Girls Basketball: Regis Jesuit cruises past Smoky Hill, returns to 5A’s Sweet 16

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AURORA | The Class 5A girls state basketball tournament has never held a Sweet 16 round without Regis Jesuit since the Raiders joined the state’s largest classification in 2007.

The streak continued for coach Carl Mattei’s top-seeded Regis Jesuit team, which rolled past No. 8 Smoky Hill 75-33 Friday night in an all-Aurora 5A second round playoff contest at Regis Jesuit High School to make the quarterfinals for the seventh straight season.

Regis Jesuit-Smoky Hill Girls Basketball 3.1.13
Regis Jesuit junior Neffie Lockley (24) goes in for a layup during the top-seeded Raiders’ 75-33 victory over Smoky Hill in a Class 5A girls state basketball second round playoff game on March 1, 2013, at Regis Jesuit High School. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Junior Diani Akigbogun scored 16 points, junior Justine Hall contributed 15 and junior Kelsi Lidge chipped in 10 in a balanced effort for the Raiders, who improved to 22-2 overall. Regis Jesuit plays host to No. 5 Fort Collins — a 63-49 upset winner over No. 4 Prairie View in the second round — at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Regis Jesuit Boys Division gym, which is required because of CHSAA’s minimum seating requirement for Sweet 16 games.

Aurora’s other No. 1 seed, Grandview, also advanced with a 61-32 victory over No. 8 Chatfield.

Regis Jesuit and Fort Collins are familiar postseason foes, as this will mark the third straight season they will meet in the playoffs. The Raiders won both of the previous contests, including a semifinal meeting in the 2010-11 season and a Sweet 16 matchup a year ago.

Mattei picked up his 200th career victory in nine seasons at Regis Jesuit in the second-to-last regular season game and he got his 24th win over the postseason alone with the victory over Smoky Hill. Stretching back to their days in 4A, the Raiders have made it to at least the Great 8 every time and advanced to the state championship game three times in seven seasons since arriving in 5A.

Regis Jesuit scored the first 13 points of the game against Smoky Hill and a 20-5 first quarter put it well on the way to victory. The Buffaloes scored double figures in points in just the third quarter with 12, but the Raiders had 27 in that period to take a 65-24 edge into the final quarter.

Despite the loss, Smoky Hill — which recorded its first 5A playoff victory since 2004 in the previous round against Liberty — finished the season 10-15. The Buffaloes posted double-digit victories for the first time since going 14-7 in 2003-04, when they made it to the third round of the playoffs.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555

(1) REGIS JESUIT 75, (8) SMOKY HILL 33

Score by quarters:

Smoky Hill      5    7  12    9 — 33

Regis Jesuit  20  18  27  10 — 75

REGIS JESUIT (75)

Justine Hall 6 2-2 15, Diani Akigbogun 5 6-10 16, Kelsi Lidge 4 0-0 10, Jess Lewis 1 0-0 2, Jordyn Molyneaux 2 0-0 4, Anna Ptasinski 1 0-0 3, Katie Drexelius 3 0-0 8, Neffie Lockley 3 3-6 9, Wendy Dyer 1 0-0 2, Cheyenne Cleveland 0 2-2 2, TaeKenya Cleveland 1 2-2 4. Totals 27 15-22 75.

3-point field goals — Regis Jesuit (6): Katie Drexelius 2, Kelsi Lidge 2, Justine Hall, Anna Ptasinski. Total fouls — Regis Jesuit 12. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.