Girls Basketball: Grandview needs win over Lakewood to return to Denver Coliseum

204
With 25 points in a second-round win over Palmer, Grandview sophomore Michaela Onyenwere (12) has scored 1,004 career points in less than two full seasons going into the March 3 Class 5A Sweet 16 game at Lakewood. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
With 25 points in a second-round win over Palmer, Grandview sophomore Michaela Onyenwere (12) has scored 1,004 career points in less than two full seasons going into the March 3 Class 5A Sweet 16 game at Lakewood. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | A look at the Sweet 16 matchup of the 2015 Class 5A girls state basketball tournament involving an Aurora team scheduled for March 3:

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

7 p.m. — NO. 3 GRANDVIEW at NO. 2 LAKEWOOD

Breakdown: Coach Josh Ulitzky’s Grandview team has a pretty good track record in the Sweet 16 in years past, as the Wolves will play in the round for the fifth time in the past seven seasons and have won the past three times, with the only loss to Heritage in 2009, and have advanced to the Final Four in two straight seasons. Only three Grandview players got on the floor in its semifinal loss to Fossil Ridge last season in senior Cristina Salazar and sophomores Michaela Onyenwere and Kennede Brown, so there isn’t a lot of postseason experience on the roster. The entire group got the taste of a postseason victory in the second round, however, as the third-seeded Wolves started fast and routed sixth-seeded Palmer 75-48 on Feb. 27 (game story, here) to get to 20-4. Thriving on transition baskets created by Grandview’s effective pressure, Onyenwere racked up 23 points in the first half alone — just one less than the Terrors had as a team — and finished with 25, passing the 1,000-point career milestone in less than two seasons in the process. Sophomore Lenzi Hudson had made just six 3-pointers in her previous 15 games, but connected on five triples and scored 22 points for Grandview, while Brown finished with 10 and senior Sierra Penn added seven. For the season, Onyenwere averages a team-best 22.8 points per game, along with 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 steals per contest, while Brown (8.2 ppg), Hudson (7.4 ppg), Penn (6.7 ppg) and freshman Jaiden Galloway (6.2) all have shown the ability to score in double figures at any time and all play key roles in Grandview’s up-tempo style. The Wolves travel to play at No. 2 Lakewood, which advanced with a 67-50 second round win over No. 7 Legend. Coach Chris Poisson’s Tigers (19-5) beat Grandview in summer league play when neither team was at full strength, but they haven’t met during the actual season since the second round of the 2011-12 5A playoffs, a game won by the Wolves 69-50. Lakewood — which lost to eventual state champion Regis Jesuit in the Great 8 last season — used a deep bench to survive its second round game, thought its primary threats this season are juniors Mackenzie Forrest (15.5 ppg, 3.0 spg) and Mckenna Bishop (14.5 ppg, team-high 7.3 rpg). Like Grandview, the Tigers also have several other players capable of making an impact in juniors Madeline Miller (6.8 ppg), Marisela Perez (6.8 ppg) and Anissa Barela (6.1 ppg). The winner moves on to play for the championship of the Rhonda-Blanford Green Region — which brings a spot in the Final Four with it — against either No. 1 seed Broomfield or No. 4 Pine Creek.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel