Has everyone caught their breath?!!! What a tournament in both 5A and 4A the Denver Coliseum treated us to.
Yes, the Coliseum has its detractors as a Final 4 facility but the energy, excitement, and the joy of the players/coaches performing on that stage cannot be denied!
We took a little heat for what the Fever Crew called the "sexy matchups" that a lot of hoops fan wanted to see in Chap/Rangeview and Longmont/Lewis Palmer. No surprise, dedicated fans should pull for their squad and not want to hear that but as the Crew says: The Cream Will Rise and it did just that in these exciting finales...let's take a look!
A look back at the live coverage of EVERY championship game here.
Our Dan Mohrmann was the man on the scene to catch the immediate aftermath of Rangeview's first title in 34 years!
Our guy, "Coach K" of Keyser Images, caught the "one shining moment" photos of the Raiders championship.
With the Final 4 game and Championship game being 24 hours apart, there was some discussion on press row about which team had the depth to survive to taxing games in that short amount of time and quick turnaround?
The answer became clear as the Raiders attacked early and often vs. Mountain Vista and Chaparral. Obviously Vista and Chap were talented squads but the depth, overall length, and athleticism of the Raiders proved to be more than enough as they won both games by double digits.
Having some surprise players step up on our states biggest stage doesn't hurt either as Obi Agbim, who averaged 6 points per game for the season, went a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc for 13 points in the title game giving the Raiders a huge boost off the bench. And what about Christopher Speller?!! How about 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots in the 24 hoursperiod of Final 4 and championship game! Speller also went 15-18 from the free throw line to seal the title for the Raiders.
Final 4 MDP (Most Dominant Player) 5A: Christopher Speller
"Digital Dan" Mohrmann on it again with the fresh report of Lewis-Palmer's "Dream of Perfection"
Jack "Action Shots" Eberhard throws elbows on press row and takes some nice action pics too! Here's your 4A title shots.
Speaking of dominant performances and perfection the Fever Crew was thoroughly impressed with Noah Baca who was a perfect 8-of-8 vs. Holy Family from the field, scoring 20 points and game's leading scorer in semifinal.
Surviving a 24-hour turnaround was crucial in 4A as well and in our eyes they have a 5A starting lineup. Not saying the entire squad would survive a full season of 5A ball but there are no doubts Baca, Ragsdale, Forrester, McCullough, and Joel Scott could toss the ball up with just about any other starting 5 in the state.
Tre McCullough brought energy and dunks, Forrester is very smooth around the basket, and Ragsdale was the leading scorer of the title game with 23 and game clinching free throws.
And Joel Scott? He's special, a different kind of physical dude. When the game was in doubt or got tight there was no denying him in getting to the rack!
In two back-to-back days Scott gave the Rangers: 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots, flat out getting it done on both sides of the floor.
Final 4 MDP (Most Dominant Player) 4A: Joel Scott
Final thoughts on the season
Another great season we were treated to by our "awesome athletes" and dedicated coaching staffs. RPI, "sexy match-ups", our home-town favorite...throw it all out the window and "lace em up" come tournament time and believe that the cream will rise!
It certainly did in our 5A/4A big school ball this year. Congrats Rangeview and Lewis-Palmer for magical seasons and endings.
In our "Waaaaaaaaaaay too early" look ahead: 5A Rangeview returns almost everyone and will again be a beast to deal with (EMAC doesn't matter when it comes to this crew of players...they're battle tested). In 4A keep an eye out for Mead, who has a group of current juniors who will be ready to lead and heard from a year from now.
For now, it's off to the club ball scene and time to get it in! Couldn't do this without the support of the "Digital Media Guru" Ryan Casey, CHSAANow staff, and our supportive readers.
Enjoy the off season, folks! Peace.