Boys hoops: Braxton helps Ranch knock off champs
Zach Braxton had a big night for Highlands Ranch in the Falcons’ Continental League opener last Friday night against defending Class 5A state champion Chaparral.
Braxton scored 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 65-55 win over the Wolverines.
The 6-foot-9 junior hit 8 of 11 field goals and 13 of his rebounds were defensive. He also blocked four shots for the Falcons (1-0, 9-3).
Braxton leads all Continental League players with 9.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
Brandon Malone, the league’s second leading scorer with a 19.2 average, scored 23 points to lead Chaparral (0-1, 6-7) which shot 29 percent from the field for the game.
MOUNTAIN VISTA WINS - Elijah Valdez scored 24 points and No. 2-ranked and unbeaten Mountain Vista began league play with an 86-71 triumph over Heritage.
Jake Pemberton added 17 points and Mitch Carter had 14 for the Golden Eagles (1-0, 12-0).
THUNDERRIDGE ROMPS - Fourth-ranked ThunderRidge (1-0, 9-4) romped to a 79-51 Continental League conquest of Douglas County.
The Grizzlies knocked off Lincoln 67-64 in overtime earlier in the week as Joe Marrucci scored 24 points.
Ryley Stewart scored 23 points for the Huskies (0-1, 5-8).
HOT SHOOTING - Legend shot 60 percent from the floor and had four players score in double figures in a 78-57 league victory over Littleton.
Taylor Jenson had had points for the winners (1-0, 10-2).
MUSTANGS FROLICK - Sophomore Colby Ongna had 12 points as Ponderosa (1-0, 8-5) overwhelmed Rock Canyon 51-28 in last Friday’s league opening action.
Tyler Garcia had 11 points for Rock Canyon (0-1, 5-8).
CASTLE VIEW WHIPPED - Castle View (0-1, 5-8) scored only three points in three of the four quarters and the Sabercats suffered a 78-21 shellacking from Regis Jesuit.
KEY WIN FOR WARRIORS - No. 7 Arapahoe dropped a 59-47 Centennial League decision to No. 3 Eaglecrest but the Warriors (2-2, 10-3) rebounded with an important 44-39 triumph over Overland.
VALOR WINS THREE - Valor Christian, the state’s top-ranked Class 4A team, racked up three victories last week.
Chase Foster scored 27 points in an 80-59 win over Palmer and he tossed in 21 points as the Eagles downed Pine Creek, 71-59. Peter Mueller had 24 points and Garrett Baggett added 22 as Valor notched its seventh consecutive win with an 85-69 conquest of Pueblo West.
LUTHERAN STUMBLES- Lutheran entered last week ranked No. 2 in Class 2A but the Lions suffered Metropolitan League losses to Holy Family and Kent Denver.
Josh Clausen hit all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 16 points in the loss to Holy Family and James Willis had 19 points in the losing effort against Kent Denver.
HALF - Five of the top 10 Class 5A boys basketball teams in the lastest rankings are from the Continental League.
Mountain Vista is ranked second, ThunderRidge fourth, Regis Jesuit fifth, Highlands Ranch sixth and Legend No. 10.