Girls Basketball: Cherokee Trail runs past Monarch to open 5A state playoffs

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LOUISVILLE | The Cherokee Trail girls basketball team made it into the second round of the 5A state tournament for the first time since 2016 with a 70-46 first round road win at Monarch Tuesday night.

In the first postseason contest under new head coach Tammi Traylor-Statewright, the 34th-seeded Cougars outscored the 31st-seeded Coyotes 22-9 in the second period and never looked back.

Junior Dominique Rodriguez scored a career-high 27 points to lead the way for Cherokee Trail and junior Makayla Hemingway drained four of her team’s eight 3-pointers on her way to 22 as the Cougars made up for the absence of double-digit scorer Destinee Paulk.

Cherokee Trail evened its record at 12-12 and moved into an all-Aurora second round matchup at No. 2 Regis Jesuit at 7 p.m. Feb. 22.

Just two local programs were in action in the opening round of the 5A state tournament, with No. 47 Eaglecrest (Cherokee Trail’s fellow Centennial League member) falling at No. 18 Fruita Monument in the other contest. (Full 5A state tournament scoreboard & schedule, here).

Second-seeded Regis Jesuit, No. 6 Grandview, No. 11 Vista PEAK and No. 13 Rangeview host second round games on Feb. 22.

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

(34) CHEROKEE TRAIL 70, (31) MONARCH 46

Score by quarters:

Cher. Trail  19  21  18  12 — 70

Monarch     12    9    7  18 — 46