Boom.

That’s how fast things changed.

Hampden Academy scored the first six points of the Class A girls’ basketball state championship game Thursday night. Then, in a span of 32 seconds, the momentum swung in Greely’s favor – and never swung back.

Anna DeWolfe scored six points in those 32 seconds, aided by two turnovers, and the Rangers were off and running to a 53-38 victory at Cross Insurance Arena.

Greely forced 11 turnovers and scored 15 consecutive points in the first quarter to take control.

“It was exactly what we expected,” Hampden Coach Nick Winchester said about Greely’s harassing defense. “They executed their game plan very well and took away our ability to get the ball to our post player.”

It’s Greely’s fifth state championship, the other four in Class B, most recently in 2015. The Rangers finished 20-2.

Sophomore guard Brooke Obar led the Rangers with 17 points, along with six steals and six rebounds. DeWolfe, a junior, had 16 points, four assists and three steals, and freshman Camille Clement had 10 points, along with five rebounds and two assists.

“It feels awesome,” said DeWolfe, standing with Obar. “We’ve been dreaming about this since we were little. We grew up together. Our parents grew up together. It’s always been a dream, and this is definitely a dream come true.”

“You can’t put it in any better words than that,” said Obar.

Greely’s game plan against the Broncos was simple. They weren’t going to try to match Hampden’s inside strength, with 6-foot-3 junior Bailey Donovan. Instead they were going to put relentless pressure on Hampden’s ballhandlers, make it difficult to get the ball to Donovan, and make it even harder to get the ball up court.

“Defense has really done it for us this year,” said Greely Coach Todd Flaherty. “I’m not sure at the beginning of the year we would have believed that because we have so many great offensive players.”

But, as DeWolfe said, “It all starts with our defense. We knew the shots would fall, that the offense would come.”

That’s pretty much what happened.

Hampden (19-3) got a putback by Donovan to start the game. After a Greely miss, Alydia Brillant hit a 3-pointer from the left wing, and Donovan (13 points, 17 rebounds, four blocked shots) sank a free throw to make it 6-0.

DeWolfe finally scored on a step-back jumper to the left with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter. After a turnover on the press, DeWolfe hit a jumper from the left elbow. Then she stole the ball in the back court and scored a layup, forcing Winchester to call a timeout.

“We got out fast, then they scored a basket and got into their press,” said Winchester. “We knew that was the thing we were going to have to deal with. Give them credit, they have a lot of team speed on the perimeter, they go to the ball aggressively, they made plays.”

DeWolfe hit another jumper to give Greely the lead for good with 4:12 left in the first.

She followed with another steal and passed to Julia Martel for a layup. After a Hampden miss, Martel drained a long 3-pointer to make it 13-6.

“I think DeWolfe is as good defensively as she is offensively,” said Winchester.

Obar stole the ball on the press and scored to cap the 15-0 run. Greely led 17-8 after one quarter, then Obar scored the first eight points of the second quarter and Clement hit two foul shots to end a 10-0 run that stretched the lead to 27-8.

The Broncos, down 29-15 at halftime, closed to within 10 a couple times in the third, but the Rangers responded each time. It was 31-21 before Greely ran off seven in a row, capped by a three-point play by Martel (eight points, three rebounds).

“This feels awesome,” said Martel. “Just really awesome.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH