It’s a new week of basketball and that means another round of regional tournament projections for Class 1A.Â Region one will earn two bids to the state tournament with regions two and three each collecting three berths.
Another change occurred in pairings this week as Cornerstone Christian moves into our runner-up spot for District 8.Â They picked up a 56-24 victory over Shining Mountain and moved ahead of the Lions into the second position.Â Denver Jewish Day did not play last week so they remain our top seed from the district.
Two important games in District 8 are coming up including one this week featuring Front Range Baptist at Shining Mountain on Tuesday.Â The outcome could help determine the third and fourth seeds for the district tournament.Â Then next Tuesday, Denver Jewish Day and Cornerstone Christian collide with the top overall seed possibly on the line.
No changes can be found in District 1 as DeBeque (8-2) and Ouray (5-4) remain our top two selections. Â Since the two teams do not square off in the regular season, we rely on common opponents to pick the order and two more such games occur this week.Â DeBeque meets Plateau Valley and Ouray takes on Caprock Academy. Â Plateau Valley beat Ouray earlier this year so a DeBeque win this week solidifies the Dragons hold on the top spot.Â Both Ouray and DeBeque have already beaten Caprock this year with the Dragons scoring a 43-point win compared to 16 for the Trojans.
#1 DeBeque vs #2 Cornerstone Christian
#1 Denver Jewish Day vs #2 Ouray
There’s only slight movement in our regional projections here as Kiowa moves into the top nine to replace Pikes Peak Christian.Â The Indians were winless on the season until beating Pikes Peak Christian last week so they climb into the third spot of District 7.Â Elbert also moves up one position to 8th because of that result.
Otherwise, the order is identical to last week.Â Peetz, Heritage Christian and Longmont Christian are the top three choices from District 4 and they’re the top three seeds in our projections.Â If RPI is used to seed the regional tournament, the clubs would be the top three seeds but Heritage Christian would have the top spot by .004 over Peetz.
In District 5, our top three remain Arickaree/Woodlin, Otis and Stratton/Liberty.Â Otis collected a solid 61-36 win over Stratton/Liberty last week so they easily hold down the second position.Â The Bulldogs challenge Arickaree/Woodlin next week.Â Flagler/Hi Plains faces Stratton/Liberty on February 9th so we may not know the favorite for the third spot until then.
#2 Heritage Christian
#3 Longmont Christian
#6 Genoa Hugo
#6 Genoa Hugo vs #7 Stratton/Liberty (winner plays #1 Peetz)
#5 Otis vs #8 Elbert (winner plays #2 Heritage Christian)
#4 Arickaree/Woodlin vs #9 Kiowa (winner plays #3 Longmont Christian)
Each week there are several games involving teams that could qualify for the regional tournament but none over the past seven days made us change our mind in laying out the post-season pairings.Â Our qualifiers in each district remain the same.Â We have Cheyenne Wells, Kit Carson and Cheraw as the top three from District 2; Holly, South Baca and Walsh from District 3 and Creede, Sangre De Cristo and Primero from District 7.Â As a result, the pairings listed below remain unchanged from last week.
Fans can expect several changes next week as many important games will be played especially in District 6.Â That’s where Sierra Grande goes to Primero on Thursday and Creede heads to Sangre De Cristo on Friday.Â The Creede-Sangre De Cristo will help determine the first and second spots and the outcome between Sierra Grande-Primero will determine the third overall seed.
Creede is the top choice for District 6 as they’ve handed Sangre De Cristo their lone loss of the season.Â Sierra Grande has the slight edge in our mind, for spot number three based on a stronger schedule.
Another team to not overlook come the post-season is Cotopaxi.Â We saw the Pirates in-person last Friday and came away impressed despite a tough road loss at Creede.Â They still have games with Sierra Grande (Feb 2nd) and Primero (16th) so the Pirates have time to climb the seed ladder.
For District 2, the biggest matchup is Friday between Cheraw and McClave.Â Those two are battling for the third spot in our projections.Â Right now, Cheraw has the advantage as they have a win over Eads while McClave lost to the Eagles.Â They will settle it on the court this Friday.
Maybe the most important game in District 3 is Saturday between Holly and Kim/Branson.Â Holly is our choice as the top overall regional tournament seed but that could change pending the outcome with the Mustangs.Â Kim/Branson could also use a quality win to gain stronger consideration for a top three finish at the district tournament.Â Right now, they trail Walsh and Wiley for that position.
One other note to keep in mind concerning the regional pairings is RPI standings.Â Right now, Sangre De Cristo and South Baca are the second seeds from their respective districts but both are ahead of Cheyenne Wells in RPI.Â That means the T-Birds or Patriots could sneak ahead of Cheyenne Wells and earn a first-round bye.
Projected Regional Seeds
#3 Cheyenne Wells
#4 Sangre De Cristo
#5 South Baca
#6 Kit Carson
#7 Sierra Grande
Projected Regional Pairings
#6 Kit Carson vs #7 Sierra Grande (winner plays #1 Holly)
#5 South Baca vs #8 Cheraw (winner plays #2 Creede)
#4 Sangre De Cristo vs #9 Walsh (winner plays #3 Cheyenne Wells)