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CCSD Athletics: Highlights from the week of Feb. 12, 2024

Colorado State Wrestling ChampionshipsGirls and Boys State Wrestling: District grapplers are state champs

Wrestlers from the Cherry Creek School District did well at the 2024 Colorado State Wrestling Championships, held Feb. 15-19 at Ball Arena in downtown Denver. Three athletes won state titles, three earned second-place finishes, and 13 others made the six-position podium in a range of weight classes.

EHS wrestler and State Champ Gianna FaliseIn girls’ individual events on Saturday evening, Eaglecrest (Grandview) senior Gianna Falise pinned Douglas County’s Elizabeth Sandy in the first period to win the 190-pound State Championship. Falise avenges a loss to the Huskies junior earlier in the season and finishes with a record of 48-6.

“I managed my emotions better,” Falise said. “I stayed less anxious, and we worked on some things that she might do all week, so I knew what I had to do.”

Eaglecrest Head Coach Horacio Vialpando said Falise improved as the year went on.

“I cannot say enough good things about her,” Vialpando said. “She’s a true role model and shows what it takes to put in the work. It’s been a team effort in working with her and helping her grow, and she’s become a phenomenal leader. She’s an outstanding young woman who has a bright future ahead of her.”

In overall girls’ team standings, Eaglecrest finished seventh, with Pomona and Grand Junction Central taking first and second respectively.

CTHS wrestler and State Champ Cooper MatthewsIn individual matches on Saturday, Cherokee Trail freshman Cooper Mathews won the 106-pound State Championship with an 8-0 major decision over Ponderosa’s Jeremiah Waldschmidt. With the victory, Mathews tallied his 50th win, improving to 50-6 on the season.

“It feels good,” Matthews said. “I’m excited. The match went great, just how I wanted it to. I ended all my matches with bonus points, and I didn’t give up any take-downs during the tournament. It’s always a tough match. You don’t look past anybody.”

Cougars Head Coach Jeff Buck said the first-year competitor had an extraordinary run.

“Cooper had a heck of a tournament,” Buck said. “He’s a freshman and he has his 50th win. The sky’s the limit for him. He’s just a great kid who works his tail off and has a great head on his shoulders. I am so, so proud of the whole team. We had a great tournament this year.”

Grandview junior Charlie Herting reached the mountain top for the state title at 165 pounds with a third period pin of Brett Lamb of Poudre. Herting finishes the season at 47-5.

GHS wrestler and State Champ Charlie Herting“I am floored,” an elated Herting said. “I am so happy. My opponent was so strong. The first time I rolled him I thought, ‘This could be it. I could be State Champion right here,’ but he rolled all the way through and escaped. So going into the third, I thought, ‘My stamina is gone,’ but I threw him on his back and pinned him. I am just so excited.”

Eaglecrest senior Adonias Cantu was defeated by Pomona’s Ignacio Villasenor at 113 pounds with a 15-2 major decision. Cantu finishes the campaign at 58-3.

Grandview sophomore Jonathan Montes Gonzales fell to Garrett Reece of Regis Jesuit with a third period pin. Montes Gonzales ends 2024 at 44-9.

In the 215-pound championship, Cherry Creek senior Jake Howell was pinned in the second period by the undefeated Quinn Funk of Legacy. Howell fell to 30-3 on the season.

In team standings, Grandview finished third behind State Champion Pomona and second-place Ponderosa. Eaglecrest came in sixth, Cherokee Trail seventh, and Cherry Creek 20th. Smoky Hill tied at 33rd and Overland tied at 36th.

See Sentinel Preps for more results here.

Congratulations to all CCSD wrestlers on a great season.

CTHS Girls Basketball Team6A Basketball: Centennial Challenge; State brackets revealed

The regular season culminated with the Centennial Challenge weekend, with both girls’ and boys’ teams vying for state tournament positions. Girls’ games were at Eaglecrest, while the boys settled matters at Cherokee Trail. On Sunday, the Colorado High School Athletics Association (CHSAA) announced the 2024 6A State Basketball playoff bracket.

On the girl’s side, Cherokee Trail defeated Cherry Creek for the Challenge Championship last Saturday by a score of 60-56. With the win, Head Coach Tammi Statewright’s charges improved to 21-2 and gained the number 1 seed for the upcoming state tourney, which begins on Feb. 20. The Cougars will host No. 32 Fountain-Fort Carson at 6 p.m. The Bruins finish the regular season at 19-4, good enough for the number 2 seed for the playoffs. Creek will host 31st-seeded Rangeview at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Grandview Wolves improved to 13-10, defeating Mullen 47-33 to take third in the Challenge. With the victory, Head Coach Josh Ulitzky got career win number 400. More on that later. The Wolves were installed as the No. 8 seed and will host No. 25 Chatfield at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20. Eaglecrest fell to 12-11 on the season with the Challenge loss to Arapahoe. The 26th-seeded Raptors are on the road in the first round of the playoffs. They will visit No. 7 Regis Jesuit at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

See the complete 6A Girls bracket here.

SHHS Boys Basketball TeamFor the boys, Smoky Hill defeated Overland 76-72 in the Centennial Challenge title game last Saturday at Cherokee Trail. The win improved the Buffs' record to 17-6, and earned them a No. 7 seed in the state tourney. Smoky will host 26th-seeded Horizon at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21. The Eaglecrest boys got a 70-51 win over Arapahoe last Saturday, good for third place in the Challenge. The Raptors (16-7) will host No. 25 Castle View at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Cherry Creek defeated Cherokee Trail for fifth place in the Challenge. The Bruins got a 13th seed entering the playoffs, and will host 20th-seeded Fossil Ridge at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. Overland finished at 14-9 and got the 16th seed and will host No. 17 Broomfield at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

See the 6A Boys bracket here.

GHS girls basketball team and Head Coach Josh Ulitzky6A Girls Basketball: Grandview coach gets into lofty territory

Grandview’s 47-33 win over Mullen on Feb. 17 meant more than a third place finish at the Centennial Challenge. It marked the 400th time that a Josh Ulitzky-coached team has gotten in the win column. The Wolves coach, as usual, was the definition of understatement regarding the milestone.

“I’m just really fortunate,” Coach Ulitzky said. “I’ve had incredible players and families. I’ve never made a basket. The kids have done all of this, and so, I’ve been really, really fortunate. That’s how you get to numbers like this.”

Utlitzky attended Overland High School where he was on the basketball team but didn’t play much. He went on to graduate from the University of Northern Colorado, then did his student teaching and coached lower-level basketball at Eaglecrest. Next, he then took the head coach post for the Overland girls basketball team. He stayed with them for six years, then came to Grandview in 2005. The rest, as they say, is history. Four state titles, many deep runs into the playoffs and now, 400 wins. Ulitzky will take his 13-10 Wolves into the 2024 State Tournament this week.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to take lessons from all my kids, starting at Overland, which has helped me learn how to coach,” he said. “It’s always been one generation – one group of girls – standing on the shoulders of the previous group, and the result is really special and fun.”

Congratulations to Grandview Head Coach Josh Ulitzky on his 400th career win!

Boys Hockey: CCHS vs5A Ice Hockey: The Cherry Creek consortium team is headed to the playoffs

The Cherry Creek High School consortium hockey club finished the regular season with a 5-3 victory last Friday at Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver. With the victory, Creek improved to 11-4-4 on the season. On Feb. 19, CHSAA announced the bracket for the upcoming 5A Colorado State Hockey Tournament, which will begin Feb. 22. The Bruins gained a No. 3 seed and a first round bye. Creek will host a second-round contest, time and date TBA.

See the complete 5A bracket here.

Posted 2/19/2024.