The week ahead in Aurora prep sports, 12.4-12-11

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A look at some of the key games, tournaments and happenings in Aurora prep sports between Dec. 4-11:

The Cherokee Trail and Gateway boys basketball teams take part in the Heritage-ThunderRidge Tip-Off Classic Dec. 4-7 in one of just a number of early-season tournaments involving Aurora teams in the coming weeks. The defending Class 5A state champion Eaglecrest boys play in the GoJo Sports Tip-Off Classic at Fossil Ridge High School, while the Smoky Hill girls head to the Battle of the Rockies tournament at Rocky Mountain High School.

A huge day for girls swimming dual meets is Dec. 5, as nine Aurora squads get into the pool — most for the first time in the young season — highlighted by Brighton’s 4:30 p.m. visit to Gateway in EMAC competition and Grandview traveling to rival Cherokee Trail at 4:30 p.m. as part of a heavy Centennial League dual slate.

The Overland boys basketball team opens its season at the Great Western Shootout in Orem, Utah, Dec. 5-7, as coach Danny Fisher leads his young, but talented group into play against some quality out-of-state competition. The Trailblazers are ranked No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com preseason Class 5A coaches/media poll and the only team ranked ahead of them —Denver East — is also playing in the tournament.

The Rangeview boys basketball team plays host to Chaparral at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, in a non-league battle of teams both ranked in the top 10 in the CHSAANow.com 5A preseason coaches/media poll. Jeremiah Paige and the Raiders look to avenge a 10-point loss to the Wolverines last season.

The Cherry Creek co-op ice hockey team plays Air Academy at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Ice Ranch in the season opener for a squad that features at least one player from six district schools, including Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Smoky Hill. Regis Jesuit had its origional opener canceled, pushing the Raiders’ debut back to Dec. 11.

Wrestling tournament season begins Dec. 7, with Aurora Central and Regis Jesuit set for the 14-team Arapahoe Warrior Invite and other Aurora teams scattered around between  Mountain Vista (Gateway), Middle Park (Cherokee Trail), Fort Lupton (Grandview and Smoky Hill) and Fairview (Overland).

•  The Grandview Invitational girls basketball tournament runs Dec. 11-14 and includes the host Wolves plus Cherokee Trail among a field of six teams that also includes Dakota Ridge, D’Evelyn, Denver School of Science and Technology and Poudre. The first three days of the tournament will be played at Grandview, but action shifts to Cherokee Trail on Dec. 14 for placing games, with the championship scheduled for 5 p.m.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel