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Notes: Pine Creek forfeit upheld, pair of area players commit to D-I programs
Pine Creek failed to have its forfeit loss to Liberty overturned.
Eagles athletic director Matt Mahan received official notification from the Colorado High School Activities Association early this week that the game will remain a 2-0 victory for the Lancers, the result of Pine Creek using an ineligible transfer player.
The forfeit makes it extremely unlikely that the Eagles (2-6) will qualify for the 4A playoffs a year after they went 13-1 and finished second in the state behind Valor Christian, which has since moved up to 5A.
Pine Creek is ranked 22nd in 4A wild card points, with the top 16 advancing to state.
The Eagles have lost three games by three or fewer points – coming against 4A No. 1 Ponderosa, defending 5A champion Columbine and last year’s 5A runner-up Lakewood — as well as a 24-13 opening loss to Fountain-Fort Carson and a 40-14 setback at Vista Ridge.
The Eagles had not lost a game to an area opponent since 2007 prior to this season.
Lewis-Palmer’s Smith commits to Idaho State
Justin Smith, who hit the game-winning shot for Lewis-Palmer in last season’s 4A state championship game, has committed to the NCAA Division I basketball program at Idaho State.
The Bengals compete in the Big Sky Conference.
Smith, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward, averaged 12.4 points and five rebounds as the Rangers went 27-1 and captured the 4A title last season. His 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining provided the final margin in a 44-43 victory over area rival Sierra in the final.
A senior and the older brother of Lewis-Palmer volleyball standout Alexa, Smith also scored 26 points in the semifinals.
Discovery Canyon baseball produces first D-I player
Isaac Holt became Discovery Canyon’s first baseball player to verbally commit to an NCAA Division I program when he accepted a scholarship offer from Nebraska-Omaha.
Holt, a senior, batted .405 with three home runs and 17 RBIs for the Thunder last season. He also appeared in eight games as a pitcher, picking up a pair of victories and tossing a total off 11 innings.
Nebraska-Omaha, which recently moved to Division I, competes in the Summit League.
Big volleyball tournament on tap this weekend
Previews of the 5A and 4A state title matches could be held this weekend at Cheyenne Mountain.
A deep field includes Doherty and Chaparral — the top two ranked teams in 5A according to The Denver Post’s statewide poll — as well as local 4A heavyweights Lewis-Palmer and Cheyenne Mountain.
Mesa Ridge, which finished second in the 4A Metro, is also in a loaded field.
Cheyenne Mountain athletic director Kris Roberts said the idea for the tournament was hatched when postseason changes removed the district round and created an open weekend.
Pool play begins Friday with two courts running simultaneously and the tournament will conclude with bracket play Saturday. The championship round begins at 5 p.m.