©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42639Balanced scoring leads Rangeview to Final Four

Cherokee Trail 64

Rangeview 75

In order for Cherokee Trail to prevail against Rangeview, who was 24 – 0 coming into the game, they would need to either shoot lights out from the perimeter, which is not their identity, or Rangeview would need to have a bad day at the office.

Neither scenario happened. Cherokee Trail was 4 of 17 from the three-point line, and they were 10 of 22 from the free throw line. Cherokee Trail actually shot 58 percent from the field in the second half, after shooting just 30 percent in the first half. Unfortunately for Cherokee Trail they shot just 3 of 12 from the free throw line in the second half, which negated their great second half shooting percentage.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42642Standout point guard Jaizec Lottie of Cherokee Trail was handcuffed with foul trouble all throughout the first half and spent the majority of the half on the bench with 3 fouls. While Lottie was a spectator, Rangeview’s point guard Elijah Blake set the pace for his team. Blake finished the half with 10 points and used his athleticism, ball handling, and change of speed to create paint finishes.

At the end of the first half Rangeview led 32 – 22. David Thornton of Cherokee Trail was 4 of 4 from the field to go along with 5 rebounds. The remaining Cherokee Trail players went a combined 3 of 19 from the field.

In the second half Rangeview’s offensive balance was too much for Cherokee Trail. The Rangeview starters combined for 39 second half points, led by Tyrei Randall’s 15. On the other side, it was David Thornton, who scored 16 of his 26 in the second half. Thornton was efficient as always, and  finished the night 10 of 12 from the field. Fellow senior Ronnie Barfield pitched in 12 second half points for Cherokee Trail.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42742On time on target – Rangeview’s superior skill-set is most evident in their passing. The combination of their ability to pass and their collective unselfishness allows them to create rhythm scoring opportunities for one another. They are always on time and on target with their passes.

They make you pay – What separates Rangeview from most is when help defense forces them to pass to a teammate, the player who receives the ball is able to make a play off the dribble themselves. That’s not the case with most teams at the high school level.

FT woes costly for Cherokee Trail – CT was able to find an offensive flow in the second half, however their inability to convert free throws was the difference in the game. CT lost by 11 points and they were outscored by 11 points at the free throw line in the second half. They shot just 3 of 12 from the free throw line, while Rangeview shot 14 of 18.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42792David Thornton’s great senior year – Thornton averaged just under 20 points on the year to go along with 8.4 rebounds. He shot 60 percent from the field and was one of the most consistent performers in the state. Thornton was a great rebounder all year who frequently snatched rebounds out of his area.

Thornton’s successful year was not celebrated as much as it should have been because of his understated personality. Thornton plays the game the right way. He brings his hardhat every game and simply does work. While he puts up big numbers, it frequently goes unnoticed because he does nothing to bring attention to himself. Everything about Thornton’s game is old school, from his selfless team-first demeanor, to his ability to score around the paint and not drift out to the three-point line.

It’s been a pleasure watching Thornton play all year. His play is one of my highlights of this season. I am a David Thornton fan and am excited to follow his career at the next level.


©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42911Dominant Davis too much for Doherty

Overland – 69

Doherty – 50

De’Ron Davis came to play. He posted 14 points while going a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor including two three pointers. He also grabbed 8 rebounds. Those numbers would have been a solid stat line for the entire game, but that’s just his stat line from the first half.


Doherty played hard, evident by the fact they outrebounded Overland in the first half. They ran great offense and were able to create quality looks for their sharpshooting point guard Brevin Brimble. Unfortunately, Brimble was just 4 of 12 from the field in the first half. While Brimble and Doherty struggled to knock down their open perimeter shots, Overland utilized their superior size to create uncontested paint finishes resulting in them shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half. Doherty shot just 32 percent. At the end of the first half Overland led 37 – 24.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-43022In the second half it was more of the same. Doherty fought hard, but Overland was too talented, too experienced, and simply too big. Doherty’s two top scorers Brimble and Dalven Brushier were a combined 11 of 41 from the field, while Overland’s top three scorers Davis, Jervae Robinson, and Padiet Wang went a combined 20 of 29.

Doherty made a statement: Coach Jarris Krapcha has done a phenomenal job leading Doherty this year. Despite being undersized, Doherty posted a 22 – 4 record. They made up for their lack of size with toughness, skill, and togetherness. They were one of the most exciting teams to watch all year. Doherty averaged 70 points per game, scored more than 80 points 7 times, and scored 90 points or more twice.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-43004Their team set a vision prior to the season: We will out-hustle and outwork our opponents, play a physical brand of basketball while striving to achieve academic all-state, a league championship, and a final four berth.

 As Krapcha and his team reflects back on the season they should be proud of all they have accomplished while staying true to the team standard they set prior to the year.

Dalven Brushier’s stellar season: Brushier had a great senior campaign. He averaged 18 points and led Doherty in scoring. Brushier’s play exemplified Doherty’s basketball culture. He was tough, gritty, competitive, and consistent. The 6’2 guard will go on to play after high school garnering interest from a handful of schools including nearby UCCS.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42980Overland’s lockdown defense: Overland has the makeup to play suffocating defense. Along with size in the back in De’Ron Davis to alter shots and discourage drives, they have athletic length on the perimeter with Padiet Wang and a tough, hard-nosed perimeter defender in Jervae Robinson. That recipe produced 33 percent field goal defense.






©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42479Chatfield advances despite 38 from Halfon

Cherry Creek – 55

Chatfield – 63

The first quarter belonged to Will Halfon. Halfon outscored the entire Chatfield team with 13 points to Chatfield’s 11. At the end of the first, Cherry Creek was up 15 – 11. Cherry Creek’s transition defense was a bit lethargic and Chatfield was able to get some easy baskets to stay in the game during Halfon’s hot start. Chatfield struggled to finish around the rim and was unable to connect from the outside. Chatfield did pick up their defense which allowed them to pull even at the half at 24 – 24.

Neither team could pull away in the second half. Halfon remained hot for Creek, while it was guard Cameron Pearson and post player Josh Frenette doing the damage for Chatfield. Midway through the fourth Chatfield finally distanced themselves while Halfon was on the bench. They used a 6 -0 run to go up 8 points to lead 44 – 36.

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-2329Halfon checked in and immediately pulled Cherry Creek back in the game with a 12 – 2 run. With 1:50 remaining his baseline drive gave Creek the lead back at 48 – 46. Chatfield executed a special scoring play for Pearson to perfection which opened him up for a rhythm three off of a flare screen to go ahead 49 – 48. After a Creek put back Chatfield trailed by one point with less than 30 seconds remaining. A questionable foul call with 3 seconds remaining gave Pearson two free throws and a chance to go ahead. Pearson split the free throws to force overtime.

In the overtime it was all Chatfield, as Creek appeared to run out of gas on both ends of the floor. Chatfield outscored Creek 13 – 5 in the extra period.

Stats of note:

©KEYSERIMAGESLLC-42365Will Halfon of Cherry Creek finished with 38 points on 15 of 24 from the field and 6 of 11 from the three-point line.

Cherry Creek seniors Will Halfon and Hayden Parr – Many will overlook Parr’s contribution to Creek’s success. Parr was the point-forward for Creek and had the versatility to play all over the floor. Despite being the team’s center he was the primary ball handler and made the game easier for his teammates. Halfon was a prolific scorer. He averaged 20 points on the year and provided us with one of the best scoring performances at the Coliseum in recent memory with his 38 point outburst.



IMG_5153Eaglecrest’s red hot shooting too much for Regis

Regis – 57

Eaglecrest – 69

Despite having their star player hindered with foul trouble, Eaglecrest was still able to shoot 60 percent from the field behind the scoring of Austin Forsbert and Ikenna Ozor who combined for 19 points on 8 of 10 shooting. Regis was able to keep the pace behind talented sophomore guard Elijah Martinez who was a perfect 6 of 6 from the field, including four three-pointers for 16 first half points. Martinez’s scoring helped Regis to a 31 – 30 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

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In the second half Eaglecrest remained hot while Regis shot just 32 percent from the field. Colbey Ross, who went scoreless in the first half with his three first half fouls, finished with 14 points. Ozor finished with 22 points and missed just one field goal. Ozor was the only player other than Ross to score 20 points or more in a game this season.

Michael Wambsganss & Geoff Kelly – The two Regis seniors both averaged around 12 points per game. Wambsganss and Kelly led Regis to another successful season. Wambsganss was a sharpshooter who routinely hit big shots from behind the arc for the Raiders and Kelly was the ultimate leader and glue guy, showing a well-rounded game and doing whatever was asked of him to help the team succeed.



IMG_4997About 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 traveled 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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