So much has already been taken care of in Class 5A girls basketball. A lot of league matters have been decided. Teams seeking extra basketball are just about prepared for the playoffs and the also-rans are looking to wrap it up, forget the negative and think about next season.
And since this is the final week of the regular season, it will be mere days before everyone’s polls and what has been regarded as a ridiculous season of RPI postings – will it be tweaked again? — also will be forgotten in favor of looking toward the next matchup.
But before any of the above, a small handful of games are worth your attention.
Beginning with the Centennial League, one of the few groupings on any level in the state that continues with the traditional – and sensible – home-and-away series, watch for defending state and regular league champion Grandview at Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village on Wednesday. It’s a biggie. The visiting Wolves (18-3 overall, 12-0 in league) have lost only once against in-state foes over nearly two full seasons and currently hold the league edge over the Bruins (17-4, 11-1).
Grandview has won 14 games in a row as well as 46 Centennial games in succession. The last time it dropped a league meeting was more than three years ago – on Feb. 4, 2015, to, of course, Cherry Creek by 67-65 in overtime. Senior Leilah Vigil (15.1 points, 7.2 rebounds) and juniors Alisha Davis (11.3 points, 8.7 rebounds) and Allyah Marlett (10.0 points, 6.2 rebounds) head the Wolves. As for the Bruins, who have won seven games in a row and 14 of their past 15, tremendous guard play has been led by sophomore Jana Van Gytenbeek, who has committed to Stanford. She’s averaging 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists. Her outside shooting really has blossomed, making it even more difficult to guard her. There are also seniors Emma Wrede (12.0 points) and Jaela Richardson (11.2 points, 8.4 rebounds).
Grandview will finish at Mullen on Friday; Cherry Creek will end at home against Smoky Hill.
Regis Jesuit (19-3, 9-0) won its eighth consecutive game on Monday night, taming Chaparral by 67-29 in the Continental. The Raiders clinched at least a tie for the league title and can win it outright on Friday with a home victory against Heritage. Coach Carl Mattei and the Raiders have yet to lose an in-state game this season and entered the week just fourth in the RPI.
In Jefferson County, Lakewood at Dakota Ridge in Littleton on Thursday could very well decide the left-side’s championship. The Tigers (18-3, 9-1) have won 11 games in a row as coach Chris Poisson’s group has at least 18 victories for the seventh season in a row. And no surprise – the very effective Camilla Emsbo is averaging 17.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. First, however, the Tiers will meet Bear Creek (9-12, 5-6) on Tuesday.
It was mentioned because Dakota Ridge (13-8, 7-3) continues to feel saucy about last week’s takedown of second-place Ralston Valley. It was particularly sweet – and necessary – after the Eagles dropped their previous game to top-ranked Fruita Monument in overtime. A victory over the Tigers would highlight a tremendous cap to the regular season and positive pathway to the playoffs. Sophomore Mallory Magana heads Dakota Ridge scoring with 8.6 points. The Eagles also will host Chatfield (10-11, 3-8) on Tuesday.
The East Metro Athletic Conference entered the week with a three-way tie at the top – Brighton, Vista PEAK Prep and Rangeview are 7-1 in the suburban outlay. Brighton first will host Thornton (6-13, 2-4) on Tuesday, then take on Prairie View, which entered the week 10-11, 6-2, on the road on Thursday. Junior Kaylah Lewis (17.8 points, 5.0 rebounds) heads the Bulldogs.>