AURORA | The Sweet 16 round of the Class 5A girls state basketball tournament Tuesday night featured no upsets and very few close contests as the top eight seeds in the bracket advanced to the Great 8.
The closest game — at least on the scoreboard — came at Regis Jesuit, where the third-seeded Raiders withstood a challenge from 14th-seeded Broomfield for a 58-51 victory that was the lone game of the round not double-digit points.
Senior Jada Moore had a monster game with 31 points and 12 rebounds for Regis Jesuit (21-4), which had a lead as large as 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Raiders earned their way to the Denver Coliseum for the fourth consecutive season.
Coach Carl Mattei’s Regis Jesuit team will meet Continental League rival and sixth-seeded Highlands Ranch (20-5) in the Alice Barron Region final at 4 p.m. Friday in the first of the four quarterfinal contests. The Raiders beat the Falcons in overtime in league play on a buzzer-beating layup by freshman Savitri Jackson.
Fourth-seeded Grandview has a fifth straight ticket to play at the Denver Coliseum in the round of eight after slogging past 20th-seeded Arapahoe 55-25. Sophomore Lauren Betts tallied 18 points and junior Addison O’Grady had 12 as coach Josh Ulitzky’s Wolves broke through the Warriors’ deliberate pace in spurts enough to pull away.
Grandview’s Great 8 opponent (which will decide the Rhonda Blanford-Green Region) is No. 5 Fruita Monument, a 51-39 winner over No. 21 Doherty in the game with the second-smallest margin of victory of the round. The Wolves and Wildcats tip off at 5:30 p.m. (Updated 5A state tournament scoreboard and schedule, here)
No. 9 Vista PEAK finished with a school-record 22 wins as No. 8 Fossil Ridge denied a 23rd with a 65-43 victory in the Kaye Garms Region, which also saw No. 16 Rangeview fall to No. 1 Valor Christian 73-40.
Coach Howard Payne’s Bison (22-3) — coming off the first postseason win in program history — suffered two of their three losses against teams still remaining in the Great 8 in the SaberCats as well as Fruita Monument. Coach La Monte Weddle’s Raiders made the Sweet 16 for a second straight season and finished 18-7 overall.
The Final Four representative from the Bobbi Brown-Vandenberg Region will be either No. 2 Cherry Creek or No. 7 Ralston Valley, which each advanced with wins of 30-plus points.
The defending state champion Bruins ended the run of No. 15 Cherokee Trail (15-10), which was in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010. Cherry Creek’s transition scoring expanded its lead early and it went on to down coach Tammi Traylor-Statewright’s Cougars 72-32.
Senior Dominique Rodriguez paced the Cougars with nine points, while the Bruins’ defense on Colorado State-bound senior Makayla Hemingway limited her to six points on 3-for-15 shooting from the field. Junior Makaila Roberson also had six.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2020 CLASS 5A GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL GREAT 8 SCHEDULE
MARCH 6 AT DENVER COLISEUM
No. 6 Highlands Ranch (20-5) vs. NO. 4 REGIS JESUIT (21-4), 4 p.m.
No. 5 Fruita Monument (23-2) vs. NO. 4 GRANDVIEW (22-3), 5:30 p.m.
No. 7 Ralston Valley (20-5) vs. No. 2 Cherry Creek (23-2), 7 p.m.
No. 8 Fossil Ridge (21-4) vs. No. 1 Valor Christian (24-1), 8:30 p.m.
SWEET 16 SCOREBOARD
No. 1 Valor Christian 73, NO. 16 RANGEVIEW 40
No. 8 Fossil Ridge 65, NO. 9 VISTA PEAK 43
NO. 4 GRANDVIEW 55, No. 20 Arapahoe 25
No. 5 Fruita Monument 51, No. 21 Doherty 39
No. 2 Cherry Creek 72, NO. 15 CHEROKEE TRAIL 32
No. 7 Ralston Valley 65, No. 23 Columbine 32
NO. 3 REGIS JESUIT 58, No. 14 Broomfield 51