PHOENIX | As it readies to turn cold in Colorado, the Grandview girls basketball team heads to Arizona for warmth and elite basketball competition.
The Wolves began four days of play at the annual Nike Tournament of Champions on Tuesday with a 69-56 loss to St. John’s College (DC) in the opening round of play in the Joe Smith Division at Highland High School.
Coach Josh Ulitzky’s Grandview team went 3-1 in Colorado before heading to the Tournament of Champions, where it finished 3-1 last season and in third place in the same Joe Smith Division. The Wolves’ only loss of the 2016-17 season — in which they won the program’s first Class 5A state championship — came in Phoenix against Miami Country Day.
On Tuesday, Grandview ran into a St. John’s College team out of Washington, D.C., that was ranked No. 3 in the country on the MaxPreps’ most recent Xcellent 25 list. St. John’s has won back-to-back D.C. State Athletic Association championships.
The Wolves (3-2) drop into the consolation bracket and play again at 12:30 p.m. at Mesquite High School against Millenium (Arizona), which suffered an 84-43 loss to Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) in the opening round.
The tournament continues through Friday.
While Grandview is the only team in the Joe Smith bracket, some other Colorado girls teams are on hand as well.
Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek are on opposite sides of the Mike Desper Division, Horizon and ThunderRidge are in the Derril KIPP Division and Chaparral is in the Dan Wiley Division.
The Falcons and Hawks advanced to the championship quarterfinals with first round victories.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 NIKE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS — Joe Smith Division
Championship semifinals (Dec. 20 at Mesquite H.S.)
Riverdale Baptist (Maryland) vs. Sacred Heart Academy (Kentucky), 12:30 p.m.
Archbishop Mitty (California) vs. St. John’s College (DC), 3:30 p.m.
Mesquite (Arizona) vs. St. Mary’s Stockton, 5 p.m.
Riverdale (Tennessee) vs. Centennial (Nevada), 6:30 p.m.
Consolation semifinals (Dec. 20)
Millenium (Arizona) vs. GRANDVIEW at Mesquite H.S., 12:30 p.m.
Homewood Floorsmoor (Illinois) vs. Windward (California) at Highland H.S., 2 p.m.
North Little Rock (Arkansas) vs. Rock Creek Christian (Maryland) at Mesquite H.S., 2 p.m.
Archbishop Wood (Pennsylvania) vs. Long Beach Poly (California) at Mesquite H.S., 6:30 p.m.
First round (Dec. 19)
Riverdale (Tennessee) 59, Homewood Floorsmoor (Illinois) 38
Centennial (Nevada) 71, Windward (California) 58
Archbishop Mitty (California) 84, Millenium (Arizona) 43
St. John’s College (DC) 69, GRANDVIEW 56
Riverdale Baptist (Maryland) 58, Archbishop Wood (Pennsylvania) 46
Sacred Heart Academy (Kentucky) 60, Long Beach Poly (California) 41
Mesquite (Arizona) 61, North Little Rock (Arkansas) 57
St. Mary’s Stockton 72, Rock Creek Christian (Maryland) 58