Exciting games and surprising results filled up the first six days of the boys’ basketball season. We’ve sorted through the results for Classes 1A-2A-3A and come up with nine teams we fell had the most impressive performances.
1A-DeBeque: Ranked #1 in the division to start the season, the Dragons are one of two defending state champions on our list that withstood a strong challenge in week one. The Dragons outlasted Briggsdale 82-74 in overtime to win the Idalia Invitational championship. Playing without standout junior Brennan Rigsby this season, the Dragons still indicated they are a serious threat for another championship by getting the win. Jaden Jordan scored a career best 31 points in the championship win while returning Player of the Year Wes Ryan dropped in 56 points in the two tournament wins; 28 in each.
1A-Briggsdale: It’s not often we list both teams from the same game, but that’s the case this week as the Falcons also served notice they will be one of the top teams in the division. Wyatt Patton totaled 33 points and 14 rebounds in the championship game while Ty Dill provided 19 and 13. Briggsdale also beat Twin Peaks Charter in the opening round.
2A-Ignacio: It’s about 375 miles between Ignacio and Limon and the Bobcats enjoyed every single one of their return trip after beating the host Badgers in their own tournament. After experiencing a well below average 10 win season and stumbling down the stretch last season, the victory should give the Bobcats a high level of confidence the rest of the season. They also scored a solid win over Colorado Springs School the night before. Ignacio now opens league play at Dolores later this week.
2A-Yuma: Like DeBeque, the defending champions in this division also survived for a quality win over a ranked opponent as they held off Wray 49-40 last Saturday. Yuma began the campaign ranked #1 with their in-county rivals sitting at #9. The Indians led by just two going to the fourth but outscored the visitors 18-11 in the final eight minutes. Yuma next takes part in the Topside Classic in Goodland KS which opens on Thursday.
2A-Highland: After winning 25 games and reaching the state championship game last year, it doesn’t appear the Huskies are going to miss a beat this season. They’re already 3-0 and scored a total of 179 points in two games while winning their own Canine Classic on Friday-Saturday. They totaled 86 in beating Liberty Common and added 93 in a championship win over Dawson.
3A-Resurrection Christian: We spent most of Saturday announcing the 3A football championship game, but most of the talk with media members in Pueblo before the game and at halftime centered on the Cougars basketball team and their 87-41 blowout win of 4A power Pueblo West. Overall, the Cougars won three games against 4A schools by a combined a 132 points with each win coming by at least 40 points. And even though #1 Lutheran was very impressive in picking two up victories at the Roaring Fork tournament, the Cougars should get some strong consideration for top billing when new rankings are released on Monday.
3A-Faith Christian: Ranked fifth in Class 3A to start the season, the Eagles opened a new era in impressive fashion by downing #2 Vanguard on Saturday. It was the championship game of the Faith Christian tournament and marked win number two for first-year coach Abram Ziemer. Win number one for Andrew Hasz’s successor came two days earlier against Manitou Springs. The Eagles now prep for a trip to the Glenwood Springs tournament where they meet Alamosa in game one.
3A-St Mary’s: The Pirates received just three votes in pre-season polling but we believe they will challenge Vanguard and others for the Tri Peaks championship this year. They topped Skyview Academy by 42 points in their opener and then toppled Pinnacle by 50 and Kent Denver by 24 to win the Herman Schayes Tournament. Sophomore Sam Howery averaged 21 points and junior Luke Stockleman 19.7 in those three wins.
3A-University: A 61-54 overtime victory against a solid Gunnison ballclub gave the Bulldogs a perfect 3-0 run through the Northern Colorado Classic. They also beat Academy and 4A Fort Morgan earlier in the bracket. Tayt Chacon scored 21 points in the Gunnison win while Jaden Humphrey added 11 and Ben Smith 10. Chacon also led the way with a tournament high 29 on Thursday against Academy.