Quite a few conference champions in 1A-2A-3A boys’ basketball could be crowned over the next several days as the regular season moves into week five. Just two weeks remain before the post-season brackets are announced. Only 24 teams make the playoffs in these three divisions this year with conference champions earning an automatic bid. That’s why we’re focused so much on league races.
Here’s a breakdown of each conference race across the state including a list of the most important matchups on tap in week five. Colorado Preps will provide a daily preview of these games and update the standings throughout the week.
5280: Belleview Christian (6-0) continues to share the lead with Flatirons Academy (1-0). The Bruins are 10-0 overall and nearing the end of their regular season schedule. Only two games this week remain on their slate and both will factor into their championship race. Belleview Christian has beaten both third place Mile High Academy and fourth place Denver Jewish Day so they’ve locked up a top three finish. Flatirons Academy still has six games on the schedule including a big date with Mile Academy on March 4th that will help determine the top three spots. It appears they don’t play Denver Jewish Day.
- THURSDAY: Flatirons Academy at Belleview Christian
ARK VALLEY: Springfield (3-0) stayed unbeaten in league play by downing Walsh last Thursday (70-42). Kim/Branson (2-0) is also perfect in conference play thanks to their road win at South Baca last Friday (62-30). The two leaders get together this week. Two other non-conference games on tap this week shape up to be very important to RPI and playoff qualifying.
- THURSDAY: Springfield at McClave (non-league)
- FRIDAY: Springfield at Kim/Branson
- SATURDAY: McClave at Kim/Branson (non-league)
BLACK FOREST: Still a three-team race between Evangelical Christian (3-0), Elbert (4-0) and Simla (4-0). All others have at least two league losses so it appears the Eagles, Bulldogs and Cubs will land the top three spots. ECA won’t face either co-leader until the final week as they have just one game this week against Kiowa on Friday. Elbert and Simla meet this week.
- WEDNESDAY: Elbert at Simla
HIGH PLAINS: Cheraw (2-0) maintains a one game lead on Cheyenne Wells and Granada. The Wolverines have beaten Cheyenne Wells and won’t face Granada until the final game of the regular season March 5th. The two second place clubs though collide this week.
- FRIDAY: Cheyenne Wells at Granada
NORTH CENTRAL: Briggsdale and Prairie are both 2-0 and share the top spot. Prairie scored a big win over Fleming last Saturday to keep a piece of first place. It’s a big week for Briggsdale as they face both Fleming and Prairie. Wins in both land them the league title and a guaranteed playoff berth.
- MONDAY: Briggsdale at Fleming
- SATURDAY: Prairie at Briggsdale
SOUTHERN PEAKS: Sangre De Cristo (4-0) is alone in first with Sierra Grande (3-1) and Creede (2-1) one game back. The Thunderbirds picked up a nice win over Creede on Saturday and will be challenged by Sierra Grande on Friday. Creede has the edge for second as they have beaten Sierra Grande in conference play.
- TUESDAY: Del Norte at Sangre De Cristo (non-league)
- FRIDAY: Sierra Grande at Sangre De Cristo
YWKC: Idalia (4-0) and Hi Plains (1-0) are both unbeaten in league play. Arickaree/Woodlin (1-1) is one game off the pace but has a loss to Idalia. Idalia and Hi Plains meet up this week and the Wolves basically wrap up the championship with a win. Hi Plains and Arickaree/Woodlin meet on March 5th. Both the Patriots and Wolves have non-league games of note as well this week; results will impact RPI and which teams may or may not get into the playoffs.
- TUESDAY: Hi Plains at McClave (non-league)
- FRIDAY: Hi Plains at Idalia
- SATURDAY: Genoa Hugo at Idalia
BLACK FOREST: Peyton (3-0) and Colorado Springs School (2-0) were originally set to play last week to determine the league championship but that game is now set for Tuesday night. Peyton clinches the championship with a win but CSS also needs to beat Thomas MacLaren on Thursday to win the crown outright. The Highlanders are one game back in third (2-1).
- TUESDAY: Peyton at Colorado Springs School
- THURSDAY: Thomas MacLaren at Colorado Springs School
LOWER PLATTE: No changes here as Wray (5-0) and Yuma (5-0) continue to sit atop the standings. Holyoke has had a solid year (4-1) and is alone in third place. All others have at least three league losses. Wray earned an important conference win over Merino Saturday night. They tangle with Holyoke this week and a win clinches a top two league finish. Limon is also on the schedule ahead of next week’s clash with Yuma. The Indians also clinch a first or second place finish by beating Wiggins a day after they battle Peyton.
- FRIDAY: Peyton at Yuma (non-league)
- FRIDAY: Holyoke at Wray
- SATURDAY: Wray at Limon (non-league)
- SATURDAY: Yuma at Wiggins
MILE HIGH: Denver Christian (5-0) and Highland (6-0) continue their battle for the top prize and they likely won’t decide the crown until their meeting to close the regular season (March 6th). Lyons is in third but the Lions are in quarantine and have played just three conference games (2-1). Highland also moves up to Class 3A for the post-season and they open the week 11th in RPI.
SAN JUAN: Ignacio (5-0) and Dove Creek (4-0) kept their handle on the top spot as both went through last week without a loss. Mancos (5-1) is third and remains in contention. Dove Creek is challenged by the Bluejays this week and both teams face Ignacio in the final week.
- FRIDAY: Mancos at Dove Creek
SANTA FE: A two team race as expected with Fowler (5-0) and Holly (6-0) tied for first. Every other league team has at least two league losses so it’s a safe bet to say the Grizzlies and Wildcats will finish one-two. The teams meet on Thursday but MaxPreps has it listed as a non-league game. Their conference battle will take place on March 4th. Holly topped Fowler in tournament play on February 13th (56-44).
- THURSDAY: Fowler at Holly (Non-league)
SOUTHERN PEAKS: A strong rally at Crested Butte on Friday kept Sanford unbeaten in the conference (2-0) and alone in first. Monte Vista, Crested Butte, Center and Del Norte all have one league loss. Sanford closes the season with Center and Del Norte on back-to-back days March 5-6th. Sorting out the rest of the race hits full speed this week with three games on tap involving the four second-place clubs.
- TUESDAY: Monte Vista at Center
- FRIDAY: Crested Butte at Del Norte
- SATURDAY: Sanford at Centauri (Non-league)
- SATURDAY: Monte Vista at Crested Butte
UNION PACIFIC: Limon (5-0) has clinched the league title but the Badgers have a fun week on tap as they meet Simla on Friday and Wray on Saturday. Both games are at home and the second one with Wray will greatly factor into the top of the playoff seeding. They’re ranked 1-2 on the season and neither has lost a game this year. Burlington (2-1) moved into sole possession of second place when Stratton/Liberty upset Byers on Saturday. The Cougars still have plenty of work to do as they have three league games remaining including one with Byers this week.
- FRIDAY: Simla at Limon (non-league)
- FRIDAY: Burlington at Byers
- SATURDAY: Wray at Limon (non-league)
WEST SLOPE NORTH: Meeker has won their first three league games and Vail Christian their first two so the Cowboys and Saints top the standings. West Grand (4-1) and Vail Mountain (2-1) are tied for third with the Mustangs have the tiebreaker due to a head-to-head win. Standings could change this week as the top four teams face off in three different games including a battle of league leaders to close the week.
- WEDNESDAY: Vail Mountain at Meeker
- FRIDAY: Vail Christian at West Grand
- SATURDAY: Meeker at Vail Christian
WEST SLOPE SOUTH: Strong indication that Caprock Academy (8-1) and DeBeque (7-1) will end up sharing the championship. The Eagles and Dragons have split two league matchups but together are unbeaten against the rest of the conference. Cedaredge (5-3) also has a two-game edge on the race for third so the Bruins are in good shape there.
- SATURDAY: DeBeque at Cedaredge
CONFLUENCE: DSST-Conservatory Green (5-0) is alone in first but they still have work to do with DSST-Green Valley (4-1), DSST-College View (4-1) and Lotus (2-1) all just one game back. Two games are set for this week that will assist in the sorting out process. With only 24 teams in the bracket this year, the Confluence may only get one bid. DSST-College View is the highest ranked team in the RPI and they’re 28th. Could be only the league champion getting an invite.
- THURSDAY: DSST-Green Valley at DSST-College View
- SATURDAY: DSST-College View at DSST-Conservatory Green
FRONTIER: Pinnacle (6-0) and Arrupe Jesuit (5-0) are battling for the conference lead with Bennett (6-1) and DSST-Montview (5-1) just a game off the pace. Arrupe Jesuit has an impossible week as they face the other three with all games away from home. If they survive the first two, then their battle with Pinnacle on Saturday should decide the top two spots. Pinnacle has a game remaining with Montview in the final week. They’ve already beaten Bennett.
- TUESDAY: Arrupe Jesuit at DSST-Montview
- THURSDAY: Arrupe Jesuit at Bennett
- SATURDAY: Arrupe Jesuit at Pinnacle
INTERMOUNTAIN: With Pagosa Springs beating Alamosa on Saturday, Centauri now has a comfortable two game lead over everyone else. The Falcons are 5-0 with Alamosa (3-2) in second. Pagosa Springs and Bayfield each have three league losses. Centauri can clinch the title outright by getting past Alamosa on Friday. Then they have the big rivalry game with neighboring Sanford the next night.
- FRIDAY: Alamosa at Centauri
- SATURDAY: Sanford at Centauri
METRO: Three unbeatens remain as Lutheran (6-0), Manual (5-0) and Colorado Academy (4-0) go into the final two weeks of play without a league loss. That changes this week as two of the leaders collide on Thursday. Lutheran also has great tests on Monday and Friday.
- MONDAY: Lutheran at Kent Denver
- THURSDAY: Lutheran at Colorado Academy
- FRIDAY: Legend at Lutheran (non-league)
- SATURDAY: Colorado Academy at Englewood (non-league)
PATRIOT: Sterling (6-0) took sole possession of the conference lead with a big win over Brush last Thursday and then followed up with a lopsided win over Eaton two nights later. The Tigers lead Brush (4-1) and Resurrection Christian (6-1) by one game with Strasburg (4-2) alone in fourth. Sterling and Resurrection Christian meet on Friday. The Tigers can move very close to the crown with a win while Rez must get by Brush earlier this week to make the Friday date important to the top of the standings. Rez topped Sterling 54-48 in non-league play earlier this year. Strasburg also has a big week on tap. They can catch Brush in the standings on Tuesday and then try to hold off University on Friday. The Bulldogs enter the week with a three-game win streak.
- TUESDAY: Brush at Strasburg
- WEDNESDAY: Brush at Resurrection Christian
- FRIDAY: Resurrection Christian at Sterling
- FRIDAY: Strasburg at University
TRI PEAKS: Manitou Springs (7-0) and St Mary’s (6-0) are at the top of the league race by two games over all other challengers. They’re set to meet on March 6th. Salida (5-2), Buena Vista (4-2) and CS Christian (4-2) are also battling for third place. Salida has yet to play the other two opponents but they host CSCS this week. Buena Vista beat CSCS earlier this year.
- THURSDAY: Colorado Springs Christian at Salida
WEST SLOPE: Coal Ridge (4-0) stands alone in first with Aspen (3-1), Basalt (2-1) and Moffat County (1-1) the closest challengers. The Titans have beaten all three clubs so they’re in complete control of the race and in fact can afford one stumble and still land the crown. They will win any tiebreaker against a second-place club due to the head-to-head victories. None of the three challengers meet this week. Aspen and Basalt battle on March 2nd and both teams face Moffat County in the final week.
- TUESDAY: Moffat County at Meeker (non-league)