AURORA | In the wake of a surprising 25-point win over Cherry Creek last month, Grandview girls basketball coach Josh Ulitzky knew the Wolves would see a different team in the Centennial League rematch.
He was spot on in that assessment and Grandview saw the best Cherry Creek — and specifically senior point guard Jana Van Gytenbeek — had to offer Wednesday when the teams met again.
Van Gytenbeek, a Stanford signee who hit the game-winning shot in last season’s Class 5A state championship game against the Wolves, poured in a career-high 38 points to lead the Bruins to a 53-42 that produced a split of the league series between the teams that held the top two spots in the Class 5A rankings as well.
Senior Tomia Johnson scored 11 points to lead Grandview, which dropped to 19-3 overall with its first loss since a trip to the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix prior to winter break.
The Wolves and Bruins (19-2) both stand 12-1 in Centennial League play with one game remaining in the league season.
Grandview’s inside game played a big role in its 65-40 win at Cherry Creek Jan. 24 as junior Addison O’Grady and sophomore Lauren Betts combined for 37 points. The Bruins did a much better job defensively on the interior in the rematch and the same combo managed just 15 (eight for Betts, seven for O’Grady).
Still, the Wolves got off to a fast start and led 18-9 after one quarter when sophomore Marya Hudgins drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
That’s when Van Gytenbeek took over, as she keyed a 14-0 run to end the half and give Cherry Creek a lead it held the entire way.
The Wolves closed to within three points late in the third quarter at 37-34 after sophomore Libby Campbell knocked down two free throws, but they got no closer.
Senior Landri Hudson knocked down a long-distance 3-pointer to bring Grandview within 46-40 in the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by Van Gytenbeek countered it and the Bruins kept a double-digit lead down the stretch.
Grandview finishes the regular season with a matchup against defending 4A state champion Mullen — which it beat 58-36 in the first meeting — to close out the regular season Friday.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
CHERRY CREEK 53, GRANDVIEW 42
Score by quarters:
Cherry Creek 9 16 14 14 — 53
Grandview 18 5 12 7 — 42
CHERRY CREEK (53)
Abby Wrede 2 0-0 4, Jana Van Gytenbeek 15 4-5 38, Cali Clark 0 1-2 1, Carly Thompson 1 0-0 2, Kacee Kyle 3 1-4 8, Eliza Hill 0 0-0 0, Charley Gordon 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-11 53.
Tomia Johnson 2 5-6 11, Landri Hudson 1 0-0 3, Addison O’Grady 3 1-1 7, Marya Hudgins 3 0-0 7, Lauren Betts 3 2-2 8, Libby Campbell 1 2-2 5, Dasiya Jones 0 1-2 1, Kameryn Brown 0 0-1 0. Totals 13 11-14 42.
3-point field goals — Cherry Creek (5): Jana Van Gytenbeek 4, Kacee Kyle. Grandview (5): Tomia Johnson 2, Libby Campbell, Mayra Hudgins, Landri Hudson. Total fouls — Cherry Creek 13, Grandview 17. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.