Girls Basketball: Regis Jesuit heads off to New York City for Rose Classic Super Jam

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AURORA | Several months later and with less fanfare, the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team is actually heading to the Big Apple.

Following their victory in last season’s Class 5A state championship game, the Raiders infamously were denied the chance to play in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament — which included an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to play on national television at Madison Square Garden — due to Colorado High School Activities Association bylaws that prohibit teams from playing together after the final date of the season.

This week, on its own dime, coach Carl Mattei’s Regis Jesuit team heads to New York to play in the Rose Classic Super Jam, which runs Friday through Monday at Nazareth High School in Brooklyn, New York. The tournament features a variety of New York teams, plus others from Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Last season’s Raiders — which featured one of the finest collections of talent in Colorado girls basketball history, including a pair of Colorado Gatorade Players of the Year in Texas signee Diani Akigbogun and Purdue recruit Justine Hall — might have been better equipped to compete in the Rose Classic tournament, which features two teams ranked in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, but the Raiders head out as the No. 9 team in Colorado in the most recent Associated Press Class 5A media poll.

Mattei’s team (4-4), which features West Point signee Jess Lewis, budding junior TaeKenya Cleveland and a young cast, has a chance to move above .500 before the trip when it plays host to Castle View at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Continental League contest. The Raiders topped Fairview 74-58 on Jan. 9.

Regis Jesuit — which finished 1-2 at its previous out of state tournament, the Paul IV tournament in Virginia — opens with a 6 p.m. MT contest on Friday against South Shore, followed by a 3:30 p.m. MT contest against Medgar Evers College Prep on Saturday. After an off day on Sunday, the Raiders finished up with a 9:30 a.m. MT contest against St. Rose (New Jersey) on Monday.

The Raiders don’t face either of the teams ranked in the current MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, No. 6 Archbishop Molloy and No. 10 Long Island Lutheran.

Legend pays a 7 p.m. visit on Jan. 23 when Regis Jesuit resumes play in Colorado.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2015 ROSE CLASSIC SUPER JAM SCHEDULE

All games played at Nazareth High School, Brooklyn, New York

Friday, Jan. 16 (all times Eastern)

5 p.m.: Wings Academy vs. Lab Museum; 6:30 p.m.: St. Mary’s (Long Island) vs. Patterson Eastside (New Jersey); 8 p.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. South Shore

Saturday, Jan. 17 (all times Eastern)

10 a.m.: Newark Tech (New Jersey) vs. Boys & Girls; 11:30 a.m.: Francis Lewis vs St. Mary’s (Long Island); 1 p.m.: Murry Bergtraum vs. Long Island Luterhan; 2:30 p.m.: Archbishop Molloy vs. Staten Island Academy; 4 p.m.: Woodlands vs. Mary Louis; 5:30 p.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. Medgar Evers College Prep; 7 p.m.: Capitol Christian Academy (D.C.) vs. Nazareth

Sunday, Jan. 18 (all times Eastern)

10 a.m.: Cardinal Spellman vs. Midwood; 11:30 a.m.: McClancy vs. Harry Truman; 1 p.m.: Mastery Charter North (Pennsylvania) vs. Baldwin; 2:30 p.m.: Bishop McNamara (Maryland) vs. Mary Louis; 4 p.m.: Capital Christian Academy (D.C.) vs. Patricks School (New Jersey); 5:30 p.m.: Gil St. Bernard (New Jersey) vs. Moore Catholic; 7 p.m.: McDonoguh (Maryland) vs. Long Island Lutheran; 8:30 p.m.: Archbishop Williams vs. Grand St. Campus

Monday, Jan. 19 (all times Eastern)

10 a.m.: Benjamin Banneker vs. Sewark Park, 10 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.: St. Rose (New Jersey) vs. REGIS JESUIT; 1 p.m.: Archbishop Malloy vs. Archbishop Williams (Maryland); 2:30 p.m.: McDonogh (Maryland) vs. Francis Lewis; 4 p.m.: Moore Catholic vs. Scanlan; 5:30 p.m.: Manhattan Center vs Staten Island Academy; 7 p.m.: Murry Bergtraum vs. Nazareth