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CCSD Athletics: Highlights from the week of March 4, 2024

6A Girls State Basketball - Final 46A State Basketball: District teams fall in Final 4 action

After qualifying performances in the State Quarterfinals, all three district teams fell in semifinal action on March 7 and 8.

Just a week ago, on Feb. 29, the Cherokee Trail girls, and Eaglecrest and Smoky Hill boys, had earned spots in the 6A tournament’s Final 4. The No. 1 seeded Cougars expected to be there. The Raptors escaped a sluggish second half and survived to get to the semifinals. Finally, the Buffaloes scored a winning buzzer-beater to get to the Final 4 for the first time since 2006.

Fast-forward to March 7 and 8 when the dreams of championship runs were dashed as all three clubs were eliminated at the Denver Coliseum on consecutive days.

On Thursday, the No. 1 Cherokee Trail girls took on 4th-seeded Valor Christian in the Cougars’ first trip to the Final 4 in program history.

6A Girls State Basketball - CTHS vs. ValorThe game was close throughout, as CT carved out a first-half 33-29 lead. However, Valor, led by junior standout Quinn VanSickle’s game-high 33 points, outscored the Cougars 42-26 in the second half on the way to a 71-59 win for the Eagles.

Cherokee Trail junior Delainey Miller scored 21 points while senior Damara Allen scored 18 in the loss. The loss was the first to an in-state opponent for Coach Tammi Statewright’s club this entire season. CT finishes a great campaign at 23-3.

Friday saw the Raptors and Buffaloes in action in semifinal contests.

6A Boys State Basketball - Final Four - EHSNo. 8 Eaglecrest kept close to the No. 4 ThunderRidge Grizzlies, as the Raptors led 29-28 going to the halftime break. T-Ridge came out smoking in the third, outscoring EHS 23-13 to lead the Raptors by 9 going to the fourth. Junior LaDavian King was terrific from the 3-point line, on the way to a game-high 31 points. King’s timely scoring contributed to a stirring comeback, including three critical free throws with less than ten seconds left to tie the score at 62. But the Grizzlies got down the court in quick fashion, and an initial shot went off the mark, but senior Tommy Wight got the put-back at the buzzer, ending Eaglecrest’s season in heartbreaking fashion. Final score 64-62. Head Coach Jarris Krapcha’s Raptors finish the 2023-24 campaign at 20-7.

6A Boys State Basketball - Final Four - SHHS vs ValorFriday’s nightcap had No. 7 Smoky Hill going against the No. 6 Valor Christian Eagles. The Buffs played a tough, closely contested game, leading the Eagles 18-16 after one, and 31-26 at the halftime break. But Valor outscored Smoky 41-25 in the second half, including a 15-3 scoring run in the closing minutes for a season-ending 67-56 Eagle victory. Coach Anthony Hardin’s charges finish a terrific season at 20-7.

Track & Field: Aurora City/ Centennial League Varsity Opener5A Track & Field: District teams do well in the first meet of the season

Girls and boys track and field clubs descended on Legacy Stadium on March 9, a beautiful Saturday, for the Aurora City/ Centennial League Varsity Opener, hosted by Smoky Hill High School.

The Cherry Creek Bruins took top team honors on the girls’ side, with Eaglecrest finishing second, and Cherokee Trail third.

For the boys, Cherokee Trail took top honors, followed by Eaglecrest, and Cherry Creek.

See all the results here.

Posted 3/11/2024.