The week past in Aurora prep sports, 2.19-2.26

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The Regis Jesuit ice hockey team is in the state semifinals for the sixth straight season after posting victories over No. 5 Heritage on Feb. 22 and No. 1 Fountain Valley on Feb. 23.

Nolan Carothers scored a pair of goals for coach Dan Woodley’s squad, while Nathan Haas, Sean Brennan, Brian Engh, Connor Duffy and Alec Aichinger also tallied in a 7-3 quarterfinal victory over Fountain Valley at Sertich Ice Arena.

Regis Jesuit earned its way back to the Frozen Four at Magness Arena, where it won last season’s state title. The Raiders (16-3-3) face Monarch in the semifinals, with the winner to face Ralston Valley or Resurrection Christian. The title could go to anybody in Woodley’s estimation.

“These four teams are playing at a high level and they have the experience to perform, so I think this could be one of the best weekends for Colorado high school hockey since its inception, certainly in the last eight years, which is what I know,” Woodley said.

In the opening round, Brian Engh and Conner Wigton scored two goals apiece in Regis Jesuit’s 6-0 rout of Heritage.

• The Smoky Hill girls basketball team tasted postseason victory for the first time since 2004 with a 49-41 victory over visiting Liberty on Feb. 26.

Smoky Hill's Sarah Milafsky
Smoky Hill junior Sarah Milafsky scored 24 points in the Buffaloes’ 49-41 5A 1st round playoff win over Liberty on Feb. 26, 2013. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Coach DeWayne Brandon’s eighth-seeded Buffaloes were the only Aurora winner among four girls teams on the opening night of the girls state basketball playoffs, as No. 9 Cherokee Trail and No. 12 Rangeview lost on the road and No. 12 Vista PEAK dropped its 4A playoff debut on the road.

Sarah Milafsky hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points, while Brooke Zimmerman added 10 points and 14 rebounds as the Buffaloes (10-14) set up an all-Aurora second round contest at 7 p.m. March 1 at No. 1 Regis Jesuit (21-2).

Ninth-seeded Cherokee Trail lost 51-45 at Pine Creek, No. 12 Rangeview fell 74-27 at Loveland and No. 12 Vista PEAK — making its 4A playoff debut — went down 65-18 at Longmont.

Full first round scores and second round schedules, here.

Spring prep sports teams began practices and tryouts despite snowy conditions on Feb. 25, as they began to prepare for the start of the regular season — Feb. 28 for girls tennis and girls golf, March 7 for the remainder of the sports: baseball, girls soccer, boys swimming, boys and girls lacrosse and boys and girls track & field.

• Eight Aurora boys basketball teams — including top seeded Regis Jesuit and five other top-16 seeds — were included among the 48 selected for the Class 5A boys state basketball tournament when the brackets were released on Feb. 24 by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Vista PEAK made the 4A boys bracket in its debut varsity season. Full 5A boys pairings, here.

• Five Aurora girls basketball teams, led by two No. 1 seeds in Grandview and Regis Jesuit, were among the 48 teams picked for the Class 5A girls state basketball tournament when the brackets were released on Feb. 24 by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Vista PEAK made the 4A girls bracket in its debut varsity season. Full 5A girls pairings, here.

Regis Jesuit's Grant Neal
Regis Jesuit junior Grant Neal, center, won the Class 5A 195-pound state wrestling championship on Feb. 23, 2013. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

• Regis Jesuit junior Grant Neal won Class 5A 195-pound state championship on Feb. 23 on the final day of the state wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center, becoming the fourth different wrestler from the program to claim a state title in the past seven seasons.

Neal won his first championship with a 3-2 victory over Fossil Ridge’s Payton Tapia.

Overland’s Amer Tipura finished second at 220 pounds with a 3-1 overtime loss to rival Brian Mayberry of Columbine to cap a 42-2 season. The Trailblazers remain in search of their first state wrestling champion since they had two in 1996, including two-time winner Dale King.

Nine Aurora wrestlers in all placed at the three-day tournament, including fourth-place finishers Jordan Brown of Grandview (160 pounds) and Eaglecrest heavyweight Mike Howshar.

Grandview's Jordan Brown
Grandview senior Jordan Brown placed 4th at 160 pounds at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

• Senior Brooke Genovese poured in a season-high 19 points and the Grandview girls basketball claimed the Centennial League championship with a 47-39 victory at Cherry Creek on Feb. 22.

Natasha Edge added 11 points and Adaeze Obinnah scored eight points as the Wolves finished 13-1 in league — one game clear of Arapahoe, which has shared first place with them the last two seasons — and 21-2.

• The Cherokee Trail boys basketball team won its first-ever Centennial League championship with a dramatic 63-61 overtime victory at Arapahoe on Feb. 22.

Jay Nelson scored a team-high 17 points, Anthony Murray and Solomon Yon added 12 and Drick Bernstine managed 10 before suffering a knee injury as the Cougars (17-6) won their ninth straight game and finished 12-2 in the Centennial League, a game in front of runner-up Eaglecrest.

• The Regis Jesuit boys basketball team finished off a 19-4 regular season with a 63-43 victory over visiting Ponderosa on Feb. 22.

The Raiders climbed to 10-1 in Continental League play and ended up securing the league title for coach Ken Shaw’s team, as Mountain Vista lost to Highlands Ranch.

Josh Perkins had 20 points, Devin Kadillak scored 11 and Eric Stemper added 10 for Regis Jesuit.

• Coach Carl Mattei picked up his 200th career victory in nine years with the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team with a 78-25 rout of Douglas County on Feb. 19.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555