Oh, that Colorado scheduling … with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the theme of this week is, well, nonleague.
Yes, nonleague. With assorted league titles in the balance across Class 5A, some of the big-school heavyweights will see nonleague foes over the next few days.
And it figures to be good viewing, almost as if the first few games listed below are matchups reasonably deep into a state-playoff bracket.
For example,Â on Tuesday, Front Range League-leading Horizon (18-1) will be at Centennial League-leading Grandview (15-3). Hey, they both needed games. The visiting Hawks will head into Aurora featuring Alyssa Jimenez (16.9 points), Izzy Allen (14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds) and Samantha Deem (13.9 points, 9.2 rebounds)Â Â and will take on the Wolves’ Leilah Vigil (14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Alisha Davis (12.4 points, 9.5 rebounds). Grandview, by the way, has lost all of game against Colorado competition since the start of the 2016-17 season.
The Colorado Springs Metro’s leader, Doherty (16-3), will be at a Denver Prep co-leader,Â Denver East (14-4), alsoÂ on Tuesday. The Spartans and Brionna McBride (14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds) have won 12 games in a row; R’Manie Pulling (16.3 points) and the Angels are on a six-game roll.
Ralston Valley (16-2), a game back in the victory column of Lakewood (please check the next paragraph) in Jefferson County, will be at the Centennial’s Cherry Creek (14-4) in Greenwood Village. Delaynie Byrne (20.6 points, 7.7 rebounds) remains the lead Mustang. For the Bruins, who looked sharp the pastÂ FridayÂ in easily running ast Mullen, sophomore and Stanford commit Jana Van Gytenbeek (16.8 points, 8.1 assists) remains a handful to guard.
And Lakewood (16-3), which beat Ralston Valley 50-44 on Jan. 26 and has won nine games in succession, will be at 4A power Mesa Ridge (16-2)Â on Saturday. In fact, these two programs could bump into each other in March, when the 5A and 4A finals fours will be at the Denver Coliseum. As usual, the visiting Tigers will follow Camilla Emsbo (17.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 blocks). Mesa Ridge, also in command of the 4A version of the C.S. Metro, is headed by Chloe Welch (15.9 points, 8.6 rebounds) and Ashley Bowen (11.8 points, 10.1 rebounds).
Fret not, there will be ample accompanying league action.
For instance, the always powerful Continental will have twoÂ on Tuesday. Aurora’s Regis Jesuit (16-3, 6-0) and well-known junior Fran Belibi (13.0 points, 8.6 points) will be at Highlands Ranch’s Mountain Vista (15-4, 4-2) and Dani Mills (12.4 points).Â Â And Highlands Ranch (16-4, 4-1), led by Caryn Jarocki, the winningest head coach in state history with more than 600 victories, will have a short trip to meet Castle View (17-2, 6-1) and India Cole (13.5 points).
In the East Metro Athletic Conference, the top four will square just as they will in boys this week. Rangeview (9-10, 6-0), which entered the week with the lead despite its under-.500 overall mark, is led by Angel Broadus (5.9 points), and will head to Brighton (11-8, 5-1 and topped by Kaylah Lewis, 17.0 points)Â on Tuesday. And Vista PEAK Prep (13-6, 5-1), featuring Denali Hughes (19.8 points, 8.1 rebounds), has a dateÂ on FridayÂ night with Henderson’s Prairie View (10-9, 6-1).
The afore-mentioned Horizon also will have a biggie in the Front Range at Fort Collins (16-2, 6-2)Â on FridayÂ night.
And Denver East will face off against Denver South (12-8, 5-0) at the Thunderdome, the city’s headquarters for big prep games, in aÂ SaturdayÂ afternoon matchup.