Boys Basketball: Cherry Creek upsets Carlton Hurst, Aurora Central in 5A second round


AURORA | As a freshman, Carlton Hurst contributed to an Aurora Central team that made it all the way to the semifinals of the 5A state tournament in the 2009-10 season before losing to Fairview.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be the last run the explosive senior guard would make in the postseason, as Hurst and the Trojans lost their first playoff game for the third consecutive season on March 2.

Aurora Central-Cherry Creek Boys Basketball 3.2.13
Cherry Creek made the going tough for Aurora Central senior Carlton Hurst, right, who was held to 6-for-17 shooting from the floor and had 21 points in the Trojans’ 52-44 loss to the Bruins in a Class 5A boys state basketball tournament second round game on March 2 at Aurora Central High School. (Brandon Iwamoto/Aurora Sentinel)

Sixth-seeded Cherry Creek did the honors with a gritty 52-44 victory over Aurora Central on its home court, as the Trojans managed just 31 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line.

Hurst — a Colorado State signee — finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Aurora Central dropped its fourth straight playoff contest dating back to a Great 8 win in that 2009-10 season.

The Trojans fell to ThunderRidge in the first round of the 2010-11 playoffs and dropped a second round contest on their home floor to upstart Mountain Vista last season prior to this season’s loss to the Bruins.

Still, coach Ian Calvert’s Aurora Central team finished the season 17-7 overall and won a league championship for the fourth time in the past six seasons. The Trojans went 10-1 in East Metro Athletic Conference play and won a tiebreaker from rival Rangeview by winning head-to-head.

Hurst, the only remaining member of the Aurora Central’s semifinal team, finished his prep career with 21 points and 12 rebounds, his 19th double-double of the season.

The complete focal point of Cherry Creek’s defense, Hurst shot just 6-for-17 from the field, however, one of his toughest games from the field all season. He had just four points in the first half, which saw the Trojans trailing by 10 points.

A turnover-fueled fourth-quarter push made things interesting, but Aurora Central couldn’t catch up to a Cherry Creek team that had trouble closing at times in Centennial League play.

Aurora Central-Cherry Creek Boys Basketball 3.2.13
Aurora Central’s Ladarius Thomas (1) is cut off by Cherry Creek defenders. (Brandon Iwamoto/Aurora Sentinel)

Seniors Leonard Hurst finished with nine points and Tyler Stephenson six for Aurora Central.

Meanwhile, Cherry Creek moved on to face second-seeded Cherokee Trail — which defeated No. 7 Lakewood 69-66 — at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555


Score by quarters:

Cherry Creek    13  13  16  10 — 52

Aurora Central   8   8   9  19 — 44


Griffin Parr 2 2-2 6, Sam Stoveall 9 3-4 21, Taylor Shepard 1 2-2 5, Will Bower 1 1-1 3, Graham Pingree 3 5-6 11, Caesar Jones 1 1-2 4, Dylan Schneider 1 0-2 2. Totals 18 14-19 52.


LaDarius Thomas 1 0-0 2, Carlton Hurst 6 9-14 21, Leonard Hurst 4 1-3 9, A’Deril Agnew 0 0-1 0, Tyler Stephenson 2 0-0 6, Marcus Tripplett 1 0-0 2, Levi Watson 2 0-2 4. Totals 16 10-20 44.

3-point field goals — Cherry Creek (2): Caesar Jones, Taylor Shepard; Aurora Central (2): Tyler Stephenson 2. Total fouls — Cherry Creek 19. Fouled out — Cherry Creek: Will Bower. Technical fouls — None.