Junior Nia McKenzie (14) heads upcourt after securing a rebound during the second half of the Eaglecrest girls basketball team’s 57-41 non-league win over Legend on Jan. 6, 2022, at Eaglecrest High School. McKenzie scored 15 points as the Raptors improved to 8-2. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

CENTENNIAL | Nearly three weeks, the turn of a new year and hundreds of miles from where they played their last game, the Eaglecrest girls basketball team kept up its winning ways Thursday night.

Coach Robby Gabrielli’s Raptors welcomed an 8-2 Legend team — winners of three straight — into The Nest for their first contest since Dec. 21 when they completed a four-game set in Las Vegas at the Tarkanian Classic (going 3-1).

Eaglecrest showed little rust and dominated the middle two quarters as it outscored the Titans 34-16 and finished off a 57-41 victory to improve to 8-2 on the season. Junior Nia McKenzie led the Raptors with 15 points, junior Anjolene Ramiro made three of Eaglecrest’s nine 3-pointers on her way to 14 and senior Haley Esser added nine.

“Legend is a pretty good team and we had the long layoff, so we weren’t really sure what to expect, but I definitely have faith in this team,” Gabrielli said.

The Raptors have thrived on playing good defense this season and they gave up an average of just 35.5 points per game at the Tarkanian Classic in which they placed fifth among teams from multiple states in the Ruby Division.

The Titans (8-3) got on track offensively in the first quarter, however, scoring 12 points to forge a tie at the end of the period. The Raptors — who have one more win than Rangeview and Smoky Hill to lead Aurora teams through Thursday’s games — pushed out to a seven-point edge at halftime and upped it with a double-digit scoring advantage in the third.

Eaglecrest held Legend — which scored a season-high 62 points in its previous game — to single digits in both quarters and got offense from several sources in upping its advantage.

The Raptors next play host to Prairie View (6-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday before they begin Centennial League play Jan. 13 at Cherokee Trail.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

EAGLECREST 57, LEGEND 41

Score by quarters:

Legend      12    8    8  13 — 41

Eaglecrest  12  15  19  11 — 57

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