5A boys basketball state tournament live blog

5A boys basketball state tournament live blog


5A boys basketball state tournament live blog

Tracking tournament scores and updates from Great 8 and Final 4 - VOTE NOW for your 5A boys hoops predictions


Tracking tournament scores and updates from Great 8 and Final 4 - VOTE NOW for your 5A boys hoops predictions

KUSA – 9NEWS will be covering the 2015 high school boys basketball state tournaments the next week. The Class 5A boys Great 8 play starts Saturday, March 7 at the Denver Coliseum.

The Final 4 and State Championship will be held at CU’s Coors Events Center on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 respectively.

Final 4 pairings are in — VOTE NOW for your predictions:

Click here for 5A girls basketball state tournament live blog.

These match ups are organized from the earliest game to the latest:

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 2.02.08 PM

FINAL SCORE: No. 1 Eaglecrest 63, No. 2 Legend 49
Raptors Coach: John Olander
Record: 20-5, 12-2 Centennial League
Eaglecrest advanced to the Great 8 with a close 56-49 win over No. 4 Fossil Ridge.  The Raptors have one state title from 2013.

Titans Coach: Kevin Boley
Record: 19-6, 7-3 Continental League
A 63-59 win over No. 3 George Washington sent Legend to the Great 8.

Game Updates/Recap – Click here to see extended highlights of this game
A slow start for the Raptors here at the Denver Coliseum… But in the last few seconds of the first quarter, sophomore G Colbey Ross brought Eaglecrest to a 12-11 lead over the Titans.

The Raptors opened up the second quarter with a vicious 5-0 run.  But this is a very aggressive game, and both squads are whipping around a lot of sharp passes around tough defenses.  The second will prove to be an interesting half: The Raptors’ roster is stocked full of senior veterans — there is one junior and two sophomores on the squad; But the Titans have height for days — there is only one player (listed on the roster) under 6’1”.  The Titans have been chuckin’ up a lot of bricks from downtown (2/13), and have zero offensive boards.

Senior G Elijah Ross leads the Raptors at half with 11 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists.  Senior wing Blend Avdili leads the squad in boards with 6, and also has 4 points and 1 block.  Legend is led in points and rebounds by juniors F Jared Small (9 points, 3 boards, 1 block) and G Monroe Porter (8 points, 3 boards, 1 block).  Halftime score: Eaglecrest 24, Legend 21.

Beginning the third, still very aggressive play.  Legend junior C Conner McCord is getting into foul trouble — has 3 so far and there’s just under 3:30 left in the period.  Both Ross brothers are in double digits (Elijah with 15 points, Colbey with 13).  Blend Avdili has 12 points.  Legend’s Jared Small was the difference maker for the Titans, and has dropped 16 points through three periods of play.

Eaglecrest started the fourth on a 13-0 run.  After the 2:25 mark, Jared Small scored the first bucket for Legend.  Raptors led the Titans 54-38 with 1:54 left in the game.  Legend players looked absolutely beat at this point.

Eaglecrest was just too much for Legend to handle in the fourth, and the Raptors’ backcourt is ridiculously talented.  Raptors opened up on a 15-0 run, and scored a nice 25 points alone in the fourth.  Legend didn’t even score until less than three minutes remained.  The Raptors are vicious, and now Eaglecrest is the first team in the 5A boys Final 4… They’ll be waiting for the winner of ThunderRidge-Chaparral (game three).

Eaglecrest’s superstar backcourt-brother-duo Elijah and Colbey Ross performed exceptionally, and were two of the game’s leading players – combining for 42 points.  Elijah finished with 19 points, 4 boards and 4 assists; Colbey hit three of six triples, dropped 23 points, grabbed 2 rebounds and dished out 1 assist.  Blend Avdili had 16 points, grabbed a game high 9 boards, 1 assist and blocked 2 shots.

Legend’s Jared Small was without a question the Titan’s MVP, dropping 18 points, 7 boards and 1 block.  Monroe Porter finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block; junior F Danny Garrick finished with 11 points, 3 boards and 1 block.

No. 1 Eaglecrest will play No. 1 ThunderRidge on Saturday, March 13 in the Final 4.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 2.43.38 PM

FINAL SCORE: No. 1 Overland 64, No. 2 Mountain Vista 36
Trailblazers Coach: Danny Fisher
Record: 20-5, 13-1 Centennial League
Overland danced into the Great 8 with a dominant 71-36 triumph over No. 4 Grand Junction.  The Blazers are out for it this year.  The squad is gunning for a first ever basketball state title.

Golden Eagles Coach: Robert Wood
Record: 20-5, 7-3 Continental League
Mountain Vista’s 60-57 win over No. 6 Montbello solidified its place in the Great 8.  Like Overland, Vista is also going for a first boys hoops state championship.

Game Updates/Recap – Click here to see extended highlights of this game
After one quarter of play, Overland had the lead, but not necessarily the upper hand in this battle.  Senior F Ryan Swan scored the first bucket of the game for Overland, and junior C De’Ron Davis was the one getting his shots blocked by senior G Ray Beresford – but answered back on the next play by drawing a foul on dunk attempt, and sinking one.  Mountain Vista is playing really aggressively, and is giving the Blazers a run for their money.  First quarter’s last five seconds ended with a sweet Austin Conway bounce pass to junior G Reggie Gibson for the triple.  It was very Stephen Curry-esque.

Senior G Brady Subart ended the Blazers’ 6-0 run with a bucket in the second.  Reggie Gibson (10 points) was just showing off as well, and got his last bucket doing some sick spin move no one at the Coliseum seemed to comprehend – including ThunderRidge’s squad who had been watching the game.  Overland definitely started to run away with the game.  Now this was starting to look like the No. 1 Blazers.  And, to end the second quarter with another big Overland statement, junior F Padiet Wang came up big with a dunk in the last three seconds.  Halftime score: Overland 31, Mountain Vista 16.

Blazers have a lot of great rebounding going on, with 6-board contributions from Padiet Wang and Ryan Swam; 5-board efforts from De’Ron Davis and Alijah Halliburton.  Reggie Gibson has a team leading 10 points – and he looks really sharp as well.  Brady Subart leads the Golden Eagles with 7 points and 2 rebounds at the half.  The Blazers have scored 14 points off Golden Eagle turnovers.

Starting the second half, and Overland. Is. Rolling. NOW.  Vista looks very outmatched at this point in the game.  Austin Conway is just starting to take command.  He’s been ferocious on the fast break, and has been dishing out all kinds of wicked passes.

A technical foul was called on Golden Eagles’ bench.  With just under 1:30 remaining in the game, “O-Town” led Vista 64-36, and will advance to the Final 4 for the second year in a row.  Overland held Vista to single digit scores in three of the four quarters.

Future University of Wyoming baller Austin Conway is ridiculous.  Check back later for video on him breaking Vista senior G Craig Breuker’s ankles.  Boy can MOVE.  Conway dropped 12 points, grabbed 1 board and was a critical play maker for the Blazers.  The rest of TR’s rebounding efforts are really impressive: Reggie Gibson finished with 14 points, 6 boards and 3 dimes; Padiet Wang scored 8 points, grabbed 9 boards, dished out 3 dimes and blocked 1 shot; De’Ron Davis grabbed a game high 12 boards, added 7 points and blocked 3 shots; Ryan Swam had 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds; Elijah Halliburton contributed 7 points and 8 boards.

Brady Subart claims the game high 16 points, along with grabbing 2 boards; Ray Bereford contributed 7 rebounds and 2 blocks; senior C Nick Pepper finished with 9 points, 5 board and 1 blocked shot.

No. 1 Overland will play No. 6 Denver East in the Final 4 on Friday, March 13.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 5.43.37 PM

FINAL SCORE: No. 1 ThunderRidge 52, No. 3 Chaparral 47
Grizzlies Coach: Joe Ortiz
Record: 22-3, 8-2 Continental League
ThunderRidge picked up a nice 59-21 win over No. 4 Rampart to advance to the Great 8.  The Grizzlies have two boys basketball state titles, with the most recent in 2003.

Wolverines Coach: Rob Johnson
Record: 18-7, 6-4 Continental League
Chaparral pulled the 60-47 upset over No. 2 Dakota Ridge to last another round in the state tournament.  The Wolverines’ one boys hoops state title came in 2012.

Game Updates/Recap – Click here to see extended highlights of this game
A great game with no clear dominant squad in the very beginning — There were four lead changes in the first half.  Grizzly senior C Zach Pirog was absolutely fantastic in the first half of the game, with 14 points, 3 boards, 1 assist and 1 block.  But Chaparral’s three-point shooting has been terrific – actually, no – it’s been perfect (3 for 3, baby); Senior Fs Chris Moody (2) and Jake Holtzmann (1) knocked down those bad boys.  Moody also blocked a solid 3 shots by half.  Halftime score: ThunderRidge 29, Chaparral 26.

The rest of the game was still really a nail-biter down to the last few seconds.  At the 2:07 mark, Chris Moody drilled a HUGE triple that tied the game at 44.  Another clutch trey came from junior G Chase Coon with 6.4 seconds on the clock — but at that point the Grizzlies were drawing fouls and able to sink FTs that helped with this close victory.

ThunderRidge’s Zach Pirog dropped a game high 21 points, along with 8 boards, 1 dime and 4 blocks; senior G Noah Szilagyi had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist; junior F Austin Mueller had 9 points and 1 rebound; senior G Nick Varto dished out 4 assists.

Chaparral’s Moody hit three of five treys, had 14 points, 7 boards and blocked 3 shots; Holtzmann had 13 points, 6 boards and 2 dimes; Coon hit two of four triples, scored 8 points to go along with 2 boards and 2 dimes; junior C/F Spencer Sheaman added 8 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block.

No. 1 ThunderRidge will play No. 1 Eaglecrest in the Final 4 on Friday, March 13.

Fired up Rowdies = Sixth Man of the Year

FINAL SCORE: No. 1 Regis Jesuit 48, No. 6 Denver East 53
Raiders Coach: Ken Shaw
Record: 23-2, 8-2 Continental League
Regis Jesuit beat No. 5 Boulder 46-39, and is the fourth and final No. 1 -seed team to make it to the Great 8.  The Raiders have three boys basketball state championships, with the most recent title in 2011.

Angels Coach: Rudy Carey
Record: 16-10, 6-2 Denver Prep League
Denver East — the defending Class 5A state champs — went all in to pull an 84-75 upset over No. 2 Rangeview.  The Angels are tied for the most boys basketball state titles in state history with Manual: 11 championships.  East is the lowest seed in the Great 8, but still: I think these men may want to defend their title a little bit, eh?

Also — GET PUMPED for this rematch.  It’s a lot to ask for, but maybe, just maybe, this playoff game will be even better than the regular season match up, which is arguably the greatest basketball game played this season.  We’ll see.

Game Updates/Recap – Click here to see extended highlights of this game
The Raiders started this game mega fired up.  And part of that was just coming from the RJ crowd at the Denver Coliseum.  But remember, these two squads have history from an incredible game earlier this season.  The Angels won’t allow this playoff game to get out of hand – not when there’s a state title to defend.  After the first quarter, Regis led Denver East 16-12.

In the second quarter, East senior C Ben Potts had an absolutely gnarly put back jam, cutting the Regis lead to 23-20.  The Rowdies were not impressed.  East was definitely bringing more physicality to the game in the second quarter, and even got called on two back-to-back charges, which brought joy to the Rowdies.  The Angels briefly took the first lead of the game in the last few seconds – but that was quickly ruined by a Taylor Kallsen triple.  Man, Denver East must really not like this Kallsen kid…  He’s lethal – especially when he’s got the ball and the clock’s ticking down.

Regis was sick on the glass too, grabbing 25 boards to East’s 8.  Senior G Brian Carey leads the Angels in scoring with 13 points.  Regis is led by Taylor Kallsen and senior G Bryan Staerkel with 8 points each; junior F Geoff Kelly has a game high 7 boards.  Halftime score: Regis Jesuit 28, Denver East 27.

Honestly, the Rowdies started to die down a little in the second half…  Coach Rudy Carey’s nephew, Brian Carey, was the one who carried the Angels throughout the game; going off for a game high 25 points, nailing 2 treys, grabbing 2 boards and dishing out 3 assists.  Carey received some offensive help from junior G Jack Buckmelter who scored 11 points and grabbed 2 rebounds.  Senior F Jordan Willis helped the Angels out defensively with 9 boards and 2 blocks.  Junior F Samba Dioum contributed 4 rebounds and a game high 3 blocks.

But, aside from Brian Carey, all eyes were on Taylor Kallsen: the man behind Denver East’s last second loss to Regis in the regular season.  Kallsen dropped 17 points and made 5 of 10 three point attempts – the most treys seen out of any player at the 5A Great 8 (and also 15/21 of Regis’ triple points).  Geoff Kelly came up huge defensively for the Raiders with a game high 13 boards, and 9 points as well.  Elijah Sanford grabbed 8 points, 9 boards and 1 assist.

No. 6 Denver East will play No. 1 Overland in the Final 4 on Friday, March 13.


5A Powerhouses — ThunderRidge claimed back-to-back state titles in 2002 and 2003.  Regis Jesuit has a nice three-peat to the boys hoops resume, winning championships from 2009-2011.  And then we are also graced with the presence of the last two 5A state champs: Eaglecrest from 2013, and Chaparral from 2012.

Lowest seed, biggest winner — Denver East is a 6-seed playing in a 1 and 2-seed’s world.  But still, this Regis Great 8 match up should be an epic battle, and hopefully more epic than the first really epic battle.  East boasts 11 state titles, with the most recent victories from 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2014.  The defending state champs may appear to have the seed of a dark horse in this tournament, but they aren’t, and you shouldn’t be fooled.  The Angels are a potent force to be reckoned with, and there’s no reason to believe they can’t/won’t pull the upset over Regis.


More USA TODAY High School Sports