We’ve moved one week closer to the post season in Class 1A boys’ basketball and we’ve updated our regional tournament projections for the week.Â We’ll continue the series weekly until we get to the district events in late February.
This tournament pairs the top two teams from Districts 1 and 8 in a cross bracket to determine two state tournament berths.Â Our pairings have changed this week mainly due to a 35-point loss suffered by Front Range Baptist to a Wyoming opponent.
That loss drops Front Range from first to third in our District 8 projections so at this point, they’re not included in our regional tournament pairings.Â Those honors go to Denver Jewish Day and Shining Mountain.Â Denver Jewish has three fewer wins than Shining Mountain but their one win over Briggsdale (83-28) is by a wider margin than the two by Shining Mountain combined.
Despite a loss to Vail Mountain, DeBeque remains the solid choice for the top seed from District 1.Â The Dragons have a 25-point win over North Park from early in the season and that should allow them to nail down the top district seed from the Western Slope conference regardless of what else happens.Â Ouray is in the same boat from the San Juan as they should roll past the remaining 1A foes in that conference.Â We’ve also selected the Trojans ahead of North Park in our district bracket.
Pairings then for the cross bracket look like this:
#1 DeBeque vs #2 Shining Mountain
#1 Denver Jewish Day vs #2 Ouray
The top three teams from Districts 4, 5 and 7 advance to the regional tournament.Â In the regional bracket, the top three clubs earn first round byes while the remaining six square off in first round elimination games.
Peetz and Heritage Christian were our top choices for the top two seeds in District 4 and the regional tournament last week and they remain there this week.Â The Bulldogs easily handled Fleming for a key conference win last week and on Tuesday they’ll pick up valuable RPI points against 2A #1 Sedgwick County.Â Heritage Christian kept rolling as they beat 2A rivals Denver Christian and Dawson in league play last week.
Longmont Christian lost twice last week but tough matchups against Union Colony Prep and Highland kept them #3 in our District 4 bracket and #3 in the regional pairings.Â They will receive plenty of RPI points due to playing a predominant 2A schedule in league action.
Over in District 5, Arickaree/Woodlin scored a come-from-behind win over Stratton/Liberty last week to keep the top spot there.Â Otis, which has a win over Stratton/Liberty remains number two.Â Stratton/Liberty is much better than the 2-6 record indicates so we keep them at the number three seed for the district tournament.
Genoa Hugo is the top choice in District 7.Â They have two losses to Arickaree/Woodlin so those results hurt them in regional pairings, but the Pirates are the pick for their district.Â Elbert and Pikes Peak Christian are the next two selections and their head-to-head collision on February 16th will likely decide the order.Â Elbert gets the nod now due to a slightly stronger schedule.
Using that information, our order of seed for the regional bracket looks like this:
#2 Heritage Christian
#3 Longmont Christian
#6 Genoa Hugo
#8 Pikes Peak Christian
And with that order, this would be the bracket.
#6 Genoa Hugo vs #7 Stratton/Liberty (winner plays #1 Peetz)
#5 Otis vs #8 Pikes Peak Christian (winner plays #2 Heritage Christian)
#4 Arickaree/Woodlin vs #9 Elbert (winner plays #3 Longmont Christian)
The top three teams from Districts 2, 3 and 6 advance to the regional tournament.Â In the regional bracket, the top three clubs earn first round byes while the remaining six square off in first round elimination games.
Despite a strong road win at South Baca, Holly dropped one spot in the latest CHSAANOW rankings to number three but that win kept them at number one in our district and regional projections.Â The Wildcats are 10-0 on the season and due to recent playoff success, they’ve earned that title.
Behind the defending state champions in District 3 are South Baca and Walsh.Â South Baca has the loss to Holly and another to an Oklahoma opponent plus they’ve split two games with highly ranked Cheyenne Wells.Â Walsh gets in ahead of Kim/Branson based on a wider victory margin against Wiley as both clubs have a quality win over the Panthers.Â Kim/Branson has two difficult tests with Cheraw and Sangre De Cristo later this week, so they could move up.Â Walsh has just one loss against a Colorado opponent (Kit Carson) with four other losses to Kansas teams.
Cheyenne Wells remains ahead of Kit Carson in our District 2 race.Â The Tigers have four straight wins including a nice win over Cheraw (52-34) last week.Â Kit Carson has just the single loss to Holly and has two important games with McClave and Holly this Friday and Saturday.
Cheraw is our third choice from District 2.Â The Wolverines played well in losses to Cheyenne Wells and Holly last week and they’ve played a strong schedule throughout.Â McClave could bypass the Wolverines if they upset Kit Carson later this week.
District 6 remains very strong with Creede at #1 and Sangre De Cristo at #2.Â The clubs are a combined 19-1 on the season.Â Creede handed the T-Birds their lone loss of the season and that win coupled with others against rivals Sierra Grande, Cotopaxi and Primero easily put the Miners at #1 in the district.Â They still have rematches with Cotopaxi (Friday), Sangre De Cristo (26th) and Sierra Grande (Feb 3rd) remaining on the schedule.
Sierra Grande is the narrow choice over Primero this week.Â In addition to the Creede loss, the Panthers have also dropped games to 2A opponents Del Norte and Sargent.Â That schedule gives them a slight edge on Primero who pushed Creede on Saturday before falling 58-52.
Our seeds for the regional bracket now look like this.
#3 Cheyenne Wells
#4 Sangre De Cristo
#5 South Baca
#6 Kit Carson
#7 Sierra Grande (beat Cheraw)
Pairings then go like this:
#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)