Vista Ridge guard Noah Beatty rushes the ball down the court during the Sand Creek and Vista Ridge boys basketball game at Sand Creek High School on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

Five boys' basketball games in the 5A and 4A round of 16 include area teams, including a head-to-head matchup between Sierra and Lewis-Palmer.

Each matchup presents plenty of intrigue. Two area teams travel to take on No. 1 seeds with big upsets - and a trip to the quarterfinals at the Denver Coliseum - on their minds.


Round of 16

No. 15 Rampart vs. No. 2 ThunderRidge

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: At ThunderRidge

What to know: Rampart (18-6) is on a three-game win streak and has won nine of 10. In those nine wins, three are by more than 20 points and eight are by double digits. Over their past 10, the Rams are averaging 77 points. Basically, Rampart has been playing pretty good basketball over the last month and a half.

ThunderRidge (22-2) hasn't been too bad either, winning 14 of 15, including a 43-point win over Liberty in the second round. The Grizzlies have also broken the 100-point mark twice this season. Corey Seng leads them with 22.0 points per game, while Kaison Hammonds is at 13.9 ppg. Rampart is led by Jackson Ehrlin, who averages nearly a double-double at 21.2 ppg, 9.6 rebounds. Dawson Carper averages 16.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg.


No. 17 Vista Ridge vs. No. 1 Eaglecrest

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Eaglecrest

What to know: Vista Ridge (19-6) is coming off an eight-point road win over No. 16 Lakewood. The Wolves will have to do it again on the road and against the bracket's top seed. Eaglecrest (20-4), the 5A Centennial League champion, has more losses than five other teams still alive in the tournament, yet was deemed No. 1 by RPI. The Raptors have won 11 of 12 and beat No. 32 Rangeview by 17 in the second round.

Eaglecrest averages 66.2 ppg, while the Wolves average 61.9. Hunter Maldonado leads Vista Ridge with 23.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg. Colbey Ross leads Eaglecrest at 18.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg.



Round of 16

No. 11 Sierra vs. No. 6 Lewis-Palmer

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Lewis-Palmer

What to know: Two 20-game winners going head to head in the round of 16? Yes, please. Sierra (20-4) almost didn't make this highly anticipated game, having to go to double overtime against No. 22 Pueblo Central in the second round. Lewis-Palmer (20-4), meanwhile, blew out No. 38 Wheat Ridge by 34 points.

Sierra's normally stingy defense will have to clamp down more so against the Rangers, who have three players averaging in double digits.

Joel Scott leads the Rangers with 13.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg. Angelo Battistelli and Billy Cook each average more than 13 points. Sierra's C.J. Jennings is the only Stallion in double-digit scoring, averaging 21.0 ppg. Four other players average more than seven points for Sierra.


No. 14 Sand Creek vs. No. 3 D'Evelyn

When: Wednesday,

Where: At D'Evelyn

What to know: Sand Creek (19-5) got a big performance from D'shawn Schwartz in the second round. The Colorado-bound senior went for 27 points and 20 rebounds in the 19-point win over No. 19 Thompson Valley.

Fellow senior Tyler Durham, who averaged five points entering the game, added 20.

D'Evelyn (20-4) and the Scorpions are on five-game win streaks. Three players average more than 13 ppg for the Jaguars, led by CJ Olson's 15.5. Schwartz averages 25.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg. Jeffrey Gary adds 16.8 ppg.


No. 16 Mesa Ridge vs. No. 1 Valor Christian

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Valor Christian

What to know: Mesa Ridge (18-6) is going to need a big game to take down No. 1 Valor Christian (20-4). Good thing the Grizzlies should have plenty of confidence. They've won six straight, which includes last week's 16-point playoff win over rival Widefield and a 14-point, regular-season-finale win over 4A Colorado Springs Metro League champion Sierra. The Eagles are riding a 12-game winning streak and haven't lost since Jan. 11.

Jalen Sanders leads the Eagles at 22.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg. The Grizzlies boast four players who average in double figures, and three of them - Dalen Jackson(16.0), Dylan Mileto (14.6 ppg), Deven Nelson (14.6) - each hit that mark in Saturday's second-round win.

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