With league leaders expected to hold onto their top spots this week, league positioning behind those clubs is the focus of the 3A girls’ basketball weekly report.  Important games inside the Intermountain and Patriot leagues headline that list.

Before we get those two league races though, there are two battles of conference leaders but neither is expected to make a big impact in the statewide picture.  Lutheran and Skyview Academy entered their Wednesday matchup at 11-1 overall and sharing the Metro lead with Jefferson Academy.  Lutheran picked up an easy 71-30 win which was not surprising as they rolled the Hakws 52-14 in non-league action before Christmas.

With that result, Jefferson Academy needs to beat Peak to Peak on Friday to keep pace with the Lions.  The Jaguars have an important stretch next week as they face both Skyview Academy (Wednesday) and Lutheran (Saturday).

The second game is in the Frontier between Arrupe Jesuit and Middle Park.  They collide on Saturday and both need a win earlier in the week to remain perfect in the conference.  The winner is not expected to challenge Academy for the league title later in the year since neither entered league play above five hundred.  Middle Park is 1-3 in non-conference games and Arrupe 2-4.

In league play, Arrupe Jesuit has been very good; rolling past Bennett (20), Platte Canyon (16), KIPP (70) and Sheridan (28) by a combined 134 points.  Isabelle Trujillo (13.9) and Eloisa Macias (10.8) are the leading scorers.  Middle Park’s best effort is likely a seven point loss to Skyview Academy which as mentioned, could finish in the top three of the Metro.  Katie Trail leads the Panthers in scoring (13.8) and rebounding (6.9).

Three games make the list that are important to league positioning of teams with enough talent to reach the state tournament.  Centauri and Alamosa square off for second place behind Pagosa Springs in the Intermountain while winners of Platte Valley-Estes Park and Eaton-Brush remain one game back of University in the rugged Patriot.

Both Centauri and Alamosa are 3-1 in league play with a loss to Pagosa Springs.  The Falcons lost on the road 49-35 but responded with wins over Bayfield and Cortez.  Alamosa has not stepped on the court since suffering a home loss to the Pirates 35-24.  Neither team shot well in their setbacks; Centauri connected on 28 percent of their shots and Alamosa just 20 percent.  The Moose also missed all 10 three-point attempts including a tough 0-6 night for Emily Lavier.  Lavier leads Alamosa with 42 three-pointers including 18 in the three previous league games before the Pagosa loss.

The winner is alone in second through the first half of the IML schedule.  And if Centauri wins, they remain in good shape to win at least a piece of the league crown.  They host both Pagosa Springs (Feb 7th) and Alamosa (15th) in the rematches.

University (5-0) remained alone atop the Patriot with their 56-37 win over Frontier Academy on Tuesday.  They’re expected to stay in that spot by beating Liberty Common on Friday.  Liberty Common was part of a five-way tie for second place but fell two games with a 45-30 loss to Platte Valley on Tuesday.

That win kept Platte Valley in a second place tie with Estes Park, Eaton and Brush.  All four have one league loss.  And as listed above, those four collide on Friday with winners staying in the league championship picture.

Eaton used 17 points from Nakaiya Kuskie to power past Valley 52-33 this week.  She netted five more three-pointers in the win; giving her 46 for the season.  25 of those have come in the five league contests.  Ahana Leffler had 11 points and five steals while Addie Randel chipped in 10 points and three steals.

While those performances are solid, they pale a bit in comparison to Kenzie Kraich in leading Brush past Resurrection Christian in overtime (66-63).  She recorded a very rare triple-double in the Tuesday win; finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.  There was plenty of help in the lineup as Dalayna Tadolini scored 20 and Brooke Rule 15.  The ‘Diggers rallied from eight down at halftime (33-25) to gain the victory.

Brooke Bunting (13) and Cora Schissler (10) combined for 23 points in Platte Valley’s win over Liberty Common.  Their focus against Estes Park though will be defense as the Broncos look to slow down Olivia Hamel.  Most league teams have been able to do that.  Hamel averages 11 points a game but has totaled just 20 in four league games thus far.  She still remains a force on the boards; pulling down 53 in conference play and pushing her season average to 15 per game.

Delta (3-0) and Cedaredge (1-0) top the Western Slope by one game over Moffat County, Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge.  None of those five meet head-to-head this week so there’s a good chance the standings will remain intact.

Long term, Delta is in good position.  They’ve already beaten Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge and have a non-conference win over Cedaredge.  The rematch with the Bruins is set for next week and they then meet Moffat County three days later.  Both games are in Delta.

In the Tri Peaks, St Mary’s (4-0) and Manitou Springs (3-0) sit in first with Vanguard (5-1) one game game.  Like the Western Slope, none of those three meet this weekend so we expect the order to stay the same.  St Mary’s already has a win over Vanguard (82-39) and will visit Manitou Springs next week (4th).  Vanguard and Manitou Springs meet on February 18th.

All three teams are busy this week.  St Mary’s hosts Salida on Wednesday and Colorado Springs Christian on Saturday.  In between is a road game at Ellicott on Friday.  Manitou Springs meets Trinidad on Thursday and then goes to Lamar on Saturday.  Vanguard has one league game at Florence on Friday and then has an interesting non-league date with Platte Valley on Saturday.  The Coursers enter that game #2 in RPI with Platte Valley at #11.

Heading into games on Wednesday, Eagle Ridge Academy (1-0) and Lotus School (2-0) share the Confluence lead.  Lotus (9-2) has the best record overall but drops into the 2A division for the post-season where they will be paired with Limon and Denver Christian in districts.  Eagle Ridge will most likely battle with Riverdale Ridge for the district title.  The Ravens (9-3) are battling with Skyview and Weld Central for the 4A Colorado 8 crown but they’re #19 in 3A RPI.  Eagle Ridge Academy is #33.

Riverdale Ridge beat Fort Lupton (59-17) on Tuesday for their only game of the week.  They suffered a key league loss to Weld Central (47-46) last week and will challenge Skyview late next week.  Sienna Mullen (12.6) is the leading scorer while Carly Villegas provides 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds a game.

Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer is the founder and owner of the Colorado Preps Network which debuted in the summer of 2003. Kevin and his wife Lanette reside in Fort Morgan and are the proud parents of Lexi and Tyler.

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