Colbery Ross finished with 19 points in the victory over Cherry Creek on Friday.

Cherry Creek(7-5)           48                                                                                       (2) Eaglecrest(12 – 0)      52

Aurora(CO) – Cherry Creek held junior point guard Colbey Ross scoreless in the first quarter. Ross is without question the most valuable player to his team in Colorado. It goes without saying that Eaglecrest goes as he does. Without Ross contributing any points Eaglecrest was only able to produce 5 points in the quarter. Fortunately for Eaglecrest Cherry Creek, who is one of the best three point shooting teams in the state struggled from the field as well. Despite the sluggish offensive start Eaglecrest only trailed by 5 points, 10 – 5 at the conclusion of the first quarter.

Ross got into his offensive groove early in the second quarter. He started the quarter off with an Andrew Wiggins signature space creating pull up jump shot form 17 feet. A few possessions later Ross converted on an And-1 finish in the paint, which gave Cherry Creek’s best perimeter defender, Jalen Meeks three fouls. Meeks would sit the rest of the half. Midway through the second, sharp shooting guard Patrick O’Neil heated up and allowed Creek to maintain its lead despite Eaglecrest’s offense beginning to score. O’Neil buried two threes in a row and finished a lay up off the assist of point forward Hayden Parr. O’Neil’s lay up gave Creek a 21 – 15 lead with 3:36 remaining. Eaglecrest responded with back-to-back three pointers to pull even with less than a minute remaining. On the offensive end Creek was able to get quality post looks in the paint, but failed to convert. Ross finished the half off by penetrating hard on the left wing and splitting two Creek defenders with a jump stop for a soft floater finish as time expired on the half. His buzzer beater gave Eaglecrest its first lead of the game at 23 – 21. Ross finished the quarter with seven points.

Ross again, began the quarter on attack mode and scored back to back baskets. He came off of a ball screen and used a hesitation dribble to relax the hedging big man and exploded into a running right hand floater. After an empty possession by Creek, Ross scored again off of an offensive rebound. After a steal Eaglecrest big man Josh Walton finished with the assist from Ross. On the following possession Walton stepped out and drained a corner three pointer which gave Eaglecrest a 36 -29 lead late in the third. At the end of three quarters Eaglecrest led 40 -34.

Both teams tightened up their defense to begin the final quarter. After two minutes of tough defense Creek finally converted on a three pointer to pull within three points at 40 – 37. Ross again took control, operating off of ball screens on two straight possessions. On the first Ross went back the hesitation drag dribble to create a driving lane and finised in the paint. On the following possession Ross came used the ball screen to hit Nate Bokol rolling for a lay up. Bokol’s finish gave Eaglecrest a 44 -37 lead with 3:30 remaining.

Creek responded with a lay up by Meeks. It was again facilitating big man Parr with the assist. Meeks was fouled on the lay up, but could not convert the free throw. Parr grabbed the offensive rebound, but missed the put back.

After an Eaglecrest timeout Creek split two free throws pulling them to within four points at 44 – 40. Ross of Eaglecrest responded with a basket. Parr matched with a basket on the other end for Creek making the score 46 – 42 with two minutes left. With 1:05 remaining Eaglecrest appeared to have the game wrapped up, until Ross fouled Will Halfon of Creek on a three-point attempt. Halfon converted on all three free throws. Jalaughn Jackson of Eaglecrest missed the front end of a one and one and Ammon Johnson of Creek made a three pointer to pull within one point at 49 – 48 with 25 seconds left. Ross converted on two free throw attempts for Eaglecrest giving them a three-point lead. Creek could not manufacture a clean look and after another free throw Eaglecrest escaped with a 52 – 48 win.

Despite the loss Creek played well on both ends and will be a dangerous team come tourney time. As for Eaglecrest, this was their second close victory this week after winning each of their previous 10 games by 12 points or more. Ross finished the game with 19 points for Eaglecrest.


Elijah Blake (R) led Rangeview to a huge road win against George Washington on Friday.

#1 Rangeview tops George Washington

Matt Langley – Basketball Colorado

(1)Rangeview(11-0)           72                                                                                       George Washington(7–8)    65

The #1 Rangeview Raiders defeated the George Washington Patriots Friday night at Rangeview, 72-67. The game had a playoff intensity to it, as games between top APS and DPS schools usually do. The first half was played fairly evenly as neither team was able to gain much of a lead but Rangeview built a double digit lead by the end of  the 3rd quarter. The Raiders tried to throw the knock out punch early in the fourth quarter but would have to rebuff a 31 point fourth quarter by the Patriots to earn the victory.

The first quarter saw Rangeview take a five point lead half through the quarter after free throws from junior guard Elijah Blake and a bucket from senior wing Tyrei Randall. The Patriots played a zone defense nearly the entire game which gave the Raiders problems at points as the Patriots would jump the passing lanes or use their active hands to create a turnover.  After senior forward Elijah Reed scored on a put back the Raider lead was five points with 2:30 left. That is when GW started to string together scores and outscored the Raiders 8-0 in the last minute of the quarter to take a 18-15 lead. Sophomore Daylen Kountz scored four of those points in the run.

Then the Rangeview defense really grabbed a hold of the game. The Raiders held the Patriots to eight points in the both the second and third quarters of the game using what has become a top notch half court man to man defense. Meanwhile the Rangeview offensive machine kept out working Patriots for rebounds.  Randall and Blake handled much of the scoring in the second  quarter. The Raiders regained the lead and held a 29-26 advantage at halftime.

The start of the third quarter was a bit rough for both teams as they each struggled to get in to an offensive flow. For the first three minutes of the quarter only Blake had scored for either team. But a bucket by senior Kris Hollins got things going for Rangeview. Kountz kept the Patriots in the game during the third quarter scoring six of their eight points. Rangeview however grew the lead to double digits as Reed scored and then this buzzer beater by Randall gave the Raiders a 44-34 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw a combined 59 points scored but the pace was not a frenetic as one would think.  The Raiders used Randall’s last second 3rd quarter bucket as spring board to go on a 12-4 run in the first three minutes of the quarter.  After another Randall bucket Rangeview was up 16 points with 5:30 left to go in the game.  As George Washington extended their full court press the Raiders mistakes became magnified with each missed lay up or turn over. The Patriots took full advantage of each miscue and started wearing away at the Raiders double digit lead. Each Patriot had a hand in the near come back with Jon’il and Calvin Fugett each scoring  six and eight points respectively and Kountz also scored nine points in the quarter. Green added seven points for George Washington too. But each time George would cut into the lead  Rangeview answered.  The biggest answer may have been by senior guard Jalen  Guidry when he sank a long distance three pointer to push the Raiders lead back up to 15. The timing of it as right for the Raiders. Rangeview had gone a couple of possessions with out scoring and the Raiders needed the bucket to not let the momentum  fully switch sides. The Patriots kept chipping away at the lead as time wound down. Blake and Reed both hit big lay ups and Randall hit key free throws to keep the Patriots at arms length. However the Patriots would cut the Raiders lead to as little as 5 points with less than a minute left. But free throws and then this dunk by Reed sealed the game for the Raiders.

About the Blogger: Nick Graham is the director of basketball for Chauncey Billups D1 Basketball in Highlands Ranch. Graham, who played collegiately at Washington State University trains basketball players of all ages and skill levels including many of the states top high school and collegiate players along with NBA players as well. In addition, Nick travels the country working with some of the nations top prep players. Along with leading D1 Basketball Training nationally, he also works with Spalding and many of the top trainers in the country including Johnny “Handle Life” Stephene. Through his partnership with Spalding Nick will travel to the 2016 NBA All Star game to provide youth players in the Toronto community with NBA All star training along with Stephene. Also, Nick and Stephene will lead regional All American camps this summer with D1 Basketball, Spalding and NBA players Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony amongst others. Nick’s passion is assisting Chauncey Billups in mentoring, developing and celebrating the young players and coaches along with educating and empowering parents of basketball players all over Colorado.

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