Eaglecrest senior Mostapha Elmoutaouakkil (23) ranks third in Class 5A in scoring at 20.1 points per game and leads the sixth-seeded Raptors in a Class 5A boys basketball Great 8 contest against No. 3 Chaparral on March 5, 2022, at Denver Coliseum. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Capsule preview of the 2022 Class 5A boys state basketball Great 8 contest between Eaglecrest and Chaparral scheduled for March 5, 2022, at Denver Coliseum:

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

NO. 6 EAGLECREST (20-4) VS. NO. 3 CHAPARRAL (20-4)

2 p.m., March 5, Denver Coliseum

BREAKDOWN: Eaglecrest and Chaparral meet in the Class 5A state playoffs for the first time in at least 20 years, if ever, and both teams were eliminated in the Great 8 round of the postseason last year (Eaglecrest by Cherry Creek and Chaparral by eventual state champion ThunderRidge). The programs met early in the 2020-21 season with Chaparral winning 66-47.

EAGLECREST: The Raptors need a win to reach 5A’s Final Four for the first time since 2017 when a team then coached by John Olander (and led by Colbey Ross) topped ThunderRidge to win the state championship. This year’s team, coached by Jarris Krapcha, comes into the Great 8 on a 14-game winning streak that stretches back to a loss to rival Smoky Hill Jan. 5. The Centennial League champions defeated the Buffaloes in the next two meetings, including a 67-60 Sweet 16 victory, which followed a 68-45 second round victory over Highlands Ranch. The Raptors have made nine 3-pointers in each of their playoff contests, while they’ve been led in scoring by freshman LaDavian King, who 16.5 points per game, which is just ahead of senior Mostapha Elmoutaouakkil (16) and senior Jayden Washington (13) in the postseason. …For the season, Elmoutaouakkil averages 20.1 points per game, which puts him third overall in 5A. Washington checks in at 12.0 points per game and is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.8 per contest, while King has average eight points per contest in his varsity debut season. Junior Peyton Taylor, a defensive ace and primary ballhandler, leads the team in assists per game at 4.5 in addition to 2.7 steals per game. Five Eaglecrest players have made 21 or more 3-pointers on the season.

CHAPARRAL: The Wolverines need a win to return to the 5A Final Four for the first time since 2019, when they advanced to the state championship game before losing to Rangeview. Coach Nate Rohnert’s team has won 10 straight games coming into the Great 8 contest, which includes an 81-46 second round win over Palmer and a 63-51 victory against upset-minded Mullen in the Sweet 16. Senior Luke Williams has been Chaparral’s leading scorer in both postseason contests (with 25 points against Palmer and 20 against Mullen), while senior Joel Speckman II has a postseason average of 15 points per game and senior Jett Arstingstall had a double-digit game with 11 against Mullen. …For the season, Williams leads the team with an average of 16.2 points per game, with Speckman II just behind at 15.5 (in addition to a team-high 11.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per contest). Seniors Chris Brest and Bennett Pegues average 7.6 and 7.3 points per game, respectively.

WINNER GETS: The Eaglecrest-Chaparral winner moves on to a March 11 semifinal at Denver Coliseum against the winner of the Great 8 contest between No. 26 Legacy and No. 2 Fossil Ridge.

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