Things are starting to shake out in Class 2A, with many league champions already having been crowned. However, there is still much to be decided, and this week’s schedule will go a long way in helping to reach that clarity.
The weekend gets underway with a busy slate of important games on Thursday. The Western Slope title is likely to be decided when #10 Soroco (14-2, 8th RPI) hosts #7 Meeker (14-1, 6th RPI). Meeker leads the league by one game over the Rams, who handed the Cowboys their lone loss of the season to date. That was in the semifinals of the Cowboy Shootout that Meeker hosts early in the season. Soroco’s Chloe Veilleux went for a career-high 48 points in that 73-59 victory. Julia Dinwiddie had a career-best 25 in the loss for Meeker.
Veilleux paces Soroco at just under 20 points a night, but she continues to get good help from Kayedence Bruner and Kayla Wille, who both score 10 points a game. Veilleux also averages 5.5 steals a game and could go over the 100 theft mark for the season this weekend. It’s a case of pick your poison with Meeker, as Victoria Lasker (13.6 ppg), Megan Shelton (12.5 ppg), and Dinwiddie (11.2 ppg) all average double figures, and Gracie Bradfield (7.5 ppg) has had six games with at least 10 points this season. Both teams still have two games remaining against teams in the middle third of the league standings, so an official league champion won’t be named until the end of the regular season, but it would be a stunner if someone other than Meeker or Soroco ended up with that honor.
It’s a big weekend for top-ranked Del Norte (15-0, 2nd RPI), beginning with Thursday’s non-league clash with Ignacio (11-4, 16th RPI). The Tigers, one of only two remaining unbeaten squads in the class, have been steamrolling opponents this season, winning by an average of 33 points a game. They’ve only had two games decided by single digits and another five that were 20 points of fewer.
Del Norte cannot afford to look past Ignacio to Friday’s contest with one of the league co-leaders, Sargent (7-8, 34th RPI) as the Bobcats enter their match-up on an eight-game winning streak. Ignacio has held eight straight opponents to fewer than 30 points and only four teams have scored 40 or more. The Bobcats are 0-4 when that happens.
Friday’s game with Sargent is a rematch of a non-league game from three weeks ago. Del Norte raced out to a 26-6 halftime lead and never looked back in a 42-24 victory. Kendra Parra was the only player in the game to reach double figures, pumping in 23 points. The junior, who averages 24 points a game, also posted game-highs in assists (5) and steals (4). Lainie Dillon led Sargent with seven points. The winner of Friday’s game will have a showdown with Sanford (11-4, 13th RPI) for the league title next weekend. Sargent faces the Indians next Friday, while Del Norte will see Sanford for the third time this season next Saturday.
Sargent has a nice non-league match-up with #4 Swink (14-1, 5th RPI) on Saturday. The Farmers have won three straight since dropping three games in one week in mid-January. They’ve had two streaks of three consecutive wins and two losing skids of the same length this season. Dillon leads them this season at better than 17 points a game, while McKinzie Tolliver adds 11.
Swink, who has already locked up the East division of the Santa Fe, will likely take a 15-game winning streak into that contest, as the Lions face Las Animas (1-15, 56th RPI) on Friday. The Lions have held opponents to an average of 23.6 points per game, and only four teams have scored more than 30 on them, with a season-high of 39 allowed to 3A #6 Centauri in the opener. Brianna Denton is the lone Lion averaging double figures at 19 points a night, but fellow seniors Kyla O’Neal (9.5 ppg), Tierra Holland (8.7 ppg), and Courtney Estrada (8.3 ppg) are all able to put up a big number if needed.
While both divisions in the Santa Fe have already crowned a champion, there is still a lot to sort out in the standings. Fowler (6-10, 30th RPI) owns a one-game lead over Hoehne (5-12, 52nd RPI) for second place in the West division. Those two will hook up on Thursday. Fowler has dropped two straight, to each of the division champions, and is looking to avoid losing a third straight game for the first time since suffering a five-game slide earlier in the season. The Grizzlies don’t have anyone averaging double figures in scoring, but Jacquelin Alvey is close at 9.6 points a game.
Hoehne has lost its last four outings and seven of its last eight overall. That includes a 47-37 loss at the hands of Fowler two weeks ago. The Farmers trailed 16-12 after one period and could not make up ground as the game went along. Kamryn Baca-Cordova had a team-high 15 points in the loss, while Isabella Proctor topped the Grizzlies with 14. Averie Navarette, who averages 12.2 points a game for Hoehne, was held to nine in that contest.
Holly (11-6, 14th RPI) and Rocky Ford (11-6, 20th RPI) are tied for second in the East behind Swink. They meet on Friday with Holly looking for the season sweep. The Wildcats won the first meeting 56-48 way back on Dec. 8th. Mercedes Rodriguez led all scorers with 25 points for Holly, while Kallie Cathcart added 14. Abby Snyder was the lone Meloneer in double figures, tallying 23 points. The winner will be alone in second place in the division.
Saturday sees a non-league clash of ranked teams, with #8 Simla (11-3, 10th RPI) visiting #9 Rye (16-1, 12th RPI). Simla dropped a non-league contest at third-ranked Limon (15-1, 1st RPI) on Tuesday and the Cubs have lost two of their last three heading into Friday’s league game with Burlington (4-11, 36th RPI). Kaitlyn Rector, who averages 13.5 points a game, was held to nine in each of the losses to Peyton and Limon. Halle Lutz had a career-high 20 in the loss to Limon.
Rye takes a seven-game winning streak into the match-up, with the last loss coming to Swink on Jan. 10th. The Thunderbolts have only allowed as many as 30 points one time in that streak. That came last Friday, a 42-30 victory over Fowler. Sophie Adamson (12.1 ppg) and Sydney Adamson (9.3 ppg) lead the team in scoring, but Madison Gookin (6.9 ppg), Chloe Richardson (6.7 ppg), and Jolee Ortiz (6.6 ppg) all provide scoring depth.