AURORA | A capsule preview of the 2023 Class 6A boys basketball state tournament Great 8 contest between Regis Jesuit and Rock Canyon scheduled for March 4, 2023:

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


NO. 7 REGIS JESUIT (19-6) vs. No. 2 ROCK CANYON (23-2)

March 4, 8:30 p.m. at Denver Coliseum

BREAKDOWN: Regis Jesuit and Rock Canyon square off in the state playoffs for the first time in at least two decades, but the teams play every season in Continental League play. The Raiders own the advantage in the 16 meetings since 2007 with 12 wins, but the Jaguars took this season’s meeting 59-57 on a game-winning shot just before the buzzer by junior Mac Terry. Terry had 15 points to join senior Aidan Peck (18) and senior Gavin Hershberger (13) in double figures for the Jaguars, while the Raiders got 20 from senior TaRea Fulcher. …Regis Jesuit is in the Great 8 for the third time in the past four seasons and lost in that round in 2020 and 2021, while it has not advanced to the Final Four since the 2011 season when it won its third consecutive Class 5A state championship. Rock Canyon is in the Great 8 for the fourth consecutive season and los in its last three trips.

REGIS JESUIT: Veteran coach Ken Shaw — who has the third-most career wins among Colorado prep boys basketball coaches with 822 — has guided his team to nine consecutive victories, which included two in the postseason. Regis Jesuit opened the playoffs with a 64-48 victory over Pine Creek, while was followed by a thrilling 65-62 Sweet 16 victory over No. 10 Highlands Ranch in a game that ended on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by senior guard TaRea Fulcher. Junior Damarius Taylor is the team leader in scoring average in the postseason at 15 points per contest, followed by Fulcher 14.5 ppg (including 20 points against Highlands Ranch) and senior Joe Dorais 11. …For the season, Fulcher leads the Raiders in scoring at 16.5 points per game as well as assists at 3.6 per contest, while Dorais (who has made the third-most 3-pointers in 6A with 83) is next at 15.3 ppg and Taylor is at 13.1 ppg. Senior Nick Frontz leads Regis Jesuit in rebounding at 7.5 per contest, just in front of senior Cole Records (7.4), who is out for the entire postseason due to injury, while Taylor is the steals leader with an average of 1.4 per game.

ROCK CANYON: Coach Kent Grams guided his team to a runner-up finish in the Continental League behind No. 1 Mountain Vista, which is has dealt Rock Canyon both of its defeats this season, while the Jaguars are now on a six-game winning streak. In the postseason, Rock Canyon defeated No. 31 Rangeview 61-27 in the first round and followed that with a 61-51 victory over No. 15 Fountain-Fort Carson in Sweet 16 play. In the postseason, senior Gavin Hershberger is the Jaguars’ leading scorer with an average of 23 points per game (including a 27-point game against Fountain-Fort Carson that included a 19-for-22 performance from the free throw line), while senior Aidan Peck has notched 16.5 ppg. …For the season, Rock Canyon has a trio of double-digit scorers in Hershberger (16.9 ppg), Peck (13.1 ppg) and junior Mac Terry (11.3 ppg), while Peck is also the team leader in rebounding average (6.2 rpg), Hershberger paces the team in assists as 4.9 per game and steals at 1.7 per contest.

WINNER GETS: The Regis Jesuit-Rock Canyon winner takes the championship of the Jim Dorsey Region and advances to the March 10 Final Four, where it will face the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 6 Fort Collins and No. 3 Fossil Ridge.

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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