp has provided consistent scoring night after night — as she did last year as a freshman, too. Her 15.7 point scoring average is second to Brustkern among 3A sophomores, and she’ll get a chance to improve that number Friday as CSCS plays Salida in the Tri-Peaks district semis.

Finley Queen, Fr., Forge Christian: The Fury face off against St. Mary’s Academy in Friday’s district semis, and Queen is hoping her efforts are similar to the last time the teams met, albeit with different team results. Her 19 points in that game last Friday led all scorers, but Forge Christian lost 67-65. Of note, Queen (11.5 ppg) tops a list of five freshmen/sophomores that front Forge’s offensive attack.

Class 2A

Claire Goodwin, So., Mancos: The leading sophomore scorer in the classification, Goodwin poured in 45 points in a game last week for District 3’s top seed as they wrapped up the regular season. She carries a 19.1 point average, with eight games better than 20 points, into Friday’s district opener against Telluride.

Kya Piel, So., Merino: Piel is the undefeated Rams’ leading scorer at 15.8 points per game, heading into a Friday district semifinal against Akron. She’s shooting 52% from the floor, including 43% from 3-point land, and has averaged 18 a game in February.

Kandace Pargin, Fr., Sargent: The leading freshman scorer in the classification, Pargin has a 13.1 scoring average and has three 20-point games to her resume already. The Farmers have their work cut out for them Thursday night as they face Sanford in the District 1 semis.

Class 1A

Lila Fairchild, So., Creede: Fairchild has been popping off all season long, as she’s been credited with five games of 30 points or more with a season high of 41 (on 16-of-33 shooting) Feb. 3 against Antonito. The Miners — sitting close to the bubble of the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index at No. 31 — face Sierra Grande in Friday’s District 6 semis, a rematch of a Jan. 26 game won by Creede, 54-41, on the strength of Fairchild’s 30 points.

Abrielle Gomez, So., McClave: Gomez is a frequent mention on the site, but it’s because she keeps doing great things while the Cardinals aim for a championship. Already with 716 career points over one-plus seasons, Gomez’s 17.3 ppg this season is buoyed by seven 20-point outings. McClave faces Kit Carson Thursday in the District 2 semis.

Addie Dodds, Fr., Mile High Academy: The Mustangs are situated nicely for a spot in the 1A state tournament field despite having lost their District 8 semifinal against Flatirons Academy on Tuesday. They’ll play Front Range Baptist in the third-place game and give Dodds a chance to expand on her stellar freshman season, as she’s averaged 18.9 points a game with eight outings of 20-plus points so far.