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