Most Viewed Stories
- State track and field notes
- Ramsey: Colorado girls’ soccer needs more yellow cards to mellow play
- Manitou Springs' Schwall drives the long ball all the way to state
- Vista Ridge claims boys’ track and field team title for school’s first champion
- Palmer Ridge can't overcome two penalty-kick goals in state semis 2-1 loss
4A basketball quarterfinal capsules involving area teams
Catch up on the latest playoff basketball coverage in the Pikes Peak region.
WASSON (24-1) vs. THOMAS JEFFERSON (18-7)
Time: 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Denver Coliseum
Coaches: Wasson, Damion Copeland (sixth season). Thomas Jefferson, Grant Laman (15th season).
Last meeting: Wasson won 73-65 on Dec. 11, 2009, at the Green Mountain Davis Classic in Lakewood.
Last year: Both teams lost in the round of 16 in 2012.
Key players: Wasson, DJ Hanes (23.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 steals), Dominic Garcia (14.4 points, 3.4 steals), Richie Perea (11.4 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 steals). Thomas Jefferson, Treyvon Andres (16.5 points, 7.8 rebounds), Eric Andres (14.1 points, 7.7 rebounds), Aaron Hendricks (8.0 points).
Notes: The Andres brothers (Eric is 6-foot-5, Treyvon 6-7) have the Spartans in their deepest playoff run since winning their second straight 4A title in 2006. In both years, they beat Harrison in the title game. Jerry Austin, who coached the Wasson girls’ basketball team this season, coached Harrison’s squad in 2006. Neither team has played in a close game recently. Before a 70-55 win over Thompson Valley on March 2, the Spartans had won their previous five games by at least 25 points. Wasson hasn’t had a game decided by single digits since a 64-57 win over Air Academy on Dec. 20. The Thunderbirds average 15 steals.
LEWIS-PALMER (22-3) vs. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN (19-6)
Time: 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Denver Coliseum
Coaches: Lewis-Palmer, Russ McKinstry (fifth season). Cheyenne Mountain, J’on St. Clair (second season).
Last year: Lewis-Palmer won the 4A state championship. Cheyenne Mountain lost in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
Last meeting: Lewis-Palmer won 47-34 Feb. 8 at Cheyenne Mountain and has claimed six straight in the series.
Key players: Lewis-Palmer, Jordan Scott (18.2 points, 9.2 rebounds), Justin Smith (14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds), Chase Stone (10.4 points). Cheyenne Mountain, Ghassan Nehme (20.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists), Donivan Harville (9.6 points, 7.9 rebounds), Christian Nehme (6.9 points).
Notes: The Rangers are amazingly accurate, shooting 61 percent from inside the 3-point arc and 38 percent behind it. Meanwhile, the Indians pale in comparison at 45 and 26 percent, respectively. In two playoff games, Cheyenne Mountain has cranked up its defense, limiting Pueblo East to 28 percent shooting while keeping its first two opponents under 40 points. Even in two regular-season losses to Lewis-Palmer, the Indians kept the high-powered Rangers under 50 points. Ghassan Nehme missed both games against Lewis-Palmer, and senior Darrin Haynes, the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.1 points, could return after missing the past six games with a broken wrist suffered Feb. 9 at Valor Christian.
SAND CREEK (23-2) vs. VALOR CHRISTIAN (20-4)
Time: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Denver Coliseum
Coaches: Sand Creek, Joe Rausch (third season). Valor Christian, Ronnie Degray (first season).
Last year: Sand Creek lost in the second round of the 4A playoffs. Valor Christian lost to Lewis-Palmer in the 4A state semifinals.
Last meeting: Sand Creek won, 76-61 at home on Feb. 2.
Key players: Sand Creek, Josh Smith (15.9 points, 5.3 rebounds), Bryan Jenkins (13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds), Dylan Clark (11.2 points, 3.9 assists). Valor Christian, Chase Foster (20.0 points, 7.6 rebounds), Garrett Baggett (13.9 points), Brandon Pleiman (10.0 points).
Notes: Sand Creek previously reached the 4A quarterfinals in 2011, falling to Lewis-Palmer. Last season, the Scorpions got a first-round bye in the playoffs and promptly lost to Pueblo West. With all five starters back, Sand Creek won its first 18 games and split the regular-season series with Lewis-Palmer. Valor Christian is one game away from returning to the semifinals for a second straight year, this time under former Colorado basketball player Ronnie Degray. Smith went off for 32 points in the Scorpions’ win over the Eagles last month, rallying from an early seven-point deficit. Valor Christian averages more than 72 points, but Sand Creek hasn’t allowed more than 69 points in a game this season and 17 times has limited its opponents to 50 points or fewer.
MESA RIDGE (25-0) vs. PUEBLO SOUTH (23-2)
Time: 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Denver Coliseum
Coaches: Mesa Ridge, Jeff Beatty (second season). Pueblo South, Shannan Lane (sixth season).
Last year: Mesa Ridge lost in the second round of the 4A playoffs. Pueblo South fell in the state semifinals.
Last meeting: South won 47-28 on Nov. 30, 2011, at Spartan Invitational at Doherty.
Key players: Mesa Ridge: Kylee Shook (11.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, 7.4 blocks), Sami Rudd (10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds), Tiffani Jackson (9.3 points), Gabby Purnell (8.9 points, 3.7 assists). Pueblo South: Mikala Gordon (16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds), Shannon Patterson (15.9 points), Jaylyn Duran (8.8 points).
Notes: The big question revolves around the injured ankle of Shook, who went down late in the Grizzlies’ win over Denver South on March 1. Beatty has said all week that Shook will be a game-time decision and certainly won’t be 100 percent if she does play. Against Windsor on March 2, five players scored at least eight points as Mesa Ridge became much more balanced. South was 26-0 last year until being upset by D’Evelyn 57-53 in the state semifinal. The Colts have lost only to Palmer and league-foe Pueblo West, which also reached the 4A semifinals last year and plays Centaurus on Saturday in the first quarterfinal.
SAND CREEK (21-4) vs. D’EVELYN (24-1)
Time: 7 p.m. Saturday, Denver Coliseum
Coaches: Sand Creek, Jamie Carey (second season). D’Evelyn, Chris Olson (seventh season).
Last year: Sand Creek lost to D’Evelyn in the 4A quarterfinals. D’Evelyn fell to Air Academy in the 4A state championship game.
Last meeting: D’Evelyn won 52-36 on March 3, 2012, at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Key players: Sand Creek, Oliana Squires (11.9 points), Liah Davis (10.6 points), J'nae Squires (8.72 points). D’Evelyn, Laura Tyree (12.5 points, 5.2 assists), Mallory Seemann (10.8 points, 8.8 rebounds), Malia Shappell (10.2 points), Morgan Ducklow (9.9 points).
Notes: Sand Creek reached the quarterfinals for the first time in school history last season before D’Evelyn ended the run. On Saturday, the Scorpions hope the experience provided by junior guards Mikayla Reese and J’nae Squires and senior forward Raven Daniels will help change the outcome. Scorpions freshmen Oliana Squires and Liah Davis have had a helping hand in offensive and defensive efforts. D’Evelyn averages 66 points and will test Sand Creek’s aggressive defense that forces 11 turnovers a game. The Scorpions have not allowed more than 60 points in their past 18 games.