AURORA | A look back at some of the key games, tournaments and happenings in Aurora prep sports from Feb. 24-29, 2020:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
SATURDAY, FEB. 29: Eight Aurora teams took the floor for Class 5A boys state basketball tournament second round contests and six of them emerged with wins that sent them into the Sweet 16, while the two that lost both came at the hands of other Aurora teams (updated 5A boys scoreboard & schedule). …No. 29 Regis Jesuit had the win that drew the most attention as the Raiders toppled fourth-seeded Cherry Creek 69-65 on the road. Michael Wolf’s jumper put the Raiders ahead for good in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and he also made several crunch time free throws on his way to 21 points, while Will Barbera added 13. …Top-seeded and defending 5A state champion Rangeview handled Arvada West 79-39 as Obi Agbim poured in 25 points and the Speller twins each got into double figures (Christoper with 12 and Christian 10). …Fifth-seeded Grandview rode hot-shooting Tanner Holtman and Caleb McGill to an 86-49 win over Hinkley in one of two all-Aurora matchups in the round. Holtman made six 3-pointers for a game-high 18 points, giving him one more than McGill, while the Thunderbirds had a double-digit trio in Xavion Davison (13), Tjai Jackson (12) and Jeremiah Warren 10. …Eleventh-seeded Eaglecrest won the other city matchup with a 54-42 home win over Centennial League rival and 22nd-seeded Overland. Zion Ruckard paced the Raptors with 15 points and Ty Robinson had 12 as they prevailed over the cold-shooting Trailblazers, who had Joseph Editone strike for 21 points. …No. 10 Smoky Hill racked up the most points of any team in the second round as it dropped 105 points on Fossil Ridge in a 105-76 victory that included six players in double figures, led by Jalen Weaver with 23 and DeAngelo Horn with 19. …Vista PEAK reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in 5A and for the first time since 2017 with a 64-53 win over visiting Windsor in a game the Bison turned quickly in the final minutes. Jaylen Carrizales, who had a team-high 17 points for Vista PEAK, went 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter (including 6-for-6 in the final minute) while Curtis Stovall III added 11 points and AJ Lacabe 10. …The Regis Jesuit ice hockey team doubled up Denver East 4-2 in a state ice hockey quarterfinal playoff contest at Big Bear Ice Arena to get to the Frozen Four for a 13th consecutive time. William Laws scored twice for the Raiders — the last an empty-netter — and Robbie Dembeck and Brody Sannes also tallied. Gage Bussey earned his second win of the weekend in the net with 21 saves. …Despite a large advantage in shots on goal, the Cherry Creek co-op ice hockey team had its season end in the state quarterfinals with a 2-1 double-overtime road loss to Fort Collins. Luke Flay (Cherokee Trail) converted a pass from David Kirilchuk (Eaglecrest) in the third period as the Bruins forced overtime, but allowed the game-winner in the second extra session (updated state ice hockey scoreboard & schedule)
FRIDAY, FEB. 28: Five Aurora teams that had first-round byes in the Class 5A girls state basketball tournament got into the action and all five (No. 3 Regis Jesuit, No. 4 Grandview, No. 9 Vista PEAK, No. 15 Cherokee Trail and No. 16 Rangeview) all came away victorious (updated 5A girls scoreboard & schedule). …Regis Jesuit had the most lopsided result among Aurora teams with an 88-24 win over Liberty. Ten players scored in the game and the Raiders were led by Avery VanSickle, who had 21 points and recorded her 1,000th-career point, which was commemorated at halftime when she received a basketball marking the milestone. …With four players in double figures (Lauren Betts with 15 points, Tomia Johnson with 14, Dasiya Jones with 11 and Landri Hudson with 10), Grandview cruised past Arvada West 76-28 and into the Sweet 16 for the ninth straight season. …Vista PEAK picked up the first playoff victory in program history with a 66-46 home win over Thornton, a fellow EMAC team that kept it close for three quarters before the Bison outscored it 22-5 in the final quarter. Seairra Hughes had 23 points to lead Vista PEAK, which also got 13 from Mikenzie Jones and 10 from Kaya Evans. …Cherokee Trail came out of its bye with a 62-57 victory over Lakewood that put the program in the 5A Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010. Makayla Hemingway’s 22 points led the Cougars, who also got 16 from Dominique Rodriguez and 13 from Auto Thomas. …Rangeview limited Chaparral to just three points in the second quarter to erase an early deficit on its way to a 55-41 victory that secured a Sweet 16 spot for the second straight season. Genesis Sweetwine scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the final quarter, while Ny’Era West added 14 and Brianna Linnear 13. …The Regis Jesuit ice hockey team took the ice for a second round playoff game at Big Bear Ice Arena without head coach Dan Woodley, who was away from the team in the wake of the tragic accidental death of his son, Cale, a Regis Jesuit graduate. With assistant Terry Ott guiding them, the Raiders responded with a goal on the first shift of the game from Leighton Walsh, which jumpstarted a 5-1 win. Walsh also had a shorthanded goal. …Hunter Fieweger (Cherokee Trail) and Benjamin Powell had power play goals for the Cherry Creek co-ice hockey team in a second round playoff contest with Heritage, with Powell’s standing up for a 2-1 victory that included 41 saves from goaltender Lucas Banks.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26: Four Aurora teams (No. 22 Overland, No. 29 Regis Jesuit, No. 34 Aurora Central and No. 37 Hinkley) all were in action in the opening round of the Class 5A boys state basketball tournament and went a combined 3-1. …Playing at home, Overland got a 75-38 win over Castle View with Trevon Deden going off in the first half to get a start on his team-leading 15 points, while Joseph Editone had 12 and Vinni Veikalas 11. …Regis Jesuit also enjoyed the comforts of home to outlast Monarch 65-62 in a game that went down to the wire. Blakeley Stoughton capped a monster 29-point offensive game with a short jumper plus and-one free throw that provided the difference in a game that also saw Ty Bergman go for 14. …Hinkley went on the road at higher-seeded Mountain Range and posted a 60-40 victory to advance past the first round of the 5A playoffs for the first time since 2003. Jeremiah Warren (17 points) and Jeremiah Taylor (14) paced the Thunderbirds, who outscored the Mustangs in all four quarters. …Aurora Central went on the road to Fountain-Fort Carson and couldn’t quite keep pace with the other Trojans in a 73-55 defeat that came despite 17 points from Laquan Bowie and 16 from Messiah Ford. Aurora Central finished the season 16-8. …
TUESDAY, FEB. 25: The Cherry Creek co-op ice hockey team chose the opening round of the state playoffs for its largest offensive output of the season as the 11th-seeded Bruins steamed past No. 22 Rampart 11-1 at Family Sports Center. Gavin Berkey and Riley Hunt-Bahn had hat tricks, while Hunter Fieweger (Cherokee Trail) and Nicholas Hoppe (Grandview) recorded four assists apiece in the big win. …Only one of Aurora’s six qualifiers for the Class 5A girls state basketball tournament had a game in the opening round and it was 34th-seeded Eaglecrest on the road at No. 31 Horizon. The Raptors and Hawks stayed close for three quarters before Eaglecrest built a lead as large as seven points with just over five minutes remaining. Fouls mounted too quickly for Eaglecrest to hold onto the lead, however, as three regulars were fouled out in crunch time and it was enough to help Horizon emerge with a 60-54 victory. Senior Jadyn Ross scored 18 points in the finale of her prep career, while senior Tatiana Coleman added 13 and freshman Laci Roffle 12 for the Raptors, who finished the season 11-13.