AURORA | The pace of the fast-moving Class 5A girls state basketball tournament got slowed down a bit due to weather, but resumes Tuesday with Great 8 contests. Here’s a look at each of the three matchups involving Aurora teams:
NO. 10 ARAPAHOE (12-4) AT NO. 2 REGIS JESUIT (13-1), 5:30 P.M.
Breakdown: Regis Jesuit has advanced to the 5A Great 8 for the fifth consecutive season and has made it through the round in three of the previous four trips, with last season’s loss to Highlands Ranch the lone exception. Coach Carl Mattei’s Raiders have won four straight games after coming off quarantine March 5, including playoff wins over Eaglecrest (62-25 in the 1st round) and Fruita Monument (74-25 in the Sweet 16). Senior Avery VanSickle led the Raiders with 24 points in the postseason opener, while sophomore Savitri Jackson paced them in the second game with 17 points. Arapahoe lost two games to powerhouses Grandview and Mullen to close the regular season, but bounced back with playoff wins over Broomfield (60-47) and Doherty (46-43). Sam Crispe scored 21 points to help the Warriors win their opener, while Katy Edwards had 18 points in the victory over Doherty. Winner gets: The Arapahoe-Regis Jesuit winner moves into the semifinals to face the winner of the Great 8 matchup between No. 6 Chaparral and No. 3 Grandview.
NO. 8 RANGEVIEW (14-1) AT NO. 1 VALOR CHRISTIAN (14-0), 6 P.M.
Breakdown: Rangeview had been stopped in the Sweet 16 the past two seasons, but got through that round with a 69-65 victory over Fossil Ridge March 11 in a game that saw junior Ny’Era West continue her recent scoring tear with a 25-point effort (which followed 23 in the postseason opener), while senior Brianna Linnear added 13. With the win, coach La Monte Weddle’s Raiders — who opened the postseason with a 62-45 win over Rocky Mountain in which seniors Linnear and Amari Bullock joined West in double-figures with 12 points apiece — got the program into the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2001. Rangeview had its season ended in the postseason by Valor Christian last season with a 73-40 loss and gets a rematch with an Eagles team that is 14-0 and has cruised through the postseason so far (topping Westminster 75-14 in their opener and Castle View 68-35 in the Sweet 16). Haley Huard has scored 16 points to lead the Eagles in each postseason contest, while four others cracked double figures in the postseason opener and two others made in the Sweet 16. Winner gets: The Rangeview-Valor Christian winner moves into the semifinals to face the winner of the Great 8 matchup between No. 5 Ralston Valley and No. 4 Highlands Ranch.
NO. 6 CHAPARRAL (13-2) AT NO. 3 GRANDVIEW (16-0), 6 P.M.
Breakdown: Grandview is working on a streak of six straight seasons with wins in the Sweet 16 — which it extended with an 82-33 victory over Columbine, which followed a first round 74-19 win against Pine Creek — and is in search of a fifth-straight appearance in the 5A state championship game (going 2-1 in that span with last season’s game wiped out of the coronavirus pandemic). Senior Addison O’Grady and juniors Lauren Betts and Marya Hudgins have scored in double figures in both playoff games so far for coach Josh Ulitzky’s Grandview team, which has gotten plenty of contributions from the entire lineup. Chaparral ended its regular season with an overtime loss to second-seeded Regis Jesuit, but has bounced back with postseason wins over Lakewood (53-20) and Mountain Vista (59-36). Payton Bang led the Wolverines in scoring in their first playoff game and also reached double figures in the second game, in which Teja Tsangarakis paced the team. Winner gets: The Chaparral-Grandview winner moves into the semifinals to face the winner of the Great 8 matchup between No. 10 Arapahoe and No. 2 Regis Jesuit.