AURORA | Ten months earlier, the Grandview and Cherry Creek girls basketball teams met in a game that went all the way down to the final seconds to decide.
Surprisingly, Friday’s anticipated rematch of the Class 5A state championship game won in thrilling fashion by the Bruins last March only stayed that close for the first quarter.
Determined Grandview got a measure of revenge in the first of two Centennial League meetings between the teams by dominating the middle quarters on its way to a 65-40 victory on Cherry Creek’s home floor.
“It felt so good; we were so motivated by last year’s loss to them,” said junior Addison O’Grady, who had a season-high 19 points for the Wolves, who improved to 12-2 overall and took sole possession of first place in the league standings at 6-0.
“It felt so good,” she added.
Sophomore Lauren Betts added 16 and senior Landri Hudson and sophomore Marya Hudgins contributed eight apiece as for coach Josh Ulitzky’s team, which got at least two points from all nine players that got into the game.
Grandview tallied 11 more points than the previous high for the season surrendered by the Bruins (11-2, 5-1), who hadn’t lost in more than a full calendar year (since Highlands Ranch beat them on Jan. 19, 2019.
Stanford-bound senior point guard Jana Van Gytenbeek had a game-high 20 points, but the Wolves held Cherry Creek to its lowest offensive output of the season.
“The thing I’m most proud of is how they played together tonight,” Ulitzky said. “Every kid, one through nine, contributed and gave us great minutes. They came together a little bit more tonight. But it’s a long season and we’ll see them again. It went our way tonight, but we’ll certainly learn from it and fix the things we need to fix.”
The Bruins came out hot from the start and built a lead as large as 15-7 with 2 minutes, 15 seconds, remaining in the opening quarter, but it was all Grandview from there.
The Wolves closed the period on a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer from junior Libby Campbell, a jumper from senior Kameryn Brown and Betts layup to draw within one and they continued to roll in the second quarter, when they outscored the Bruins 20-7.
Junior Breelyn Robinson’s 3-pointer in the first minute of the second quarter put Grandview ahead for the first time and a Betts inside basket with shortly thereafter gave the Wolves a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Cherry Creek struggled with the pairing of the 6-foot-7 Betts and 6-4 O’Grady in the middle and Grandview’s guards got out and challenged shots.
“They are a good shooting team and they had a bad shooting night, but I want to give my kids a little credit for some of that,” Ulitzky said. “We contested shots pretty well and I feel like we rebounded well, although that’s certainly an area we can improve in.”
The third quarter was much of the same as the Wolves kept the pressure on.
O’Grady added a 3-pointer to two more inside buckets in the period, which ended on consecutive 3-pointers from a wide open Hudgins that pushed the lead to 23 points at the end of the period.
“It was kindof surprising, I was expecting them to be up on me,” said Hudgins, a move-in from Georgia who played in the rivalry for the first time.
“They left me open and I was making them,” she added.
Still down 21 points with just over two minutes remaining, Cherry Creek coach Clint Evans pulled out all of his starters.
While Grandview got a leg up in the Centennial League championship chase — as well as a key result in the race for a top seed in the Class 5A state playoffs, the Wolves will have a return engagement with the Bruins, who will come calling Feb. 19.
“They are definitely going to come out harder,” O’Grady said. “We’re both going to be working on what we need to do. This one just felt really good.”
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
GRANDVIEW 65, CHERRY CREEK 40
Score by quarters:
Grandview 14 20 19 12 — 65
Cherry Creek 15 7 8 10 — 40
Tomia Johnson 0 2-2 2, Landri Hudson 1 5-6 8, Addison O’Grady 9 0-1 19, Marya Hudgins 3 0-0 8, Lauren Betts 8 0-0 16, Kameryn Brown 1 0-0 2, Dasiya Jones 2 0-0 4, Libby Campbell 1 0-0 3, Breelyn Robinson 1 0-2 3. Totals 26 7-11 65.
CHERRY CREEK (40)
Abby Wrede 0 2-2 2, Jana Van Gytenbeek 7 5-5 20, Cali Clark 2 0-2 4, Carly Thompson 4 0-0 9, KaCee Kyle 1 3-3 5, Charley Gordon 0 0-0 0, Eliza Hill 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-12 40.
3-point field goals: Grandview (4): Libby Campbell, Landri Hudson, Addison O’Grady, Breelyn Robinson; Cherry Creek (2): Carly Thompson, Jana Van Gytenbeek.