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Shortly after Eagle Ridge Academy downed the then-No. 2 team in the state, Resurrection Christian, Dec. 6, Warriors forward Hunter Hill yelled to anyone within earshot, “We’re No. 1. …
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Shortly after Eagle Ridge Academy downed the then-No. 2 team in the state, Resurrection Christian, Dec. 6, Warriors forward Hunter Hill yelled to anyone within earshot, “We’re No. 1. We’re No. 1.”
ERA is 5-0 this season, one of a half-dozen undefeated teams in class 4A. One of those wins was against Lutheran High School, the No. 5-rated team in a recent CHSAA basketball poll. Another was against the Cougars.
However, CHSAA’s basketball poll put the Warriors in the third position, and the Ratings Performance Index put ERA at No. 6 as of Dec. 9.
“A lot of the boys and myself thought we should have started higher,” said ERA coach Jay Powell. “We beat a No. 1 team, and we beat a 5A school. We definitely want to keep it up.”
Even so, there was plenty to be happy about after ERA downed the Cougars 59-52 in Brighton. Cameron (CJ) Seifert led the charge for Eagle Ridge with 19 points. Isaiah Garcia added 10. Jacob Barker had 15 points for Resurrection Christian. Cade Crutcher added 12.
“We beat the No. 1 seed,” said Peyton Torres, who scored all 10 of his points in the first half. “It showed where we can compete. We’re setting that bar for ourselves.”
“It’s a big win for our program,” Powell said. “The kids worked hard in the offseason, and they weren’t happy with the way the season ended.” ERA lost in the state 3A quarterfinals at the University of Denver, the first time Eagle Ridge advanced that far in the postseason.”
Crutcher and Barker seemed to have their way early in the game. They combined for 11 of their team’s 15 points in the first quarter. Then it was the Warriors’ turn to turn up the defense. In the next two quarters, the Cougars made just six of 27 field-goal attempts. Eagle Ridge outscored its guests 30-14 over those two quarters to take control. Seifert finished the game with four blocked shots.
“Teamwork. We came together as a team offensively and defensively,” Torres said. “We switched defenses so well by communicating. They were a fast team and switched on the ball. We played at our tempo and were able to communicate. It was a definitely a teamwork kind of win.”
Eagle Ridge stayed undefeated through Dec. 8 after beating DSST-Green Valley Ranch 74-65 in Brighton. Despite the fast start, Powell said his team isn’t happy yet.
“It was good. We got minutes for some of our younger guys who needed minutes,” Powell said. “We also want to improve our defense, do a little better ball tracing. Last year, we had a false sense of entitlement. They realized nothing is given, that you have to earn it.”
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