Watch out next season, 5A softball, the young squads from Eaglecrest and Grandview plan to be back.
The Raptors and Wolves each made it to the quarterfinals of the 5A state tournament Oct. 19 at the Aurora Sports Park, but both were unable to pull off upsets and were ousted in the round of eight.
Ninth-seeded Eaglecrest came closest to pulling the stunner of the tournament, leading five-time state champion and top-seeded Legacy 4-2 with two outs left to get. The Lightning rallied, however, with four straight hits to pull off a 5-4 walk-off victory.
The Centennial League champion Raptors — dominated by sophomores and freshmen — scored four runs in the top of the first inning, but got nothing else in the final six frames to finish 19-5 overall in coach Yvette Hendrian’s first season.
Grandview, the No. 12 seed, upset No. 5 Arvada West 4-3 in its first game, netting the program’s first-ever state tournament victory. Freshman pitcher Courtney Browne worked out of a lot of trouble late to hold onto the win.
Sophomore Ande Troutman homered twice and the Wolves (17-7) got the tying run to third base in the sixth inning, but couldn’t climb out of an early hole in a 6-2 loss to No. 4 Loveland, which went on to claim the state championship a day later.
No. 13 Cherokee Trail (16-7) lost to the Indians 13-1 in the first round.
• Tanner Gentry’s three-touchdown effort and a strong defensive second half lifted the Grandview football team to a 39-30 triumph over Cherry Creek on Oct. 19 at Legacy Stadium.
Gentry rushed for a score and caught two TD passes from Reece Weber — including an epic 41-yard snare with one hand in the third quarter — as the Wolves improved to 5-3 and created a three-way tie atop the Centennial League with Cherokee Trail and Cherry Creek.
• The Eaglecrest volleyball team surged to a three-set sweep of rival Grandview on Oct. 19, putting forth one of its best efforts as the regular season closes.
Fueled by 22 kills from junior Taylor Loyd and 33 assists from sophomore Jordyn Poulter, the Raptors rolled 28-26, 25-13 and 25-18 to beat the Wolves for the second time this season and solidify their hopes of hosting a 5A regional.
• The Overland boys cross country team broke a drought of at least a decade as it qualified for the Class 5A state cross country meet out of Region 2 Oct. 18 at Clement Park.
Led by Mohammed Abdi in 12th place, the Trailblazers grabbed the final state team berth in the No. 5 position, joining Grandview, which came in third. Qualifying individually among Aurora runners were Regis Jesuit seniors Frank and Sean Morton.
On the girls side, Grandview — boosted by individual runner-up Erin Norton — Regis Jesuit and Cherokee Trail earned state team berths.
• The Region 1 cross country races were run concurrently Oct. 18 at Clement Park and saw the Smoky Hill boys and girls grab the fifth and final state spots. Senior Rachael Chacko placed second for the Buffaloes in the girls race.
Eaglecrest had two individual qualifiers come out of the two races, as Mark Chalfant was an Aurora-best 11th in the boys race and junior Alicia Taurchini made her third straight state meet with a sixth-place showing.
• In its home gym, the Overland gymnastics team rolled to victory in the Unified League championship meet on Oct. 18. The Trailblazers posted a score of 182.825 points to put plenty of distance between themselves and Cherry Creek, which finished second with 175.775, while Rock Canyon checked in third at 169.225.
Sophomore Kellyn Toole easily claimed the all-around title with a total score of 37.85, the product of top three finishes in all four events. Overland gymnastics topped others in the eight-team field in three of the four events, with Toole taking first in the floor exercise (9.725), junior Ashlynn Graybill recording the top score on the balance beam (9.525) and freshman Kate Johnson dominating the vault with a 9.65.
• The Rangeview volleyball team secured the East Metro Athletic Conference championship with a five-set victory at Prairie View on Oct. 18.
The Raiders (16-2) couldn’t finish off the ThunderHawks in the fourth set, but prevailed in the fifth with help from a penalty point for a 25-17, 25-27, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 victory.
• Junior Cameron Currington scored three touchdowns — by interception, fumble return and rush — and Cherokee Trail rallied from a 10-0 deficit for a 34-18 football victory over Eaglecrest at Legacy Stadium.
The Cougars intercepted Raptors quarterback Adan Soto three times and scored 34 consecutive points to improve to a city-best 7-1 with one game left in the regular season.
Greyson Hoffman and Ryan Willey rushed for touchdowns for Eaglecrest, which dropped to 4-4.
• The Regis Jesuit field hockey team exited the state playoffs in the first round with a 3-0 defeat at Colorado Academy on Oct. 17.
The Raiders, who lost to the Mustangs for the second straight season in the playoffs, finished 4-9-3.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555