A look at some of the key games, tournaments and happenings in Aurora prep sports between Jan. 17-22, 2014:
• Centennial League basketball heats up again Jan. 17, with a number of intriguing contests beginning with a 3 p.m. matinee between the Eaglecrest and Mullen boys at Pepsi Center. Cherokee Trail is at Cherry Creek for a boys-girls doubleheader (5:30 p.m. girls, 7 p.m. boys) and Grandview is also at Smoky Hill for a twinbill. At 1 p.m. Jan. 18, the Overland boys visit Arapahoe in a battle of teams ranked in the top 10 of the last Associated Press 5A poll.
• The Regis Jesuit ice hockey teams skates against Standley Lake at 5:45 p.m. Jan. 17 at Family Sports Center in a key game between teams near the top of the Foothills Conference standings. The Raiders and Gators went to overtime last year and finished in a 2-2 tie. Regis Jesuit has a road game against Columbine on Jan. 18, while Standley Lake also has back-to-back games scheduled when it takes on the other local team, the Cherry Creek co-op, on the same FSC ice at 6 p.m. It will be a quick turnaround for the Bruins, who play a late game against Mullen on Jan. 17.
• Grandview is set to wrestle in the Arvada West Invitational, which begins at 8 a.m. Jan. 18, and has a 16-team field full of powerhouse teams and highly-ranked individuals. The Wolves — with seven ranked wrestlers in On the Mat’s most recent offerings — didn’t enter a full lineup last season and finished 14th. Other city teams are spread out, as Eaglecrest and Hinkley head to the Alameda Invitational — where the Raptors took second last season — Cherokee Trail and Smoky Hill wrestle at Mullen (where the Cougars won last year) and Gateway heads to Alamosa.
• The annual Smoky Hill Invitational girls swim meet is set for Jan. 18 (prelims, 8:30 a.m., finals, 5 p.m.) with 10 other teams — including Cherokee Trail and Eaglecrest — joining the host Buffaloes for a competitive meet that includes some powers from Class 5A and 4A. Smoky finished a city-best seventh at the meet last season.
• The Regis Jesuit girls basketball team heads to Cleveland for the Classic in the Country on Jan. 18-20 as the Raiders — now ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 5A poll —make their third and final trip to play out-of-state competition . Regis Jesuit has a date with Cincinnati Princeton on Jan. 18, which features the top-rated player in the country in Ohio State signee Kelsey Mitchell.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel