GREENWOOD VILLAGE – All season, Cherokee Trail has been disruptive. The Cougars have disrupted the typical Centennial League standings which normally has Cherry Creek or Grandview sitting on top.

And it has been disruptive in terms of evaluating the best Class 6A basketball team in the state. If judging by results, the true No. 1 placement doesn’t belong to a Cherry Creek Bruin, a Grandview Wolf or even a Valor Christian Eagle.

No, after getting a 61-55 win over Cherry Creek, all those teams have to hunt the Cougars.

Those pesky, disruptive Cougars.

“That’s a great way to describe us,” CT coach Tammi Statewright said. “You don’t know who [on our team] you can guard. I’m six deep right now and then the others I bring in bring in their own set of talents. We’re a tough guard.”

And they’re tough when guarding.

When trying to claim a regular season Centennial League title, conventional wisdom says shutting down a top player for Creek is a requirement. Damara Allen did just that early as she held Tianna Chambers to just two points in the first quarter which helped the Cougars (18-2 overall, 7-0 Centennial League) build a 12-point lead at one point in the first half.

“My main goal was stopping Tianna, forcing her left and keeping her from scoring,” Allen said. “That was the early key into the little run we had.”

And they had the offense to balance that effort. Allen scored five points in that first quarter then added seven in the third as CT had to rebuild a 12-point lead.

(Dan Mohrmann/

But the Bruins (16-3, 7-1) were never going to fade away. Chambers went to the bench with foul trouble in the third, but knocked down a big 3-pointer in the fourth which cut the Cougars lead to five. Just moments, Mireya Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer of her own from the corner to give Creek a 49-48 lead, the first lead for the Bruins since the first quarter.

But the Cougars maintained their composure and outscored Creek 13-6 down to the stretch to get the win.

“It’s all about energy,” Delaney Miller said. “We have to carry that energy with us. If we don’t do that, it’s all downhill. We knew coming into this game we needed high energy and then if we hit our shooters in their spots, that they’d knock them down for us.”

Miller did most of her work in the paint, scoring 12 points, just one behind the team-high that went to Allen and Aaliyah Broadus.

Trying to will the Bruins back into the game, Chambers scored a game-high 19 points, 10 of which came from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t quite enough.

Creek’s regular season finale comes against Valor Christian, then the Cougars and Bruins move into the Centennial League tournament.

With the playoffs starting in less than two weeks, the Cougars understand that they are both deserving of their standing and ranking but still plan on maintaining a level of humility in order to not suffer an early playoff exit like last year.

“We still have a chip on our shoulder from that early exit in the playoffs last year,” Statewright said. “The biggest thing that we’ve learned is that a ranking means nothing. When we get to the playoffs, we have to play from beginning to end and we’re going to get everyone’s best game. That’s what has happened all year.”

(Dan Mohrmann/