Last week’s action caused quite a bit of movement in the rankings, including a new team reaching the top spot. With Wray’s last second loss at Yuma, Del Norte ascended to #1 in the most recent poll. Both Wray and Del Norte have key games this weekend against ranked opponents.
The top-ranked Tigers are unbeaten on the season at 9-0 and have outscored their opposition by 288, having only allowed 300 to date. Early in the season, they handed 3A #3 Centauri what had been its only loss until the Falcons fell on Monday. That seven-point victory is their only contest decided by single digits. The winning streak, that includes 65 and 55 point wins over Crested Butte and Center last week, will be put on the line Friday when Del Norte visits rival Sargent (4-6).
The Farmers had won three straight prior to Tuesday’s 43-39 loss to 3A Bayfield. Lainie Dillon, who averages 17 points a game, went for 21 in the loss, while McKinzie Tolliver was right on her average with 13. They will have to contend with a Del Norte team that features junior Kendra Parra (25.4 ppg) and senior Lacie Jones, who nearly contributes a double-double each night. Jones averages 9.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per contest. The recent series history has shifted to a 13-12 advantage for Del Norte, as the Tigers have won eight straight and 11 of the last 12 against Sargent.
Regardless of the outcome Friday, Sargent will have little time to either celebrate or pick itself up, as the Farmers turn around and visit Sanford (6-3) on Saturday for yet another rivalry game. The Indians are one of the teams just outside of the rankings this week, and they enter the weekend having scored a season-high 93 points in their last outing, a very lopsided victory over Crested Butte. Karley Caldon led five Indians in double figures with a career-high 25 points. Mackenzie Peteron (17), Asia Caldon (12), Lauren Canty (10), and Harmony Peterson (10) were the other Sanford players in double figures.
Sanford is just 3-3 in its last six games, and the Indians will host Center (3-7) the night before they face Sargent. The Indians hold a 19-10 edge over the Farmers in the recent history of their rivalry, thanks to seven straight wins in the series.
It’s hard to imagine that a program with the track record of Meeker could fly under the radar, but the Cowboys enter the week at #7, dropping a spot despite reeling off seven straight wins. The Cowboys have had just one losing season in the past 11, and at 8-1 they look to be well on their way to another winning mark. Prior to Friday’s big clash with 1A #8 De Beque (8-2), Meeker faces Little Snake River (WY) on Thursday, having won the last two meetings with the out of state foe.
The Friday night game has more meaning, with Meeker standing alone atop the Western Slope league as the only team without a conference loss. De Beque, with last week’s loss to 1A #9 North Park, is part of a logjam of six teams with one loss, including North Park, who Meeker defeated two weeks ago.
Meeker has a trio of players averaging more than 10 points a game, led by Victoria Lasker at 13.6. Megan Shelton (12.7) and Julia Dinwiddie (10.2) are the others. All three crash the boards hard, as well, with each averaging better than seven rebounds a night.
One of the teams that jumped over Meeker in the poll this week is #6 Heritage Christian (10-0), who has outscored the opposition 548-245 in its first season in Class 2A. The Eagles share the lead in the Mile High league with Highland (7-2) and Dawson (8-2). They play those two squads in their next two contests. First up is Friday’s home clash with the Huskies, winner’s of five straight. Heritage Christian visits Dawson next Tuesday.
Laramie Woods paces Highland with just better than 14 points a night. She’s followed by Olivia Himmel, who has five double-doubles, averaging 10 points and 11.5 rebounds a night. Heritage Christian counters with Emma Johnson, who contributes 13.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, and nearly six blocks a game. She has five double-doubles and one triple-double on the season. Kali Siemers is scoring 10 points a game as a freshman, and the Eagles have five more players averaging at least five points a game.
Wray (7-2) slipped three spot to number four this week after suffering the 40-38 loss to Yuma on Cody Robinson’s buzzer beater. The Eagles had already beaten the rival Indians 50-40 to open the season, but last week’s game was the one that counted in the LPAA standings. Wray now finds itself in chase mode.
The Eagles open their week with a home game against 1A Idalia on Thursday, and then jump right back into league play on Saturday against #10 Holyoke (4-4). Taby Jones and Morgan Smith both average 12 points a game for Wray, with Smith grabbing close to a dozen rebounds a night as well. They are aided by Paige Brown, who pumps in another nine points a game.
Holyoke has seen a 4-0 start to the season quickly devolve with a four-game skid. One of those was a 40-36 decision to Wray before the break. All four of the losses have been against highly ranked opponents, and none were by more than six, which was last Saturday’s 48-42 defeat by #2 Limon. Taeryn Trumper, who leads the Dragons at nearly 13 points a game, was held to 10 in the first contest with Wray. The junior has scored at least 10 points in each of the last seven games, and 14 of the last 15 dating back to last season.