Centaurus has enjoyed a number of big victories this season, but with the Class 4A Northern League lead at stake, an overtime thriller last Tuesday may have been the team’s biggest to date.
The Warriors extended their winning streak to six games with a 52-48 OT victory over Greeley Central, despite shooting only 38 percent from the field. Centaurus (15-3, 8-1) received a combined 31 points from Morgan Negrey and Helen Glover, and Brooke Calvo added six rebounds and five assists.
The victory gave Centaurus a half-game lead — and the season sweep — on Greeley Central (15-4, 8-2) with five games remaining. The team draws last-place Northridge on Tuesday before a big clash with third-place Mountain View on Thursday.
Valor Christian all but ended Golden’s chances at the Jeffco crown with a 43-42 victory last Friday, sweeping the regular-season series from the Demons. Junior Sara Nealy led the Eagles with 13 points, and Valor limited Golden to just a 34-percent shooting effort from the floor. The came off the heels of a 16-point victory over Green Mountain where Madison Altman and Abby Wright combined for 33 points.
Mesa Ridge all but locked up the Colorado Springs Metro title after victories over The Classical Academy (64-43) and Widefield (68-41) last week. The Grizzlies (15-2, 11-0) have won 13 in a row and have a two-game edge on the Gladiators, whom they have already swept. Angelina Jackson and Ashley Bowen each scored 16 points against TCA, and sophomore Serin Dunne went for 18 against Widefield.
Holy Family ran its winning streak to 10 games after defeating Frederick by 17 points and edging Berthoud 52-50 last week. The Tigers had a combined 41 points from Izzy Hren and Amanda Ward against Frederick, and Kaitlyn McKenzie was a flawless 10-for-10 from the free-throw line on her way to a season-high 14 points against Berthoud.
Windsor, which faces the Tigers this Tuesday for the league crown, swept past Roosevelt, Skyline and Poudre last week. Junior Hollie Hoffman notched a season-high 31 points against Roosevelt and added 12 and 18 points in the other two victories.
Rifle (16-1, 7-0 in Western Slope League) has won 13 in a row after upending Palisade and Grand Valley. The Bears have three league games this week and two more next week as they close in on the league crown.
Air Academy upped its winning streak to 15 games with triumphs over Sand Creek and Palmer Ridge. The Kadets (18-1, 10-0) have only four games remaining and a two-game lead in the Pikes Peak League.
Another hot stretch belongs to Pueblo West (18-1, 6-0), which has won nine in a row and can lock up the South Central title with victories over Pueblo Centennial and Pueblo South this week. The Cyclones added three more wins last week thanks to a combined 54 points from Hannah Simental in league victories over Pueblo Central and Pueblo County.
That brings us to this week, where a handful of potential league-deciding contests will take place. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, here is a look at the upcoming week’s games to watch:
For a Windsor team that has only one loss in its previous 12 games, this is the biggest week of the regular season. The Wizards (15-4, 9-1 in Northern League) host league-leading Holy Family (17-2, 10-0) on Tuesday night, and travel to Mead (14-4, 8-2) on Friday.
Windsor’s only loss since late December came Jan. 12 at Holy Family. The team fell behind by 10 at halftime, and the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 59-44 victory. Junior Ally Kennis scored 22 of Windsor’s points in that game, while the rest of the squad shot just 17 percent. Izzy Hren had one of her best games of the season, going for 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and five steals.
Holy Family will all but sew up the league crown with a victory. Mead, which has won four in a row, should provide another challenge for the Wizards as well. Anna Maher is averaging 13.1 points for the Mavericks, and Anna Veltien adds nearly 11 a game.
The last time Valor Christian and D’Evelyn met, the Jaguars posted a 59-52 victory. It’s a safe bet that the Eagles (15-4, 8-2 in Jeffco) will be looking for a bit of revenge when the two teams play Wednesday in Highlands Ranch.
Valor is coming off a huge one-point win at Golden last Friday, and needs to stave off D’Evelyn (13-6, 6-4) to remain close to league-leading Evergreen. The Eagles visit Evergreen on Feb. 13.
D’Evelyn’s leading scorer, Angi Reed, scored 20 points in the first meeting with Valor in January. Bailey Marvel managed just six points, but both players average just below 12 points a night.
Centaurus can take another step toward the Northern League title if it gets past Mountain View on Thursday night.
The Warriors (15-3, 8-1) still have five league games remaining, starting with Northridge on Tuesday. Centaurus upended the Mountain Lions by 12 points back on Jan. 16 in Loveland, with Negrey leading the way with 15.
Mountain View (11-8, 7-3) was just 12-of-51 shooting that night, with Raleigh Basart and Laura Lenhart combining for 21 points. The team has won three in a row going into Tuesday night’s game against Niwot.
Lewis-Palmer, which trails Pikes Peak-leading Air Academy by two games in the league standings, needs a big bounce-back week this week. The Rangers (14-5, 8-2) are coming off a loss to Falcon last Friday, and the team has a big game at home against Discovery Canyon (11-7, 5-5) on Thursday before next week’s meeting with the Kadets.
The Rangers edged Discovery Canyon by five points the first time through league play thanks to 18 points from Kaity Hovasse. Lewis-Palmer has dropped three of its last six games though, which is why some momentum would be welcome.
The Thunder played well in a loss to Air Academy on Jan. 26, falling by only six points. Junior Ashten Prechtel averages 17.2 points and 13.6 rebounds.
Sierra and The Classical Academy are still trying to play catch-up to Widefield for second place in the Colorado Springs Metro. Those two teams meet Friday night.
Sierra (13-7, 9-4) has won four in a row after Monday night’s victory over Canon City. The Stallions fell by four points to TCA in the teams’ first meeting, which started a three-game skid for Sierra. The team was just 2-of-13 from 3-point range in that meeting.
The Titans (15-5, 9-4) have three players who average in double figures in points, led by senior Raegan Bervig at 13.3 points.
After a tight first quarter, Pueblo West pulled away from rival Pueblo South when the two teams met for the first time back on Jan. 23. Friday night’s contest at the Southwest Motors Events Center will be for the South Central League crown.
Olivia Lough had 20 points and eight rebounds in that first game as West (18-1, 6-0) won 68-51. Lough and Simental have been a potent 1-2 punch for the Cyclones.
South (11-8, 5-1) has won eight of its past nine games, the only loss coming to Pueblo West. Junior Gabi Lucero is averaging 16.2 points and 10.7 rebounds.
Fruita Monument looks to lock up the Southwestern League title Friday night when it travels south to Durango.
The Wildcats (18-2, 5-0) are coming off a trip to the Front Range, where the team fell by two points to Ralston Valley before defeating Dakota Ridge in overtime. Fruita Monument has had its way with league opponents, including a 57-21 victory over the Demons earlier this season.
Durango (8-10, 4-1) had won four in a row since that game headed into a non-league contest Tuesday against Ignacio. Putting points on the board has been a struggle at times, as Durango averages only 33 points a game.