Valor Christian may have had its 10-game winning streak snapped by Rangeview Feb. 20 but the Eagles are hoping the loss will help the Eagles prepare for the Class 4A state boys basketball playoffs.
“I would hope the loss will help,” said Valor coach Ronnie DeGray. “It’s always tough to lose. It’s a tough pill to swallow. At the same time we have to use that as a positive for us. We had been on a nice little streak and played some good teams. Rangeview was by far the best team we’ve played in a long time.”
Rangeview, ranked seventh in the CHSAANow.com Class 5A poll, used a scoring spurt late in the third and start of the fourth quarter to hand Valor, the top-ranked Class 4A team, an 83-76 setback in the Eagles gym.
During its 10-game victory skein, Valor had defeated the opposition by an average of 19.8 points a game but Rangeview shot 60 percent for the game including 9-of-18 from 3-point range to hand the Eagles a rare defeat.
Valor was ahead 49-46 with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter when Rangeview went on a 16-2 run to grab an 11-point lead.
The Eagles scored once, missed four shots and turned the ball over three times in eight possessions during their 5:08 drought.
“We talked about it coming out of halftime,” said DeGray. “All good teams make a run. We had to sustain their run. For the most part we didn’t. We had good looks. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall in your favor.”
Chase Foster, Valor’s 6-foot-5 senior who is bound for San Francisco on a basketball scholarship, led the Eagles with 25 points.
“Foster is doing an awesome job,” confessed DeGray. “That’s why he’s one of the top players in the state. He shows up every night. He’s a great ball player.”
Christian McCaffrey, the senior running back who was chosen as Colorado Community Media’s South Metro Offensive player of the year on the gridiron, added 19 points for Valor and scored on a couple highlight reel layups.
“He has improved as a basketball player,” said DeGray. “Christian is an unbelievable competitor. He’s one of the hardest working kids that I’ve ever seen. He wants to get better. He’s so coachable.
“He had a bad ankle injury last year that sidelined him for pretty much the whole season. This year he’s in basketball form. He’s been sick with a stomach virus the past two days and I didn’t know if he was going to be able to play against Rangeview. He said, `coach I’m ready.’’’
Garrett Baggett finished with 15 points for the Eagles while Keegan Wynja had 10.
Valor (19-4) drew a top seed in the 4A playoffs and will host the Mountain View-Ponderosa winner Feb. 28. The Eagles were the state runner-up a year ago, losing to Lewis-Palmer in the state championship game.