No. 1 Regis flexes muscles, thumps No. 2 Falcons
AURORA – There wasn’t much Highlands Ranch coach Caryn Jarocki could say but admit the obvious.
The Falcons turned the ball over too much, didn’t shoot well, didn’t rebound well and started poorly.
That’s not good when playing against the state’s No. 1 Class 5A girls team on the road.
Top-ranked Regis Jesuit crushed the No. 2 Falcons, 64-47, in a Continental League showdown Wednesday night in the Raiders gym.
Regis, 17-1 overall, assumed control in the Continental League with a 6-0.
Highlands Ranch fell into a second place tie with ThunderRidge and Rock Canyon with a 5-1 league records. The Falcons (14-4) entertain No. 4 Rock Canyon Saturday afternoon. The Jaguars are coming off Tuesday night’s 62-56 loss to No. 8 Chaparral.
The Falcons held its only lead when Ciera Morgan scored the first basket of the game but after that the Raiders zone and pressure defenses helped build a 17-point lead early in the second quarter.
“We had turnovers and we didn’t shoot well,” said Jarocki.
In a 6:13 span in the first quarter, Highlands Ranch scored only two points, committed eight turnovers and made only one of five field goals. During one stretch, the Falcons turned the ball over seven times in nine possessions.
Regis made nine of 15 field goal attempts in taking a 21-6 first quarter lead shot 50 percent in the first half led by 11 at halftime.
“You just have to wait until they cool down and then you have to make some shots,” said Jarocki. “They did cool down, we got it to within seven and then we relaxed. It’s ridiculous.”
Highlands Ranch, who had 18 turnovers in the game, pulled to within seven points late in the first half and early in the third quarter but Regis went on a 10-4 run thwart any comeback hopes.
Regis started the fourth quarter by outscoring Highlands Ranch 13-2 to go up 56-33 with 2:55 left in the game. The Raiders made four of five field goals and five of six free throws to start the final period.
And Jarocki wasn’t happy with her team’s rebounding and the turnovers that kept stopping any surge the Falcons tried to make.
“Our rebounders are standing at half court,” she said. “That’s ridiculous too. Regis is very good. We’re not ball faking and throwing it away. It doesn’t help when your point guard is sitting on the bench for half the game.”
Morgan was called for three fouls in the first quarter and fouled out of the game with 6:47 left in the fourth quarter with only two points.
Highlands Ranch shot 29.3 percent for the game compared to 57 percent for the winners.
Kelsey Wainright and Shelby Hickey each scored 13 points to pace the Falcons who had their eight-game winning streak snapped. Madison Montgomery, the team’s second leading scorer with an 11.2 average, had only two points.
Justine Hall had 21 points for Regis, a team without a senior on its roster.
Regis pulled down 30 rebounds and 6-foot Diani Akigbogun grabbed half of the them with 13 on the defensive boards.