With the first week of league play in the books, it’s already starting to be clear in some instances what teams are putting themselves in position to make a run at a league championship.
The Class 4A Tri-Valley League is showcasing that two games into the league campaign. The three teams in the Tri-Valley with at least eight victories overall (Berthoud, Holy Family and Mead) are each 2-0 in league play headed into this week. Windsor is 1-0 in league play and tied with Frederick at six victories overall.
Some of that is about to change. Holy Family clashes with undefeated Berthoud and Windsor this week, while Mead draws those three teams in a three-game stretch the following eight days.
Looking back at the week that was, Berthoud (11-0) and Golden (10-0) are the only undefeated teams remaining in 4A after Pueblo West fell to Fruita Monument in the Rampart Holiday Classic in Colorado Springs. Spartans junior Sydney Meis helped guide Berthoud to back-to-back wins to start 2018, scoring 27 points against Erie while Emily Cavey added 20 points, 15 rebounds and seven steals.
Golden rolled past D’Evelyn and Wheat Ridge behind double-doubles from Abby Garnett and Makena Prey against the Jaguars, and a 27-point, 11-round performance from Prey against the Farmers.
Pueblo West defeated 5A Rampart and 3A Colorado Springs Christian in the Rampart tournament. Air Academy and Evergreen each pushed its record to 9-1 overall with two victories last week, and Valor Christian freshman Kindyll Wetta continues to drive the Eagles headed into their showdown with Golden on Wednesday.
With that in mind, here is a glance at a handful of games to watch headed into action Tuesday evening:
Widefield was a .500 team a year ago and made the field as the No. 43 seed, but the Gladiators have jumped out to a 7-2 start with a pair of Colorado Springs Metro League victories. Widefield visits Mesa Ridge at 6 p .m. on Tuesday to face a Grizzlies team that has won three in a row and is 5-2 overall.
Widefield doubled up Pueblo East 46-23 and just edged Sierra 46-45 last week. Shynesti Johnson had 15 points, 13 rebounds and six steals against East, and went for 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven steals against Sierra.
Mesa Ridge opened the New Year with a 54-43 victory over The Classical Academy behind 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists from Chloe Welch. Sophomore Serin Dunne added 14 points. The game against Widefield is one of three this week for Mesa Ridge.
One of two candidates for 4A Game of the Week also comes Tuesday when undefeated Berthoud visits Holy Family in Tri-Valley play.
Berthoud was only 14-11 last year, but is closing in on matching that victory total in the first two weeks of January. Cavey continues to lead the team at 19.4 points, but Meis has proven that she can shoulder the load as well.
Holy Family jumped back onto the winning track with a pair of big victories last week, scoring 62 and 63 points, respectively. Izzy Hren continues to impress in multiple areas, scoring 13 points to go with 12 rebounds, seven assists and five steals against Skyline. She was even more effective against Frederick with 22 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Windsor, a state semifinalist last March, will be a tough follow-up act for Holy Family. The Wizards tallied a season-high 71 points against Frederick, with four players scoring in double figures. Chaynee Kingsbury led the group with 15 points.
Somewhat lost in the shuffle at times on the Western Slope is Rifle (7-1, 1-0), which made the quarterfinals as a No. 13 seed last season. The Bears have won four in a row headed into Tuesday’s home contest with Glenwood Springs (5-5, 0-1).
Rifle, which also visits Eagle Valley and Montrose this week, handled Palisade 36-21 in the league opener. Elly Walters scored 11 points and had seven of the team’s 11 steals. Tatum Peterson leads Glenwood with averages of 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds.
The other 4A Game of the Week option comes from Jeffco on Wednesday, with Golden (10-0, 2-0) visiting Valor Christian (9-2, 2-0).
While the Eagles have to contend with Prey and Garnett inside, Golden must find an answer for Valor’s freshmen. Wetta scored 16 points and fellow freshman Jenna Siebert had a season-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a rout of Littleton, and senior Stephanie Coors also added 13 points. Wetta has four games with seven steals this season, including two last week.
Both teams still have to play defending state champion Evergreen this month as well. The Demons face Standley Lake (9-2, 1-1) on Friday.
The mix at the top of the 5A/4A Pikes Peak League should start to break up a little more this week as well. Palmer Ridge (8-3, 1-1) has a pair tough challenges going to Air Academy (9-1, 2-0) on Wednesday and hosting Discovery Canyon (7-3, 1-1) on Friday.
Palmer Ridge has struggled to get its offense going at times this season. In a victory over Falcon last week, the Bears scored only 23 points through the first three quarters before breaking through with 20 in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for Palmer Ridge, it limited the Falcons to only six points combined in the second and third quarters. Eden Bonser led the way with 14 points, Megan Siskind added 12 points and had eight steals, and Madison Durand grabbed 15 rebounds.
The offensive game will need to be much better against Air Academy, which handled Discovery Canyon and Sand Creek last week. Senior Katlyn Blacksten had 15 points against DC, and Kylee Blacksten scored 11 against Sand Creek. Air Academy also draws Vista Ridge (6-4, 1-1) on Friday. The Wolves split their two league games last week, defeating Falcon and falling to Lewis-Palmer.
Ashen Prechtel helped Discovery Canyon bounce back from the loss to the Kadets with 19 points and 17 rebounds in a 46-40 victory over Cheyenne Mountain. Prechtel has at least 11 rebounds in eight of 10 games this season.