Being one of the top seeds in the Great 8 doesn’t necessarily assure a passage into the Final Four.
Take the Valor Christian girls team and the boys squad from Rock Canyon for example.
Arapahoe, remembering an early season loss to Valor, upset the top-seeded Eagles, 64-52, during a day-long Great 8 Class 6A session at the Denver Coliseum on March 4.
Rock Canyon, seeded second in the Class 6A boys bracket, was ousted by Regis Jesuit, 47-46, as the Raiders’ Tarea Fulcher completed a 3-point play with 3.2 seconds remaining in the game.
Mountain Vista, the top-seeded boys team, was sparked by the play of Radek Homer and toppled Valor Christian, 75-66. Cherry Creek’s second-seeded girls team struggled but pulled out a 48-35 win over Doherty.
In girls Final Four games on March 10 at the Coliseum, Cherry Creek (22-4) will play Grandview (17-9) at 11 a.m. and Arapahoe (20-6) will face Monarch (25-1) at 2:15 p.m.
Grandview’s 6-3 sophomore Sienna Betts was hard to stop with 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Wolves defeated Highlands Ranch, 57-53. Monarch avenged an earlier loss to Regis Jesuit with a 62-44 win over the Raiders.
The boys 6A Final Four schedule on March 10 has Mountain Vista (24-2) going against Denver East (24-2) at 4 p.m. and Regis (20-6) meeting Fossil Ridge (24-2) in a 12:45 p.m. contest.
Arapahoe’s girls made eight of 10 free throws in the final 68 seconds to get revenge from a 57-44 loss to Valor on Dec. 9. The Eagles also defeated the Warriors in last season’s Final Four.
“Getting beat earlier made us want this game more,” said Warriors sophomore Gianna Smith, who had 24 points and sank four straight free throws in the closing minute. “It feels amazing to be in the Final Four. This team just works together.”
Senior Sydney White had 16 points for the Warriors and Emerson Stark finished with 10 markers.
Valor’s senior Macey Huard had 32 points and scored all the Eagles’ 13 fourth-quarter points.
Homer, Mountain Vista’s 6-foot-2 senior guard, broke his nose in the second quarter and missed the final four minutes of the quarter.
He changed jerseys to No. 20 and played in the second half. He wound up with 23 points including 14 in the fourth quarter.
“We bumped heads and he didn’t mean to do it,” Homer said of the collision which sent him to the sidelines. “My nose is broken. It was painful when it first happened. It feels amazing to win. It was great to be a part of it. We played really hard.”
Sophomore Braelynn Barnett had a double double in Cherry Creek’s win with 16 points and 11 rebounds while A’Neya Chambers added 13 points for the Bruins, who will now meet Centennial League foe Grandview for the third time this season. The teams split the first two games.
Rock Canyon’s Gavin Hershberger took game scoring honors in the game against Regis with 22 points.