All five members of the 2012-13 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Basketball Team suited up for Regis Jesuit, the Class 5A state champion, and semifinalist Grandview.
Coach Carl Mattei — the Sentinel’s Coach of the Year — regularly referred to his Regis Jesuit team as a “rebuilding project,” but the Raiders quickly built themselves into a champion with juniors Diani Akigbogun, Justine Hall and Kelsi Lidge as the foundation.
The trio helped Regis Jesuit bring home the second 5A state title in school history with a satisfying 53-46 win over Continental League rival Highlands Ranch on March 16 at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. The Raiders finished off a 26-2 season that included a 4-0 performance on a rugged road trip to New York City in December, a 1-1 showing at the elite Classic in the Country in Ohio in January and gritty 5-0 performance in the 5A state tournament.
The most physical force in Aurora basketball, Akigbogun averaged 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, could handle the ball and helped give the Raiders an advantage in the paint in most games.
Right behind Akigbogun was Hall, the third-leading scorer in 5A (17 points per game), who was even better in the playoffs. She poured in a team-best 19.2 points per game in five playoff contests, including 24 in the championship game victory.
Hall — like Akigbogun a first team All-Continental League selection — also averaged 3.1 steals per game to lead the Raiders, plus 3.1 rebounds.
Lidge came up with key rebounds, hit timely shots, pressured the ball relentlessly and was adept at baseball-style inbounds passes, things that all came into play for Regis Jesuit on its way to the title.
The physical junior was third on the team with an average of 8.8 points per game and scored in double figures 12 times. Lidge, a second team All-Continental League pick, was a catalyst in the title game with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 assists.
Seniors Adaeze Obinnah and Natasha Edge were at the heart of a very tight-knit, veteran group that got Grandview to the 5A Final Four for the first time.
Obinnah, who is headed to Rice University, averaged 11.2 points and 6.3 rebounds on her way to a first team All-Centennial League selection. The three-time All-City first team performer was selected to the Show all-star game, but did not play at the Pepsi Center due to a previously scheduled vacation.
Oklahoma Baptist-bound Edge — a second team All-City performer last season — topped a balanced Grandview team in scoring at 12.6 points per contest and pulled down 5.2 boards.
The All-Centennial League first teamer played in the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports 5A All-State Game, which featured a collection of the best senior players from around the state.
Both Grandview players are scheduled to play in the CHSCA All-State game June 8 at Adams State College in Alamosa.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2012-13 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM: Diani Akigbogun, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Natasha Edge, Grandview, sr.; Justine Hall, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Kelsi Lidge, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Adaeze Obinnah, Grandview, sr.; Player of the Year: Akigbogun; Coach of the Year: Carl Mattei, Regis Jesuit
SECOND TEAM: Katie Cunningham, Grandview, jr.; Natalie Halbleib, Grandview, jr.; Michaela Hinton, Overland, jr.; Sarah Milafsky, Smoky Hill, jr.; Hannah Sparks, Cherokee Trail, jr.
HONORABLE MENTION: Zhane Brooks, Gateway, sr.; Brittani Craig, Rangeview, sr.; Yanoudji Diarra, sr., Hinkley; Nicole Doherty, Vista PEAK, soph.; Nikki Duresky, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Brooke Genovese, Grandview, sr.; Kelly Gillespie, Eaglecrest, sr.; Jaiden Halliburton, Overland, jr.; Jenna Henderson, Aurora Central, fr.; Carra Jackson, Rangeview, jr.; Erin Kemp, Grandview, sr.; Jess Lewis, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Precious Luster, Gateway, jr.; Jordan Molyneaux, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Sedia Olsen, Grandview, sr.; Ajanee Robinson, Rangeview, jr.; Jamie Stoner, Eaglecrest, jr.; Ashley Trotter, Hinkley, jr.; Brooke Zimmerman, jr., Smoky Hill