The second week of action following the winter break is a relatively light one for the top teams in Class 1A. However, top match-ups can be found in several areas of the state.
Second-ranked Briggsdale (9-0) gets the activity started on Thursday with a road trip to Weldon Valley (4-5). The Falcons already own a 48-38 victory over their North Central rivals, and a regular season sweep would keep them in the driver’s seat for the league crown. Shelby Hoffman (13 points) and Kylie Krise (12 points) combined for 25 points in that Briggsdale win, while Kirsten Wood led the Warriors with 18.
In just her freshman season, Krise leads the Falcons at nearly 16 points a game, while the sophomore Hoffman checks in right behind her at just over 15. Courtney Krise and Kimberlyn Krise each average just under six a game. Wood leads Weldon Valley at 12.7 points a game, while Ruby Valle and Kenndra Filter add 11.2 ppg and 8.5 ppg, respectively.
Third-ranked South Baca (7-0) visits Cheyenne Wells (1-5) on Friday, ahead of the Patriots’ key contest with Wiley (6-2) on Saturday. The Patriots have not played a game decided by single digits and only three have been won by fewer than 30 points. Wiley has a big game earlier in the week, as they visit 2A Holly on Thursday. The Panthers have already lost to the Wildcats by a 42-39 score, but that was in a tournament, so this meeting will be the one that counts in the Ark Valley standings. Wins in both games would have Wiley alone atop the league, while a pair of wins puts the Patriots in control of the conference.
Alissa Hebberd and Patience Crane each average 12.7 points per game for South Baca, and Delany Eskew knocks in another 12.3 ppg. Marisa Vasquez tops Wiley at eight points a night, followed closely by Taira Weber at 7.7 and Mariana Morales at 7.3 ppg.
Last week saw #6 Genoa-Hugo (7-1) drop its first game of the season, falling to 2A #2 Limon 49-25. The Pirates righted the ship by beating Peyton to close out the week, and they find themselves in a key contest with 2A Byers on Friday as they look to remain in contention for the Union Pacific crown.
Ryely Smartt leads the way for Kenny Book’s squad, posting a double-double each night. The junior averages 12.3 points and 11.6 rebound for the Pirates. Brylee Miller chips in just over nine points a game. Byers enters the contest at 5-3, having dropped its last two games.
It’s a busy weekend for #7 De Beque (7-1), as the Dragons visit 2A #10 Soroco on Friday and then travel to North Park on Saturday. The game with Soroco is previewed in the 2A report. The Dragons enter the weekend having scored at least 50 points in each of their last seven games. The only time they failed to reach that plateau was in the season-opening loss to Briggsdale (39-35).
North Park had its four-game winning streak snapped last week when the Wildcats fell to 2A #7 Meeker (57-24). The Wildcats had not dropped a game since falling to Genoa-Hugo by one point in the opener. They will host Saratoga, WY on Friday, looking to earn their third straight win over the Panthers.
One of the busiest top teams this weekend is #9 Kim/Branson (6-2). The Mustangs will host both Springfield (4-3) and McClave (4-4). Friday marks the Ark Valley league opener for Springfield, but Kim/Branson is already off to an 0-1 start, having fallen to Wiley last weekend. The winner will be in position to challenge South Baca for a possible league title. The Longhorns have won three straight since opening the season 1-3. Their three losses were by a total of 14 points to South Baca, Holly, and Wiley.
This weekend also sees #5 Haxtun (6-1) in action against 2A #6 Holyoke on Friday. That game has been previewed in the 2A report.>