There are haves and there are have-nots.
At the moment, the haves are winning in Class 5A girls basketball. Entering the week, there were 13 teams that had already reached double figures in victories. In addition, five others had won nine times.
It’s not unusual. Ever since sanctioning in the 1970s, in-state girls teams have been top-heavy with talent; specialization and club play have only added to it.
It’s also why blowouts continue to dot weekly score lists.
Concerning competitiveness, the Continental League, which has dominated large-class play this century, should afford a couple of must-see games in the southern portion of the metropolitan area. On Tuesday, Castle View (12-2) will be at Mountain Vista (11-3), a matchup in Highlands Ranch that figures pack the house and bring the spotlight to a couple of programs that are earning it.
The visiting SaberCats, who have yet to lose an in-state game, have won three in a row and are 1-0 in league. Junior India Cole (12.9 points) and senior McKay Vansickle (10.4) have been leading the way. The Golden Eagles, who dropped their Continental opener last week to Chaparral – each of their setbacks have been by double figures – are topped by Dani Mills’ 11.0 scoring average.
Tuesday’s Chaparral (10-4) at Ponderosa (7-5) also will command attention. The Wolverines and junior Sydney Speights (13.2 points, 6.7 rebounds) are positioning themselves for what they hope to be a serious run.
The above will lead to further Continental doings and just as important, if not more so – on Thursday, watch for Castle View at Chaparral.
The western slope’s Fruita Monument (12-1), which has lost only to Castle View and lost two games late last week because of traveling problems during inclement weather, will meet 4A Montrose in the Southwestern on Tuesday. The Wildcats have won 10 games in succession, but haven’t played in a week.
Large Jefferson County action will be Wednesday, when Dakota Ridge (9-3) will head to Ralston Valley (10-1). They are tied for the loop lead at 3-0. The Eagles have won four games in a row after falling three times in succession to Grandview, Arapahoe and Castle View. Mallory Magana’s 10.1 points pace Dakota Ridge. Ralston Valley, which has won its past 10 game after dropping its opener to defending 5A state champion Grandview, has given up more than 46 points only twice. Senior Delaynie Byrne heads the Mustangs with averages of 20.6 points and 7.6 rebounds.
On to Friday, when interesting Front Range play will occupy center stage with four of the top five teams facing each other.
Fossil Ridge (10-3, 3-0) at Horizon (12-1, 3-0) oozes with ramifications and talent. The SaberCats’ Ashley Steffeck, a junior averaging 12.6 points, and Katy Guzman, a senior (11.2), will meet the Hawks’ Alyssa Jimenez (17.6), Samantha Deem (14.8 points, 8.7 rebounds) and Izzy Allen (13.8 points).
Broomfield, just 6-7 overall, but 3-0 in league, at Fairview (8-5, 2-1) is also a Boulder County game, so added importance can only be good. The visiting Eagles, who lost to Highlands Ranch by 49 points and will take on Erie before meeting the Knights, have been up and down, but remain capable. Junior Steph Peterson is getting 16.4 of Broomfield’s 48.5 points per game. As usual, Ashley Panem (16.9 points) and Denali Pinto (16.2) head Fairview.
The Centennial lead will be on the line on Saturday, when Cherry Creek visits Grandview. Both teams are 9-3, 4-0. It will be the Bruins’ Big Three of Jana Van Gytenbeek, Emma Wrede and Jaela Richardson against the Wolves’ Leilah Vigil and Alisha Davis.
As for the Denver Prep, Thomas Jefferson (12-1) at Denver East (8-4) will be city openers for both.>