AURORA | Capsule preview look at the 2020 Class 5A boys state basketball first round playoff matchup between No. 29 Regis Jesuit and No. 36 Monarch set for Feb. 26, 2020 (full bracket, schedule):
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2020 CLASS 5A BOYS FIRST ROUND CAPSULE
NO. 36 MONARCH (12-11) AT NO. 29 REGIS JESUIT (10-13), 6 P.M.
Breakdown: Monarch and Regis Jesuit meet for the first time since the 2009-10 Class 5A state playoffs, when they also faced each other in the first round of the tournament (which was then 32 teams). The Raiders won that matchup 75-36 as the first step on their way to winning the second of three consecutive state championships. …Regis Jesuit has qualified for the postseason for the past 18 seasons and has played in the second round in every one of those playoff appearances. The Raiders did not get a first round bye for only the second time in the past decade and won their first round game against Arvada West the other time back in 2017. …Monarch is back in the 5A playoffs after missing out last season.
MONARCH: Coach Tim DeBerry — the program’s third coach in four seasons since the retirement of longtime coach Ken Niven — has guided the Coyotes (who finished near the middle of the pack of the Front Range League) to five more wins that they had all of last season and they come into the postseason with victories in three of their last four games, including wins over No. 18 Windsor and No. 28 Mountain Range. Interestingly, Monarch has an 7-3 road record as opposed to 4-6 at home. …Seven Monarch players average 5.3 points or more with only one in double figures in junior G Sam Carlson at 12.8 points per game, aided by a team-best 36 made 3-pointers. Senior PG Sam Carlson has drained 24 triples and is just a shade off double-digits at 9.6 points per contest, while 6-foot-10 C Greg Gerhardt paces the team in rebounding at 4.2 per game.
REGIS JESUIT: Coach Ken Shaw went through something he never had before to start the season, as the Raiders dropped their first nine contests on a tough non-league slate and went into the winter break winless. A lot has changed since then for Regis Jesuit, which has won 10 of its last 14 games as a roster almost exclusively new to varsity play got acclimated. …Junior G Michael Wolf leads the way for the Raiders offensively as the only player to average double figures at 11.3 points per game, which includes 35 made 3-pointers on the season. Junior G Alonzo Paul — who had a monster stretch late in the regular season in which he scored at least 13 points in six of seven games, including a 33-point explosion against parochial school rival Mullen — is next at 9.8 points per game, followed by junior G/F Blakeley Stoughton (9.3 ppg). Junior F Ty Bergman paces the team in rebounding at 5.3 per contest, while senior G Will Barbera is good for a team-best 3.0 assists per game and finished the regular season with a career-high 20 points against Ponderosa.
WINNER GETS: The Monarch-Regis Jesuit winner advances in the Kent Smith Region into a second round matchup with No. 4 Cherry Creek (19-4) in a game scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 29. The Raiders lost by 10 points to the Bruins during the regular season, while the Coyotes didn’t face them.