Denver, CO – The Rangeview Raiders defeated the Mountian Vista Golden Eagles 62-52 Friday night at the Denver Coliseum to advance to the 5A State Championship game. The Raiders used a scorching first half from junior guard Christopher Speller combined with senior forward Quincey Jewett’s 22 rebound effort that earned the Raiders the victory. Jewett and the Raiders owned the glass, outrebounding the Golden Eagles 49-33.
The Golden Eagles lack of a rebounder and rim protector also let Speller and his brother Christian attack the rim at will. The combo combined for 21 of the Raiders 28 first-half points. The Raiders man to man defense and rebounding prowess kept the Golden Eagles grounded and out of rhythm.
Even though the Raiders dominated the boards they were unable to gain a double-digit lead until late in the third quarter. Sensing they could put away the Golden Eagles early in the third quarter the Raiders attacked the Mountian Vista zone defense but over dribbled or made sloppy passes. The Golden Eagles were able to advantage enough to keep the Raiders within arms reach.
Early in the fourth quarter Jewett scored on a putback to give Rangeview its largest lead of the game 48-32. Over the next six minutes, Mountain Vista put together a 19-8 run that seniors Ben Grusing and Simon May hit big three’s cutting into the Raiders lead. It also wasn’t helping for the Raiders that they were struggling from the free throw line and hurting their chances at thwarting the Mountain Vista comeback.
With 1:40 left in the game Grusing had hit another three-pointer to cut the Rangeview lead to 56-51. Jewett struck again for the Raiders. Christopher Speller found Jewett open in the short corner behind the Mountian Vista zone after the Golden Eagles had over-rotated.
Jewett then drained his free throw to put the Raiders up eight with just over a minute left in the game. The three-point play ended the Mountian Vista come back. The Golden Eagles couldn’t get a shot to drop in the final minute even though the Raiders still struggled at the free throw line.
The Raiders will face Chaparral Saturday night for the 5A Championship.