DENVER | The Regis Jesuit boys basketball team’s resurgent rise came to end Saturday in the Great 8 round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Far, far away from the 0-9 start to their season, coach Ken Shaw’s 29th-seeded Raiders traded blows with fifth-seeded Grandview at the Denver Coliseum until the final two minutes, when the Wolves scored the last seven points of the game to win the battle of Aurora, 48-41.
Despite the winless streak to start the season, Regis Jesuit finished 13-14 (including playoff wins over Monarch, Cherry Creek and Denver East) and made the program’s deepest progress in the postseason since its last Great 8 run in 2016.
“Our guys played hard and competed hard like they have all season and I’m so proud of them,” Shaw said. “We just had a little bit of a hole we had to get out of there at the end and couldn’t quite do it.”
The Raiders trailed the Wolves — who advanced to a Final Four matchup against No. 1 Rangeview — at halftime, then built a lead midway through the third quarter with a 7-0 run started by a 3-pointer from junior Alonzo Paul, followed by hoops from senior Will Barbera and junior Blakeley Stoughton.
To Shaw’s chagrin, Grandview closed the quarter on an 11-0 run that put the Raiders behind by five points going into the final period.
“There in the third quarter we had a chance to get some wiggle room and get a little bit of a lead, but we weren’t able to do it,” Shaw said.
Regis Jesuit responded in the final quarter, however, as Paul (who had 12 points to join Stoughton with 15 in double figures) connected again from 3-point land and junior Michael Wolf followed with his own triple to put the Raiders in front by a point.
The lead changed hands several times until Wolf tied it back up with a free throw to make it 41-41. Regis Jesuit wouldn’t score the rest of the way, however.
The Raiders hoped to continue on, but were encouraged by their rebound from the rough opening to the season, which came on a schedule loaded with top-10 5A teams and included several losses in games they were in until the very end.
“We’re going put in a lot of work and come back strong next season,” Paul said.
Added Shaw: “We have some good kids coming back, so I’m hoping we can build on that and make a run next year. …This is just a great group of young men.”
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-75555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
(5) GRANDVIEW 48, (29) REGIS JESUIT 41
Score by quarters:
Regis Jesuit 13 6 12 10 — 41
Grandview 13 8 15 12 — 48
REGIS JESUIT (41)
Blakeley Stoughton 5 3-6 15, Alonzo Paul 5 1-2 13, Will Barbera 2 0-0 4, Ty Bergman 0 2-2 2, Kyle Sandler 0 0-0 0, Michael Wolf 2 1-2 7, Clay Nanke 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 7-14 41.
Caleb McGill 5 3-3 14, Tanner Holtman 0 0-0 0, Cade Coles 4 0-0 10, Lian Ramiro 4 4-5 15, CJ Thomas 3 1-3 9, Jacob Burr 0 0-1 0, Jericho Gutierrez 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 8-12 48.
3-point field goals — Regis Jesuit (6): Alonzo Paul 2, Blakeley Stoughton 2, Michael Wolf 2. Grandview (8): Lian Ramiro 3, Cade Coles 2, CJ Thomas 2, Caleb McGill. Total fouls — Regis Jesuit 17, Grandview 13. Fouled out — Regis Jesuit: Paul. Technical fouls — None.