Seniors Avery VanSickle (11) and Madden McHugh (3) and the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team get a chance to avenge their only loss of the season to Valor Christian when the Raiders see the Eagles in the Class 5A state championship game on March 21, 2021, at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The lingering memory the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team had when it learned it had to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine in the late stages of the regular season was a double-digit loss to Valor Christian.

A day after the Raiders suffered a 67-45 loss on their home floor to the Eagles Feb. 20 — still their only defeat of the season — they found out they would have to miss nearly the entire remainder of their season due to possible exposure to an opponent with a positive COVID-19 test.

The loss might have served as a kickstart for coach Carl Mattei’s team, which has come unbeaten on the other side of the quarantine with a six-game winning streak that was capped by an impressive 73-69 win over Grandview Thursday that earned Regis Jesuit its first Class 5A state championship shot since 2018.

The second-seeded Raiders will get a chance to see how far they’ve come when they square off with No. 1 Valor Christian at 8 p.m. Sunday at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. The third all-time meeting between the programs — Regis Jesuit won a tournament game in 2008-09 — will be the first time the teams meet in the postseason.

“We’re starting to get feet underneath us; to get to the final game with just three returning players in a year like this, it’s the best,” Mattei said.

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

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