AURORA | A capsule preview of the 2023 Class 6A girls basketball state tournament Great 8 contest between Regis Jesuit and Monarch scheduled for March 4, 2023:

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


No. 12 Regis Jesuit (17-8) vs. No. 4 Monarch (24-1)

March 4, 8:45 a.m. at Denver Coliseum

BREAKDOWN: Regis Jesuit and Monarch meet for the fourth time in state basketball playoffs, but for the first time since 2012. The Raiders won the first postseason contest between the two in the 5A semifinals in 2009, but the Coyotes claimed a Great 8 meeting in 2010 and Final Four contest in 2012. The programs also meet for the second time this season as Regis Jesuit earned a 50-36 win over Monarch in non-league play on Dec. 21, 2022, on the Raiders’ home floor as juniors Hana Belibi and Coryn Watts scored 16 points apiece for Regis Jesuit and Amelia Rosin had 14 points as the only player in double-figures for Monarch. …Regis Jesuit has advanced to the Great 8 for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, while Monarch has made it to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015, when it lost in the semifinals. …The game tips off at 8:45 a.m. and is the first of a slate of eight alternating boys and girls Great 8 contests.

REGIS JESUIT: The Raiders lost in the Sweet 16 last season in Jordan Kasemodel’s first season as only the program’s second all-time head coach, but got past that round with a 54-51 road victory over No. 5 Cherokee Trail Feb. 24 in a meeting of Aurora programs. That came on the heels of an 85-49 first round victory over No. 21 Denver South in the first round Feb. 21. Regis Jesuit has thrived from behind the 3-point line in the postseason as it has knocked down a total of 22 triples (14 against Denver South, 8 against Cherokee Trail). Junior Coryn Watts has scored 17 points in each game in the playoffs, while sophomore Iliana Greene has averaged 16 points two contests and junior Hana Belibi has averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds in the postseason thus far. …For the season, Belibi is the team-leader with an average of 17.2 points per game, while Watts is next at 14.6 ppg and Greene at 9.9 ppg. Watts leads four players with 47 or more made 3-pointers as she has knocked down 53, one more than Belibi, who has one more than Greene, while senior Sophia Meyer has 47. Sophomore Jane Rumpf is the team’s leading rebounder at 9.4 per contest, giving her the edge over Belibi (8.2 rpg) and she also paces the squad in blocked shots per game at 1.3.

MONARCH: Coach Mike Blakely’s Coyotes — the Front Range League champions — are on an 18-game winning streak, which includes a 60-42 win over No. 29 Mullen in the opening round, followed by a 54-48 victory over No. 13 Ralston Valley in the Sweet 16, the round they got stopped in last season. In the postseason, senior Amelia Rosin has averaged a double-double (12.5 points, 15 rebounds) per contest, while senior Arezo Safi (15.5 ppg), senior Natalie Guanella (14.5 ppg) and junior Hayley Luther (11 ppg) also have averaged double figures in both contests. …For the season, Guanella is the team’s leading scorer at 15.7 points per game, followed by Rosin (11.2 ppg) and Safi (10.5 ppg). The team’s leading rebounder is junior Caroline Walley, who pulls down 8.1 rebounds per game to lead Rosin (7.5 rpg) in the category, while Guanella paces the team in assists at 3.3 per contest and Rosin leads in blocks at 1.1 per contest.

WINNER GETS: The Regis Jesuit-Monarch winner takes the championship of the Anita Stites-Rowland Region and advances to the March 10 Final Four, where it will face the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 1 Valor Christian and No. 8 Arapahoe.

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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