AURORA | Four of the city’s five qualifiers for the Class 6A boys state basketball team were in action Wednesday in opening round action and half advanced to Saturday’s Sweet 16.

Fifth-seeded Smoky Hill takes the floor for its opening round match Thursday, but the first night saw seventh-seeded Regis Jesuit, 14th-seeded Grandview, 20th-seeded Eaglecrest and 31st-seeded Rangeview in action, with the Raiders and Raptors earning victories that extend their respective seasons by at least on more game.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s first round matchups for Aurora teams:


A second-quarter blitz proved to be just what Regis Jesuit needed to propel itself to victory, as the Raiders outscored visiting Pine Creek 15-4 to take a double-digit lead into halftime after a tie through one quarter.

Coach Ken Shaw’s team earned at least one playoff win for the fourth consecutive season and did so with a balanced effort that saw double-digit scoring performances from junior Damarius Taylor (14 points), freshman Eric Fieldler (13) and senior Joe Dorais (10), while seniors Nick Frontz and TaRea Fulcher had nine apiece.

Regis Jesuit improved to 18-6 on the season and will be at home for a Sweet 16 contest at 6 p.m. Saturday against 10th-seeded Highlands Ranch, a 75-68 winner over No. 23 Broomfield in the opening round. The Raiders topped the Falcons 68-65 on Feb. 7 in Continental League play.


A new state champion will be crowned in the state’s largest classification for the first time since 2019 after Eaglecrest went on the road and played well from start to finish to knock off ThunderRidge, the Class 5A state champion in each of the past two seasons after no winner was crowned in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With assistant Arden Dennis leading the team with head coach Jarris Krapcha sitting out, the Raptors built a 10-point lead by the end of one quarter and kept pouring it on as they snapped the Grizzlies’ 10-game postseason winning streak that stretched back to the 2019-20 season.

Sophomore LaDavian King dropped in 23 points, while senior Robert Heflin V had 14, junior Cam Chapa 12, senior Peyton Taylor 10 and senior Joshua Ray nine for Eaglecrest, which earned its way to the Sweet 16 for an 11th straight season. The Raptors need a win at 1 p.m. Saturday at No. 4 Denver East to make the Great 8 for a third straight season.

(19) DOHERTY 71, (14) GRANDVIEW 59

The host Wolves found themselves down by double-digits at halftime to the visiting Spartans, then made a strong comeback that fell short as Doherty pulled away again in crunch time to top Grandview for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Coach Michael Rogers’ Wolves got their typical balance in the scoring column as senior UK Onyenwere and freshman Gallagher Placide scored 10 points apiece, senior Colin Bilotta and freshman Gavin Placide had nine apiece and junior Alex Riddick and senior Simon Kibbee had eight each.

Grandview cut an 11-point halftime deficit to two at 38-36 near the midway point of the third quarter, but then gave up a layup out of a timeout and a transition basket off a turnover as Doherty scored the next 10 points to get the lead to 12.


Rangeview had a very difficult road contest against second-seeded Rock Canyon and the host Jaguars didn’t allow the Raiders any time to get comfortable as they built a 20-point lead through the first two quarters and grew it even larger in the third quarter.

Coach Shawn Palmer’s Rangeview program — which was full of young players and lost a few components before the season due to injury — was held without at least one postseason win for the first time since 2010 and finished 11-13 overall.

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

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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