AURORA | Yet another night of intriguing boys basketball in the Centennial League saw some key developments as the first round nears its conclusion.
The buzz of the night surrounded the Eaglecrest–Smoky Hill game, which lived up to its billing with the Raptors escaping with a 64-63 victory after senior Colbey Ross made a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than a second left in regulation.
Another major storyline of the night was the return to action for Cherokee Trail senior point guard Jaizec Lottie, who came back earlier than expected and played well in the Cougars’ 66-49 home win over Arapahoe.
The Cougars lost Lottie to an ankle injury during their loss at Cherry Creek Jan. 4 and went 1-3 without him, but coach Morgan Gregory’s team got a boost when he scored 23 points in his return against the Warriors.
Junior Deon Barfield scored seven of his 10 points in the opening quarter as Cherokee Trail built a double-digit lead on Arapahoe, then Lottie went for 11 points in the second quarter to help his team to a 16-point lead at the break. Junior Tyson Rodgers added nine points and senior Joseph Correa chipped in seven.
The Cougars pay a return visit to Arapahoe on Feb. 15.
Overland got eight points or more from five different players in a 77-66 road win at Mullen.
The Trailblazers were paced by 23 points from Goy Wang, while Daijon Smith added 12 and Tristan Legins and Tucson Redding scored 10 points apiece.
The Mustangs visit Overland on Feb. 15.
Matthew Johnson had the scoring performance of the night for Rangeview, as the senior guard poured in 34 points in the Raiders’ 95-57 EMAC win over Westminster.
Johnson shot 12-for-16 from the field — including four 3-pointers — in his third game of 30-plus points this season, while junior Ryan Ongala added 16 points and freshman Christian Speller had 10.
Coach Shawn Palmer’s Rangeview team won its second straight following a three-game losing streak and improved to 7-7 overall and 2-2 in the EMAC.
Vista PEAK also got to 2-0 in the EMAC with a 79-47 road victory at Aurora Central.
Coach Gary Childress’ Bison built a 15-point lead after one quarter and maintained a large lead the rest of the way to get to 11-2 on the season ahead of a non-league road game at Silver Creek Saturday.
The Trojans dropped to 0-14 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Vista PEAK recorded the most eye-popping score of the night with a 90-4 victory over winless Aurora Central.
Coach Jim Bartok’s Bison scored at least 22 points in each period and held the Trojans scoreless until the final period to even their record at 6-6 and get to 2-0 in EMAC play.
Five Vista PEAK players scored in double figures in led by Kaya Evans (15) and Jordan Quinn (14), while Denali Hughes, Mikayla Jones and Jadyn Wangaard each contributed 10 points.
Even without leading scorer Jaelin Jones, Rangeview moved to 3-0 in the EMAC (7-7 overall) with a 67-51 handling of Westminster.
Sophomore Angel Broadus scored a season-high 22 points and was credited with 22 rebounds to pace the Raiders, while LeShawn Love added 14 points and Shaunte Ford 10.
In Centennial League play, Cherokee Trail couldn’t dig its way out of a first-half hole in a 46-42 loss at Arapahoe.
The Cougars play host to the Warriors in the league rematch Feb. 15.
Junior Lyric Thompson contributed another double-digit scoring effort — her fifth straight — with 13 points, but Overland dropped a 50-37 decision to visiting Mullen.
The Trailblazers head to Mullen Feb. 15.
Regis Jesuit trailed rival Ralston Valley by a goal after two periods at the APEX, but scored twice in the third period to win 2-1 and stay undefeated.
Coach Dan Woodley’s Raiders (9-0 overall, 5-0 in Foothills Conference) evened the score on senior Michael Baer’s even-strength goal just over three minutes into the final period, then took the lead two minutes later when junior Shane Ott tallied his 13th goal of the season.
Dylan Kelly and Connor Kilkenny both assisted on Ott’s tie-breaking goal and junior goaltender Dillon Whalen made 19 saves.
The Raiders and Mustangs play again Feb. 11 at Family Sports Center.
The Cherry Creek co-op team scored all three of its goals in the third period of a 3-0 victory over Mountain Vista at Family Sports Center.
Coach Jeff Mielnicki’s Bruins (8-1, 5-0) broke a scoreless tie just under five minutes into the final period on Garret Glaspy’s even strength goal.
Diego Lovato (Grandview) gave Cherry Creek an insurance goal at the 15:10 mark and Sam Harris finished up the scoring in the closing seconds.
Freshman goaltender Dylan Romanow (Cherokee Trail) came on in relief and made 10 saves for the Bruins, who play Mountain Vista again on Feb. 16 at South Suburban Ice Arena.