Leonard Hurst was sick when Aurora Central dropped an EMAC stunner to Brighton in late January.
The Trojans clearly missed the little things the 6-foot-1 senior adds to their dynamic, but they had them Feb. 5.
Hurst tipped in a Tyler Stephenson miss with 25 seconds remaining, then blocked a tying 3-pointer attempt by Rangeview’s Jeremiah Paige at the buzzer as Aurora Central prevailed 56-53 in a showdown of Aurora Public Schools rivals at Rangeview.
Hurst finished with eight points and eight rebounds, Carlton Hurst added 21 points and Stephenson had 13 as the Trojans knocked the Raiders out of sole possession of first place in the league standings. Aurora Central (14-6) improved to 5-1 in EMAC play, while Rangeview (14-4) dropped to 4-1.
Larry Bridges had 18 points, Paige added 14 and Trey Bridges had 11 — nine in the fourth quarter — for Rangeview, which won by 12 points when the teams met to open the season.
• The Overland wrestling team had one finalist at the Les Mattocks Invitational Feb. 2 at Abraham Lincoln High School, but it wasn’t who might have been expected.
Senior 220-pounder Amer Tipura went into the tournament undefeated, but lost a physical triple-overtime clash with 5A top-ranked Brian Mayberry of Columbine in the semifinals, but it was senior 182-pounder Javier Alonso who represented coach Bert Dalton’s Trailblazers in the finals.
Alonso became the fourth consecutive pin victim of Eagle Valley’s Ty LaFrambroise in the championship match, but had a strong showing during a 3-1 day and moved his record to 33-5 overall. Tipura and heavyweight Jasari Dixon each finished fourth as Overland scored 56 points, good enough for 17th in the strong 29-team field.
• Six Aurora wrestlers placed at the Mile High Classic Feb. 2, one of the last big tune-ups before regional tournaments.
Regis Jesuit’s Josh Redman and Grant Neal along with Eaglecrest’s Mike Howshar advanced to the championship matches of their respective weights at Thomas Jefferson High School, but none could bring home a title.
Howshar had to default the heavyweight final to Golden’s Dakota Gulley, but combined with the third-place finishes of Jake Dugan at 132 pounds and 170-pounder Adin Puris, helped Eaglecrest finish with 81 points to place sixth among 20 teams from a mix of classifications.
Redman (120 pounds) and Neal (195) both lost decisions in their title matches and piled up the majority of Regis Jesuit’s 46 points, which put it 12th.
Smoky Hill’s lone placer was senior 120-pounder Dan Kasberg, who finished fourth for the Buffaloes, who were 16th with 36 points.
• The Regis Jesuit girls swim team saw a string of four straight Continental “A” League championships come to an end Feb. 2, as Chaparral swam past the Raiders — with a lineup heavy with freshmen — at Heritage.
Regis Jesuit collected two events championships, as Lindsay Painton, Sydney Cutler, Kaylie Breslin and Amy Lenderink won the 200-yard medley relay and Natalie Lanker, Meggie Chase, Carla Meli and Taylor Wilson took the 200 freestyle relay. Full results, here.
• Grandview geared up for the 5A girls state swim meet with a strong performance in the finals of the Centennial “A” League meet on Feb. 2 at Arapahoe.
The Wolves couldn’t catch the host Warriors and Cherry Creek in team points, but came away with four event championships. Junior Madison Dirks posted decisive victories in the 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle, while senior Kianna Lee sprinted her way to the 50 freestyle crown.
Grandview was pumped about its victory in the 200 freestyle relay, which beat Arapahoe by 0.06 of a second. Dirks, Lee, Amanda Matheson and Morgan Ammon swam on that team.
Smoky Hill was fourth and gained a new state qualifier in Madison Munns, while fifth-place Cherokee Trail also got in an individual in Aunyx Ashby and its 200 freestyle relay team.
Eaglecrest was 7th and Overland 8th. Full results, here.
• Gateway’s Barbara Barocio capped her league career in style, as she won two individual events and was named Swimmer of the Year at the Feb. 2 EMAC Championships at Hinkley High School.
Barocio set a new league record in winning the 200-yard individual medley and also collected the 100 butterfly title. Sophomore teammate Christina Horstman (200 freestyle) and freshman Jessica Mitchell (diving) also won for the Olys, who finished third in the team standings, 26.5 points ahead of rival Rangeview. Gateway’s Jason Cordova was tabbed league dive coach of the year.
The Raiders — swimming a week after winning the APS Championship — were plagued by the disqualification of their 200 freestyle relay team. Junior Mariah Franklin’s third in the 100-yard butterfly was Rangeview’s best result, while freshman Jordan Groeschel was fourth in both sprinting events.
Hinkley finished fifth and Aurora Central sixth out of eight teams. Full results, here.
• Aaron Montgomery dominated the final few seconds to help Grandview hold off Eaglecrest for a big 70-65 Centennial League win Feb. 1.
Montgomery had two rebounds, a steal and putback in the closing seconds for the Wolves, who gained a split of the season series with the Raptors, who suffered their second straight loss.
Eric Garcia made six of Grandview’s 11 3-pointers — including the go-ahead triple in the final minute — and had 24 points, Akram Imam added 15 and Devon Brown 11.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555