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Rock Canyon fends off Mountain Vista in Sweet 16 thriller

The Jaguars edged out the Golden Eagles 57-56 on Wednesday night to advance to the Great 8 of the Class 5A boys basketball state tournament.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Rivalry games make for the best matchups. Add in a win-or-go home playoff scenario and it gets even better.

Rock Canyon and Mountain Vista squared off in the Class 5A boys basketball Sweet 16 on Wednesday night, and -- naturally -- it came down to just one point in the final seconds.

It was Rock Canyon, the No. 9 seed in the playoff bracket, that did just enough to hold off No. 8 Mountain Vista with a 57-56 victory to punch their ticket to the Denver Coliseum for the Great Eight.

"I was shivering the whole time, it was just so big," said junior Gavin Hershberger, who pulled down the game-winning rebound was only seconds remaining. "It feels so amazing that we're going to the Coliseum. That was my goal the whole time."

The Jaguars led the entire game Wednesday night, but the Golden Eagles fought back in the final quarter and made it a 1-point game. They were given the final possession with a chance to win the game, but the attempt hit the rim and bounced away.

Rock Canyon will play top-seeded ThunderRidge in the Great 8 at 7 pm on Saturday night.

Mountain Vista's season ends with a 17-7 overall record.

>>Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally this weekend!

RELATED: Eaglecrest takes down rival Smoky Hill to move on to Great 8

RELATED: Mountain Vista holds off Overland to advance in 5A playoffs

RELATED: Rock Canyon moves past Poudre in 5A basketball playoffs

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