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ALAMOSA — The game looked the same. But Fort Lupton’s Francesca Watson noticed one difference when she took the floor June 14 for girls basketball at the Colorado High School Coaches Association all-state games.
“It’s a better pace, a faster pace than I thought,” she said. “It was different. But I like this pace better. I think all of the players like to run up and down the floor better.”
Watson’s team won its two games in the tournament at Adams State University to claim the championship. She nailed a 3-pointer in the semifinals and stole the ball, which led to a basket for her squad.
“We put in a few plays,” Watson said. “Just some inbounds plays and some motion plays. They were easy things.”
Watson showed up in Alamosa two days ahead of her contests.
“It’s a long drive. But it was fun, a good experience,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so you have to take it all in. The best part was playing, not the drive. I met new people, made some new friendships.
“We’re all connected through basketball, so it’s pretty fun. We’ve seen each other play. But playing together is different,” Watson added. “We have the same talent. It’s just better to be on the same team.”
Watson wants to go to Front Range Community College. But playing basketball isn’t quite as certain.
“It’s iffy,” Watson said. “I’m leaning toward not playing. I’m tired. I’ve been playing since I was 4 all year-round. I’d like to keep it going and stay in shape.”
Watson played in two, all-star games this spring. She was a three-time, all-conference selection.
“I had the opportunity to get out there and play,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of people who are blessed to come out here and do this. I’m blessed to do this and to have the talent I have. You have to be a leader. You have to communicate, and you have to have sportsmanship. It was fun. I love it.”
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.