Regis Jesuit senior Madden McHugh (3) celebrates with teammate Samantha Jones (20) and her teammates after the Raiders’ 73-69 victory over Grandview in a Class 5A girls state basketball semifinal on March 18, 2021, at Regis Jesuit High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Considering the journey it has taken, Carl Mattei had no hesitancy when he called the win his Regis Jesuit girls basketball team came up with Thursday its best in 14 trips to the state’s Final Four.

Injuries, inexperience and mandatory quarantine made for an even more uncertain season — both before and during — for the Raiders, yet they are one of just two Class 5A girls teams left standing after a rousing 73-69 home victory over local rival Grandview.

While the victory technically wasn’t an upset due to seeding numbers (Regis Jesuit was No. 2, Grandview seeded third), it was given the Raiders’ relative lack of experience on the big stage and a Wolves’ veteran core that came in focused on earning a trip to the 5A state championship game for a fifth straight season.

Instead, it was a Regis Jesuit team that got huge contributions from players all over the lineup and built enough of a lead to withstand a 30-point fourth quarter from Grandview that will play for the state title for the seventh time in program history.

The Raiders face top-seeded Valor Christian — which topped No. 4 Highlands Ranch in the other semifinal — at 8 p.m. Sunday at the World Arena where a win would net them a third all-time state crown.

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

(2) REGIS JESUIT 73, (3) GRANDVIEW 69

Score by quarters:

Grandview    21   7  11  30 — 69

Regis Jesuit  16  17  19  20 — 73

GRANDVIEW (69)

Breelyn Robinson 4 0-0 10, Addison O’Grady 8 1-3 17, Marya Hudgins 2 0-1 5, Dasiya Jones 3 2-3 10, Lauren Betts 7 2-3 16, Libby Campbell 4 0-0 9, Amaya Charles 1 0-0 2, Jolene Ramiro 0 0-0 0, Jade Weathersby 0 0-0 0, Auto Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals

REGIS JESUIT (73)

Savitri Jackson 3 7-12 14, Madden McHugh 0 1-2 1, Avery VanSickle 6 4-5 18, Samantha Jones 3 2-2 9, Jordan Jones 2 8-10 13, Hana Belibi 3 0-0 8, Coryn Watts 3 0-1 8, Abigail Shea 1 0-0 2. Totals

3-point field goals — Grandview (4): Breelyn Robinson 2, Libby Campbell, Marya Hudgins. Regis Jesuit (9): Hana Belibi 2, Avery VanSickle 2, Coryn Watts 2, Savitri Jackson, Jordan Jones, Samantha Jones. Total fouls — Grandview 27, Regis Jesuit 17. Fouled out — Grandview: Campbell, Hudgins. Technical fouls — None.

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