AURORA | Capsule preview look at the 2020 Class 5A boys state basketball first round playoff matchup between No. 22 Overland and No. 43 Castle View set for Feb. 26, 2020 (full bracket, schedule):
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2020 CLASS 5A BOYS FIRST ROUND CAPSULE
NO. 43 CASTLE VIEW (9-14) AT NO. 22 OVERLAND (11-12), 6 P.M.
Breakdown: Castle View and Overland meet for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when they also got together in the Class 5A playoffs. The Trailblazers prevailed in the second round matchup 71-50 on their way to the state championship. …Overland has qualified for the postseason for the 12th consecutive season, but has earned a bye as one of the top 16 seed six seasons. The last time the Trailblazers (who have been to at least the Great 8 five times in the past six seasons) had an opening round game was in 2013 when they beat Rampart before losing in the second round. …Castle View has lost in the first round of the 5A playoffs the last two seasons.
CASTLE VIEW: Coach David Johnston’s SaberCats — which finished 10th in the 11-team Continental League — comes into the playoffs with 12 losses in their last 13 games. Castle View features just a single double-digit scorer in senior SF David McKean, who has scored 10 or more points on 14 occasions and averages 12.2 points per game for the season. Senior PF Paradisio Dante is just behind McKean with an average of 9.2 points per game (plus a team-best 2.2 blocked shots per game), while 6-foot-4 PF/C Caleb Hanchett paces the SaberCats in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest.
OVERLAND: Coach Danny Fisher’s Trailblazers lost star center Graham Ike to a knee injury in the first week and it put a bit of a damper on a season in which they were considered a serious contender for the state title. Overland has its most losses (12) since 2011-12 (the year before Fisher took over), but managed to finish above .500 in the rugged Centennial League (home to No. 4 Cherry Creek, No. 5 Grandview, No. 10 Smoky Hill and No. 11 Eaglecrest) and qualify for the postseason. The Trailblazers enter the playoffs with three wins in their last four games, capped by a road win at No. 30 Arapahoe. Senior G Trevon Deden has taken up some of the scoring slack and owns the team’s lone double-digit scoring average at 11.8 points per contest (up 3.3 per game from last season), fueled largely by his team-best 31 made 3-pointers (second in senior G Kaleb Chaney with 24). Junior W Vinni Veikalas, a move-in, has 10 double-digit scoring efforts on the season and averages 9.5 points per contest, while senior SF/G Joseph Editone has scored in double figures nine times during season and is at 8.7 per game (vs. 1.7 in 2018-19) and experienced senior PG Hezekiah Swanson paces the team in assists at 3.1 per game.
WINNER GETS: The Castle View-Overland winner advances in the Larry Farmer Region into a second round matchup with No. 11 Eaglecrest (16-7) in a game scheduled for 3 p.m. Feb. 29. The Trailblazers split with the Raptors in a two-game Centennial League set, while the SaberCats have not faced them this season.