Girls basketball: South metro teams dominate playoffs

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Four area teams won Great 8 games on March 5 at the Denver Coliseum to advance to the Final Four of the Class 5A girls state high school basketball championships.

Top-seeded Valor Christian (25-1) will face Grandview (23-3) in a 7 p.m. semifinal game, scheduled for March 12 at the Coliseum, while defending state champion Cherry Creek goes against Highlands Ranch and coach Caryn Jarocki at 8:30 p.m. in the second Final Four game.

Valor had five players score in double figures and the team connected on 59 percent of its field goal attempts in a 63-22 romp over Fossil Ridge in a Great 8 contest. Sophomore Raegan Beers led the way for the Eagles with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Kindyll Wetta also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Jenna Siebert and Karissa Lukasiewicz each had 12 points and Skyler Boylan added 10 points as the fifth player to score in double figures for the Eagles.

Lauren Betts, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds in Grandview's 77-38 victory over Fruita Monument, and Cali Clark, a 6-3 senior, had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Cherry Creek's 46-33 triumph over Ralston Valley.

Highlands Ranch and Regis Jesuit hooked up in the most competitive Great 8 contest, which saw the Falcons' Payton Muma score the game's final six points from the foul line in a 51-44 win over the Raiders.

Regis' Avery Van Sickle took game scoring honors with 22 points, while Muma led the Falcons' offense with 18 points.

In Sweet 16 games on March 3, Valor Christian overwhelmed Rangeview, 73-40, and Cherry Creek routed Centennial League foe Cherokee Trail, 72-32. Grandview eliminated Arapahoe, 55-25, Regis got past Broomfield, 58-51, and Highlands Ranch downed Fairview, 48-25.

Wetta and Siebert each scored 18 points for Valor, while Beers added 15 points and 13 rebounds. She now has 15 double-doubles for the season.

Cherry Creek took a 64-25 lead into the fourth quarter against Cherokee Trail and four players wound up in double figures, led by Clark, who had 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds.

Betts tallied 18 points in Grandview's win over Arapahoe, while Jada Moore scored 30 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in Regis' Sweet 16 triumph. Highlands Ranch expanded its 15-point halftime lead over Fairview in the second half in an easy win for the Falcons, who are coached by Jarocki, Colorado's all-time leader in girls basketball coaching wins with 663 victories.

In first-round games in the Class 3A tournament on March 6, Lutheran beat Coal Ridge, 67-28, and Cedaredge defeated SkyView Academy, 32-14.

Eaton outscored Lutheran 21-12 in the fourth quarter to eliminate the Lions, 42-36, in a Sweet 16 game.

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