AURORA | A capsule look at the first round matchups involving Aurora teams in the Class 5A boys state basketball playoffs, which begin on Feb. 23, 2022:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
No. 42 Vista PEAK (11-12) at No. 23 Chatfield (13-8), 6:30 p.m.
BREAKDOWN: Vista PEAK has qualified for the state playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons, including the four seasons since moving up to Class 5A. The Bison’s last postseason victory came in the second round in 2020 before they lost in the Sweet 16. Coach Keenon Clement’s Vista PEAK team dropped its regular season finale against Rangeview with the EMAC championship on the line, but had won its previous four games. Interestingly, the Bison have scored and allowed the same number of points per game (58.6). Six-foot-3 sophomore Alante Monroe-Elazier leads the team in both scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg), while the team’s other double-digit scorer by average is senior A’jhzan Williams (12.0 ppg). Williams is one off the pace for the team lead in 3-point shooting behind senior Elijah Carlson, who has drained 27 of them and averages 8.6 points per contest. Junior Nasir Mills is a high-energy defender and leads the team with an average of 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. …Chatfield — which lost in the first round of the playoffs last season — finished off the regular season with six wins in its last eight games, including the final two. Coach Erik Buehler’s Chargers features a trio of double-digit scorers in 6-foot-6 senior Chase Miller (15.6 ppg along with a team-best 11.0 rebounds per contest), senior Parker Teff (10.7 ppg helped by 67 made 3-pointers) and junior Shay Rumsey (10.4 ppg) along with a variety of other contributors. …WINNER GETS: The Vista PEAK-Chatfield winner advances to the 5A second round, where it will visit 10th-seeded Regis Jesuit (14-7) in a contest scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 26.
No. 40 Fruita Monument (11-12) at No. 25 Overland (10-12), 7 p.m.
BREAKDOWN: Fruita Monument won four of its final six games of the regular season to solidify its bid to make the postseason, which it missed out on in 2021. Coach Jake Higuera’s Wildcats have good depth and are led by a pair of double-digit scorers in seniors Skylar Johnson (13.1 ppg) and Carson Hollingshead (10.2 ppg), who have combined to knock down 74 3-pointers on the season, while Johnson is also the team’s top facilitator with an average of 3.4 assists per game. Daniel Thomason, a 6-foot-5 freshman, is Fruita Monument’s leading rebounder at 6.4 per contest (along with 7 points, while three other players average 5.3 points or more. …Overland qualified for the 5A state playoffs for a 14th consecutive season, despite starting the year 1-9 against a grueling in-state schedule and out-of-state competition at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas. Coach Danny Fisher’s Trailblazers found their stride in Centennial League play and finished 9-4 in one of the most difficult conferences in Colorado. Six-foot-7 junior Marzouq Abdur-Razaaq — who was limited to just three games as a sophomore due to injury — has been a force for Overland with a scoring average of 18.9 points per game that ranked second in the Centennial League and seventh in all of 5A, while he also averages 10.0 rebounds per contest. Senior Victor Harp, a 6-5 frontcourt player, protects the paint with an average of nearly 2 blocked shots per game, while he is second behind Abdur-Razaaq on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg). Senior Taveon Long, who played last season at Hinkley, freshman Jayden Kelsey and senior Remy Wedgeworth — who has played half the season — all average seven points or more per game and can reach double figures at any time. ...WINNER GETS: The Fruita Monument-Overland winner moves into a 5A second round contest Feb. 26 at No. 8 Mountain Vista (16-6).