AURORA | It might have been the most anticipated matchup in a Sweet 16 round filled with dandies and Rangeview and Chaparral delivered Wednesday night.
Repeatedly to the delight of the capacity crowd.
Going back and forth like an athletic prize fight, the second-seeded Raiders and third-seeded Wolverines punched and counterpunched all the way into double overtime with a trip to the Class 5A boys Great 8 on the line.
Finally, sophomore Tyrei Randall and Rangeview delivered the knockout blows in a thrilling 88-85 victory that pushed coach Shawn Palmer’s team into an all-Aurora Great 8 matchup Friday at the Denver Coliseum against top-seeded Overland.
“I told the guys what a fun game to be a part of, but no it actually wasn’t a fun game to be a part of (as a coach),” said Palmer, whose team improved to 22-3. “I thought we could have had it won several times, but every time we got ahead, they made a play.”
Senior Jeremiah Paige scored a game-high 34 points for Rangeview, but fouled out on the opening sequence of the second overtime. Randall — who had played only a handful of minutes previously — came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer and four free throws in the final minute to help the Raiders prevail.
“Once Jeremiah fouled out, I just knew I had to step up and do the little things to win,” Randall said. “In my past, I haven’t showed up in the big games, but tonight, I wanted to show up in a big game. Look where we’re going, the Great 8.”
Rangeview needed every point, rebound and steal it could get from every one of the seven players that got into the game to combat a very talented Chaparral team that had found its way in recent weeks after some struggles early in the season.
Junior Tim Wyatt made four of the Raiders’ 10 3-pointers and scored 17 points, senior Trey Bridges added 14 — half in the two overtime sessions — and juniors Jalen Davis and Tarren Storey-Way contributed eight points apiece and a combined 14 rebounds in the Raiders’ well-rounded win.
Rangeview finished with a sweep of two games this season against Chaparral, which had junior Chris Moody in the lineup this time after he missed the Raiders’ 74-70 win on Dec. 6 due to injury.
Moody made his impact in the rematch with a team-high 32 points, while fellow junior Jake Holtzmann added 26 and senior Hayden Dalton 14 to go with 28 rebounds for the Wolverines, who finished 13-12 overall.
“They are a really good team, honestly; they have so much depth and height and talent everywhere,” Bridges said. “It’s hard to pick your poison, but we stayed with our gameplan and did what we had to do to get the win.”
Primarily, the Raiders had to weather the runs they expected the explosive Wolverines to make. They saw one right off the bat, as Chaparral raced out to a 13-5 lead in the first quarter. Wyatt hit a pair of 3-pointers in the period to help Rangeview stay close and Paige scored five straight points to end the period and cut the margin to three.
The game went back and forth through the next two periods until early in the fourth when Holtzmann put Chaparral ahead by six points early in the period.
A quick 8-1 burst by Rangeview put the Raiders in front and they held a three-point lead with 3:06 left on two free throws by Davis, who was a major factor in the final quarter. He had zero points in the first three quarters and found tough going in the paint against Chaparral’s huge lineup, but scored six points in the fourth quarter to put Rangeview in position to win.
“I was getting my shot blocked, getting it stolen from me, but Jeremiah came over and told me ‘I believe in you, I know you can do it,'” said Davis, who finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists.
But Moody wouldn’t let the game end there, making a layup and hitting a tough 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 66-66. Paige took a shot as time expired, but couldn’t connect and the game went to overtime.
Again it looked like Rangeview’s game to win when Davis hit a floater and Wyatt made a layup and free throw for a 76-71 lead with 2:08 left. But the Wolverines pulled even yet again at 78-78 when Moody came up with a steal and layup and the game needed a second extra session when Paige’s pull-up jumper bounced out.
“That look he got at the end of the first overtime, I thought it was going in,” Palmer said of Paige’s shot from the wing.
But Paige wouldn’t get another shot at a game-winner after he was whistled for his fifth foul chasing down Chaparral’s Chase Coon on a breakaway to open the second overtime.
That left it up to the rest of the cast, as Bridges responded with a 3-pointer to put Rangeview ahead and Paige’s replacement, Randall, knocked down another triple a minute later. Four Randall free throws — the second pair with under 10 seconds left made it a six-point game. True to form, Moody knocked down a triple to cut the margin in half with 1.2 seconds left, but there wasn’t enough time left as the Raiders held on.
“That game is the top one I’ve been in, just having to go to two overtimes and losing Jeremiah was real tough,” Bridges said. “We just had to stay composed and play as a team. …I can’t wait (to play in the Coliseum), but we all know our goal. It’s not just to get there, it’s to get to Boulder and finish out strong.”
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
(2) RANGEVIEW 88, (3) CHAPARRAL 85 (2OT)
Score by quarters:
Chaparral 18 18 16 14 12 7 — 85
Rangeview 15 20 13 18 12 10 — 88
Chris Moody 13 3-5 32, Jake Holtzmann 8 7-8 26, Jerrod Doran 4 0-0 9, Chase Coon 2 0-1 4, Hayden Dalton 6 2-2 14, Zach Carter 0 0-0 0, Peter Wilson 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 12-16 85.
Jalen Davis 3 2-5 8, Trey Bridges 5 2-5 14, Tim Wyatt 6 1-1 17, Jeremiah Paige 14 4-4 34, Tarren Storey-Way 3 1-1 8, Tyrei Randall 1 4-4 7, John Saltzman 0 0-0 o. Totals 32 14-20 88.
3-point field goals — Chaparral (7): Jake Holtzmann 3, Chris Moody 3, Jerrod Doran; Rangeview (10): Tim Wyatt 4, Trey Bridges 2, Jeremiah Paige 2, Tyrei Randall, Tarren Storey-Way. Total fouls — Chaparral 21, Rangeview 15. Fouled out — Rangeview: Paige. Technical fouls — None.