It’s a very good final week for 5A girls’ basketball and several highly anticipated matchups will determine league championships. Highlands Ranch and Regis meet for the Continental crown, Cherry Creek tries to beat Grandview to share the Centennial title, Fruita Monument can win the SWL championship by beating Montrose a second time and then Denver East continue their great rivalry to help decide the top spot in the DPL.
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.
It’s no surprise that the race will be settled when Grandview (12-0) and Cherry Creek (11-1) meet for a second time this Wednesday. Grandview won the first matchup so they have a one game edge and they win the championship outright if they sweep the season series. Cherry Creek of course creates a tie for the top spot if they avenge the earlier loss. Both teams have a second game on the week but neither has been pushed by another league opponent. Grandview hosts Mullen on Friday and Cherry Creek takes on Smoky Hill. The Bruins also have a nice non-league test with Ralston Valley on Saturday. Mullen is third but will drop into 4A for the post-season where they look to defend their state title from a year ago. Arapahoe (6-6) and Cherokee Trail (5-7) are fourth and fifth. They meet again on Wednesday. Arapahoe won the first game 66-57.
- State Qualifiers (5): Cherry Creek #2, Grandview #3, Cherokee Trail #13, Arapahoe #21, Eaglecrest #32,
Fossil Ridge took a major step to winning the championship by beating Broomfield last Friday. That win left the Sabercats at 10-0 with a one game edge on the Eagles 9-1). Fairview (8-2) is in third with a two game edge on Horizon (6-4). Fossil Ridge goes to Fairview on Tuesday and can clinch the title with a win. If they Sabercats come up short they can still win the title by beating Rocky Mountain on the road Friday. If Fossil Ridge beats Fairview then Broomfield can also land second with a win over Poudre on the same night.
- State Qualifiers (10): Fossil Ridge #8, Broomfield #16, Fairview #20, Loveland #26, Monarch #30, Mountain Range #33, Horizon ##4, Legacy #35, Greeley West #40, Rocky Mountain #43
Valor Christian (7-0) has clinched the championship as they have just one league game remaining with Chatfield on Wednesday. The Eagles lead Ralston Valley (5-1) by a game and also beat the Mustangs head-to-head. Valor Christian also challenges Fossil Ridge in a non-league game on Thursday. Ralston Valley has a game lead on both Lakewood and Chatfield plus they’ve beaten both so a win over Dakota Ridge on Wednesday secures second.
- State Qualifiers (7): Valor Christian #1, Ralston Valley #6, Lakewood #15, Chatfield #25, Columbine #29, Arvada West #31, Dakota Ridge #41
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Doherty (9-2) and Fountain Fort Carson (8-2) share the top spot and each has a one game advantage on Liberty (6-3). And even though the Lancers are a game back, they have a little control of the race as they face both Fountain Fort Carson (Tuesday) and Doherty (Thursday) this week. Wins in both create a three-way tie for the championship. If Liberty falls to either, the other two clinch the top two spots. Fountain Fort Carson and Doherty split two regular season games.
- State Qualifiers (5): Fountain Fort Carson #11, Doherty #22, Liberty #28, Pine Creek #36, Palmer #48
Highlands Ranch and Regis head into the final stretch tied for first with identical 8-0 conference marks. ThunderRidge and Mountain Vista also share third but each is two games off the pace at 6-2. All four spots will be decided by head-to-head matchups this week. The first is for the league championship when Highlands Ranch visits Regis on Tuesday. The second is Friday as Mountain Vista and ThunderRidge face off. Each of the four clubs has a second league contest scheduled this week that could also factor into the final standings; especially if one is upset.
- State Qualifiers (9): Regis #4, Highlands Ranch #5, ThunderRidge #14, Mountain Vista #17, Chaparral #19, Castle View #42, Legend #44, Rock Canyon #46, Douglas County #47
Three teams continue to share the conference lead as Denver South, Denver East and George Washington all have one loss. South has already played the other two so they are in good shape to earn a share of the championship as they will be favored against Regis (Tuesday) and Northfield (Thursday). Denver East and George Washington collide on Saturday and that winner most likely will end up tied with South in first. South owns the tiebreaker against GW as they beat the Patriots 53-52 but they would come up short to East because of a 65-48 loss. George Washington also drops into Class 4A for the post-season and will easily qualify for the bracket as will Denver West, Thomas Jefferson and Northfield.
- State Qualifiers (3): Denver East #10, Denver South #12, Far Northeast #38
Thornton (8-1), Rangeview (7-1) and Vista Peak (7-1) all share first place and since they don’t face off in the final week, the standings could remain unchanged to the end of the regular season. Thornton goes to Brighton on Wednesday and then hosts Northglenn on Friday. Rangeview meets Northglenn on Tuesday and Gateway on Friday and also gets tested with non-league opponent Fairview on Friday. Vista Peak, which blew past Rangeview 85-67 for a non-league win last Saturday, closes with Hinkley and Westminster on Wednesday and Thursday. Their game with Westminster may be the most difficult for any of the leaders this week as the Wolves are fourth at 6-2.
- State Qualifiers (5): Vista Peak #9, Rangeview #18, Thornton #24, Brighton #37, Westminster #39
Fruita Monument (6-1) is tied with Montrose (5-1) for the Southwestern lead but the tie will be broken when they meet the Indians on the road Tuesday night. Grand Junction Central (1-5) and Grand Junction (0-6) bring up the rear in the conference but the Warriors are a lock to make the state field and Grand Junction is in as of this week.
Windsor (10-5) is locked into fourth place in the 4A Tri Valley but bumps to Class 5A for the state tournament and will easily get into the field.
Vista Ridge is at the bottom of the Pikes Peak league standings and won’t get into the 5A tournament this year.
- State Qualifiers (4): Fruita Monument #7, Windsor #23, Grand Junction Central #27, Grand Junction #45