Joe Marucci is a senior guard for the ThunderRidge boys basketball team.
However, he sounded an awful lot like a coach when discussing what’s on tap for the fourth-ranked Grizzlies.
“We’ve got a stretch of four games coming up that are bears,” said Marucci. “We’re just looking one game at a time.”
ThunderRidge (13-4) was tied with second-ranked Mountain Vista with 5-0 records atop of the Continental League standings prior to Tuesday night’s games.
The Grizzlies took a six game winning streak into the opening game of their tough stretch Tuesday night with a game at Heritage against the suddenly formidable Eagles.
On Friday night the biggest game so far this season in the Continental campaign will take place when ThunderRidge visits unbeaten and second-ranked Mountain Vista.
The following week Chaparral and Regis Jesuit play in the Grizzly Den at ThunderRidge.
Mountain Vista (16-0) played at Ponderosa Tuesday night.
Ponderosa, Highlands Ranch, Legend and Heritage were tied, two games behind the leaders, with 3-2 league records prior to Tuesday night’s games.
The following is a wrap up on last week’s action.
THUNDERRIDGE - Peter Howell scored 18 points and Zack Rusk added 17 in the Grizzlies’ 77-53 win over Littleton.
Marucci’s 19 points and a strong defensive effort helped ThunderRidge (13-4) secure a 59-47 win over Highlands Ranch.
MOUNTAIN VISTA - Elijah Valdez sparked a quick start with four 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 24 points as the visiting Golden Eagles saddled fifth ranked Regis Jesuit with a 77-73 loss.
It was the Raiders first league loss after 19 consecutive victories. Regis had not lost at home since Jan. 22, 2008.
Valdez had 28 points for hot-shooting Mountain Vista in a 91-64 rout of Douglas County. The Golden Eagles shot 59 percent from the field.
HIGHLANDS RANCH - Evan Motlong had 20 points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists in the Falcons’ 87-49 romp over Castle View.
Highlands Ranch (11-5) shot 34 percent from the field and never got untracked offensively in the loss at ThunderRidge. Isaiah Parros scored 15 points in the setback.
CHAPARRAL - The Wolverines lost to Heritage, 67-61, but came back with a big second half against Ponderosa to collect a 66-48 win.
Jake Holtzmann scored 16 points against Heritage and the 6-foot-5 sophomore tossed in 20 points in the game against Ponderosa that saw the Wolverines (8-9) outscore the Mustangs 45-27 in the second half.
LEGEND - Taylor Jenson had 16 points in a 59-39 win over Rock Canyon but the Titans (12-4) came up short after trailing by only two points heading into the fourth quarter in a 72-61 loss to Regis.
Jenson and Jonathon Cosmann each contributed 11 points against the Raiders.
ROCK CANYON - Mitch Lombard had 15 points in the Jaguars’ loss to Legend.
Rock Canyon (6-11) lost 60-56 to Littleton.
CASTLE VIEW - Zach Mattice scored 16 points but the Sabercats had only 31 field goal attempts in the setback to Highlands Ranch. Castle View made 19 field goals.
Castle View (5-12) dropped its sixth consecutive game in a 66-63 loss to Heritage.
HERITAGE - The Eagles (8-9) showed the ability to win close games in Continental League truimphs over Chaparral and Castle View.
Eli Ziegler scored 22 points against Chaparral and tossed in 18 points against the Sabercats.
PONDEROSA - The Mustangs (10-7) edged Douglas County, 58-52, before losing to Chaparral.
DOUGLAS COUNTY - Calvin Cooke, the Huskies second-leading scorer, had the flu but tried to play against Ponderosa scoring only one point. He didn’t play in the loss to Mountain Vista.
Taylour Cavanaugh tallied 15 points and Ryley Stewart had 12 in the six-point setback to Ponderosa. Stewart tied for game-scoring honors with 28 points for Douglas County (5-12) against Mountain Vista.
LITTLETON - The Lions (7-10) lost to ThunderRidge but held off Rock Canyon to get their first league win.
ARAPAHOE - The then seventh-ranked Warriors suffered two Centennial League setbacks.
Matt Glasscock scored 15 points in a 49-38 loss to Cherokee Trail.
The Warriors were 2-for-15 from 3-point range and missed a trio of 3-pointers in the final minute as visiting Cherry Creek escaped with a 46-43 victory.
Mitch Albyn scored 14 points against the Bruins.
LUTHERAN - James Willis was 9-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range in the Lions’ 68-51 Metropolitan League win over Peak To Peak.
Lutheran lost a close 45-43 league decision at Faith Christian.
VALOR CHRISTIAN - The Eagles, last week’s third ranked Class 4A team, grabbed a 20-13 lead but unbeaten No. 4 San Creek pulled away for a 76-61 win.
Chase Foster scored 17 points and Garrett Baggett had 14 points for Valor (15-4).