5A Final 4 Preview -2019

When looking at the four teams left in the 5A state tournament Chaparral, ThunderRidge, Mountain Vista, and Rangeview there are no real surprises. Eyebrow raiser maybe with Mountain Vista and Rangeview but all four teams had been our Top10 for most if not the entire season. This is the most balanced the final four has been in a number of year without a clear cut dominate favorite. And yes the Continental League is guaranteed at least one representative in the finals.

7:00 Game Rangeview vs. Mountain Vista

There will not be any shortage of shot attempts in this game. Both teams love to get up and down the floor and both have zero fear from behind the three-point line. The last thing to expect is a slow paced game.

Mountain Vista is a machine on offense and they live off the break and secondary break. Senior Ben Grusing showed against Smoky Hill that he can score and make his free throws. What will be key for the Golden Eagles will be how they shoot from 3. They were ok against Smoky Hill and answered with a big shot when needed. Also what will be a big key is that they will need to keep the Raiders best rebounder and post presence Quincey Jewett from being a factor. But that is a tough task and is averaging a double-double.

Rangeview will need to keep Mountain Vista from getting into their break and secondary break. Easier said than done. Rangeview can do this by attacking the rim and not settling for long distance shots that turn into long defensive rebounds and a break. Also the Raiders will need to create turnovers and convert those into easy points.

This game could very well come down to the free throw line.

8:30 Game – ThunderRidge vs. Chaparral

A third times a charm? The adage goes that is hard to beat a team three times in the same season. Chaparral has a chance to disprove that statement. In the two previous meetings Chaparral won by 14 and 11 points respectively. In both games Chaparral forward Bryce Matthews had big games against the Grizzlies front line.

ThunderRidge experienced growing pains this year and the Grizzlies are still 21-5. Through the bumps ThunderRidge has made defense and rebounding their calling card. Seniors Austin Holt, Kevin Sax and Bailey Verk are the power of the Grizzlies. They will have to work together to keep Matthews off the boards and getting easy put backs. The Grizzlies will need to be careful with the ball as well.

The Wolverines are fully healthy which will make things easier for junior point guard Kobe Sanders to find shooters and get to the rack. Chaparral cannot afford to turn over the ball. As we saw in Great 8 game ThunderRidge will run when they get the opportunity and are very efficient at the rim. That’s where Dalton Waldron comes in he provides toughness and a big body that Chap can use to protect the rim.

Don’t be totally surprised if ThunderRidge is a bit more intentional against Chaparral. But the pace shouldn’t be slow as both team will be hyped up for this one. If ThunderRidge can keep Sanders out of transition and force the other Wolverines to take the tough shots they will be in a good spot. However, if Chaparral converts in transition and can turn the Grizzlies over and have a 15 point lead going into the fourth quarter it may be too much for ThunderRidge to overcome.

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