Entering the final week of the regular season, all 5A boys’ basketball conference races remain undecided. Many clubs can wrap up titles with wins early in the week while others may have to wait until the weekend before raising the trophy. Colorado Preps breaks down each conference race and lists the top games remaining. We also use RPI from Monday February 17th to list current state tournament qualifiers. League champions earn automatic bids and the rest of the 48-team field is determined by RPI standings at the end of the regular season.
Photo is provided by Lance Wendt.
Cherry Creek (11-1) leads Grandview (10-2) by one game and Smoky Hill (9-3) by two. The Bruins face both teams on the road this week so their work in landing the league championship is far from done. They go to Grandview on Wednesday and then Smoky Hill on Friday. Grandview has a second game with Mullen on Friday while Smoky Hill gets a tough contest at Eaglecrest on Wednesday before challenging the first-place Bruins. There are several scenarios but Cherry Creek could end them all on Wednesday as they clinch by beating Grandview.
- State Qualifiers (6): Grandview #3, Smoky Hill #7, Cherry Creek #9, Eaglecrest #11, Overland #22, Arapahoe #29
The race most likely comes down to the Monday battle of league unbeatens Fairview (9-0) and Boulder (10-0). Boulder can clinch the title with a win as they have just one game remaining after Monday. Fairview cannot clinch with a win unless third place Broomfield (7-2) falls at Poudre on Tuesday or Monarch on Thursday. Fairview and Broomfield collide on Friday and the Knights must also tangle with a very good Fossil Ridge club (7-3) that shares fourth place with Horizon (7-3). Fairview and Fossil meet on Tuesday.
- State Qualifiers (10): Fairview #4, Boulder #5, Horizon #14, Broomfield #18, Fossil Ridge #24, Mountain Range #28, Rocky Mountain #36, Fort Collins #37, Monarch #39, Legacy #47
It’s been a good race and entering the final week Valor Christian (6-1), Columbine (5-1) and Ralston Valley (5-1) sit tied for the conference lead with Dakota Ridge and Arvada West (both 4-2) a game back. None of the three league leaders square off this week so they may end up sharing the championship. Valor has just one game remaining as they meet Chatfield on Wednesday. Columbine meets Arvada West on Wednesday and Chatfield on Friday. Ralston Valley may have the most difficult closing stretch as they face both fourth-place clubs with Dakota Ridge up on Wednesday and Arvada West on Friday. Concerning tiebreakers, Valor Christian beat Columbine but lost to Ralston Valley in league play and Columbine also beat Ralston Valley.
- State Qualifiers (7): Ralston Valley #2, Columbine #6, Valor Christian #8, Arvada West #35, Lakewood #38, Dakota Ridge #40, Pomona #43
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Pine Creek (9-1) leads Doherty (7-3) by two games and can secure the league title by beating either Palmer on Tuesday or Coronado on Friday. Doherty has a one game edge on Fountain Fort Carson for second but they split with the Trojans, the Spartans must beat Liberty on Thursday to win the spot outright.
- State Qualifiers (6): Pine Creek #12, Doherty #27, Fountain Fort Carson #31, Rampart #41, Palmer #46, Liberty #48
Chaparral (7-1) gained sole possession of the league lead by beating ThunderRidge (6-2) last Friday. With the loss, the Grizzlies dropped into a second place tie with Mountain Vista (6-2). Regis, Rock Canyon and Legend (all 5-3) continue to battle for fourth. With several games among the top five clubs this week, there are several possible scenarios for the final order. Chaparral is the champion if they win their final two games with Heritage on Legend on Tuesday and Friday. ThunderRidge goes to Legend on Tuesday and then has a big game at Mountain Vista on Friday that could determine second. Mountain Vista also plays Rock Canyon on Tuesday.
- State Qualifiers (10): Chaparral #10, Legend #16, Mountain Vista #18, Douglas County #23, ThunderRidge #25, Rock Canyon #26, Highlands Ranch #30, Regis #32, Heritage #42, Castle View #45
Denver East (7-0) and 4A Northfield (8-0) are co-leaders with George Washington (6-1) one game back in third. Denver East has games remaining with both so they have a tough schedule but control their own championship hopes first. First up is a road game to Northfield on Tuesday with a game against George Washington in the Thunderdome as the traditional season finale. Northfield has already beaten George Washington. Far Northeast (2-5) is the next 5A team in the standings but they are two back of Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson (both 4-3) who share fourth.
- State Qualifiers (2): Denver East #13, George Washington #21
Defending state champion Rangeview (8-0) leads Vista Peak and Gateway (both 6-1) by one game with Aurora Central (6-2) and Hinkley (5-2) sharing fourth. Rangeview has not clinched since they have a game with Gateway set for Saturday. They also host Northglenn on Tuesday and will clinch at least a share of the title with a win there. Gateway lost to Vista Peak so they must upset Rangeview to have a chance at the championship. They also face Brighton and Aurora Central before focusing on the Raiders. Vista Peak also has three games left but will be favored against Thornton (Tuesday), Hinkley (Wednesday) and Westminster (Thursday)
- State Qualifiers (5): Rangeview #1, Vista Peak #15, Aurora Central #33, Hinkley #34, Brighton #44
Fruita Monument (7-0) leads 4A Montrose (5-1) by one game in the Southwestern chase and the Wildcats clinch the outright title by beating the Indians on Tuesday. Montrose also goes to Grand Junction on Friday and must win both to earn a share of the crown. Grand Junction shares third place with Grand Junction Central. Central is #52 in RPI and Grand Junction #61 so right now they’re outside the bracket.
Windsor (11-4) is tied for third with Skyline (10-4) in the 4A Tri Valley. The Wizards have just one regular season game left as they host Berthoud on Tuesday.
Vista Ridge (2-9) is seventh in the 4A Pikes Peak conference and has just four wins on the season. They will likely not qualify for the 5A post-season.
- State Qualifiers (2): Fruita Monument #17, Windsor #19