The high school boys basketball season in Classes 3A-1A continues to move full speed ahead. There are numerous standout performers on the hardcourt, and we recognize one again this week as well as provide a snapshot of some games to watch in the state.

Player Prop

Gunner Hughes. Crowley County: The 6-foot-4, 178-pound junior is averaging 22.8 ppg, 9.0 and 4.5 assists. His game has ascended each year in his prep career as he averaged 12.8 ppg as a freshman and 17.1 ppg a year ago. Last week, he was in top form for the Chargers pouring in 30 and 28 points, respectively in wins over Hoehne (66-36, Jan. 19) and Holly (68-67, Jan. 20) to help Crowley improve to 13-0 on the season. The Chargers, who are ranked No. 3 in the latest Colorado Preps 2A poll, will try and remain perfect when they play home games against Fowler at 4:30 p.m., Friday, followed by a big rematch at 2 p.m., Saturday against Holly. If history is any indication, expect Hughes to shine again.

Games to Watch

Class 3A

Rye (8-3) at The Vanguard School (10-1), 3 p.m. Saturday: Vanguard has been stout all season and is ranked No. 3 in Class 3A Colorado Preps poll. The talented squad is coming off a 63-30 trouncing of Manitou Springs and Vanguard is paced by high-scoring Cameron Rowney. He must be in top form again as Vanguard tries to hold off a pesky Rye team. The Thunderbolts are coming off a hard-fought win over Buena Vista (69-59). They will try to get by Colorado Springs Christian (2-7) Thursday night setting up the battle with Vanguard on Saturday. The Thunderbolts are paced by Brandon Benz (12.5 ppg).

Class 2A

Merino (10-1) at Limon (9-3), 6 p.m. Saturday: Merino has been near the top of the 2A rankings all season and the talented Rams are No. 2 in the latest Colorado Preps poll. Assuming the Rams get past Fleming (3-7) at 4 p.m. Friday it will set up a clash with No. 8-ranked Limon. Merino’s only loss this season was 55-47 to No. 1 ranked Simla on Dec. 9. Limon is a powerhouse sports program winning countless state championships. On the hardcourt two of the three Badgers’ defeats are to Simla 54-41 (Dec. 2) and 56-41 (Jan. 23). Limon is led by senior Jordan Rockwell, who is scoring 20 ppg.

Class 1A

Denver Jewish Day (8-1) at Flatirons Academy (7-4), 8 p.m. Thursday: Denver Jewish is trying to keep climbing up the Class 1A rankings and DJD is No. 7 in the latest Colorado Preps poll. The Tigers only loss this season came to SkyView Academy (59-39, Jan. 10). Keenan Winnerman (18.9 ppg) is setting the pace for DJD. Flatirons Academy, ranked No. 9, has got its season headed in the right direction as it is on a four-game winning streak. If the Bison can keep its momentum going it is going to take big games from Pistol Chavez (22.1 ppg) and Jude Meyer (12.1 ppg).