Monday we announced our coaches of the year in girls’ basketball and today we focus on the boys’ basketball season with our top coaches in each of the five classifications. Several coaches were considered but we narrowed it down to these five selections.
CLASS 1A: Robert Koets – Creede
Once a regular visitor to the 1A state tournament, the Miners had fallen on hard times of late recording just five wins in the 2014-15 campaign. But they rebounded this year winning 18 games to reach the state tournament and once there almost returned home to the San Luis Valley with some hardware. They knocked off Front Range Baptist 51-41 in the consolation semifinals and then fell short against Longmont Christian 52-47 in the consolation championship.
CLASS 2A: Rhett Larsen — Sanford
Coming off three consecutive state championships, this might be a surprise pick but after heavy graduation losses, the Indians improved each week and made another visit to the state tournament; something even the most ardent Sanford fan thought may have been out of reach this year. The Indians opened the season by beating Swallows Charter to set a new all-time record for consecutive wins but ended December just 3-3. They stunned Del Norte in the district finals and then downed Norwood in the regional finals to earn a spot in the state tournament where they almost upset top ranked Sedgwick County in the quarterfinals (40-38). Larsen won a tight battle over Efren Perez of Highland and Mark Lowther of Fowler. Highland won 25 games and finished third at the state tournament while Fowler made the state tournament for the first time in 17 years.
CLASS 3A: Danny Martinez – Basalt
From 2011 through 2015, the Longhorns won just 20 games but surpassed that total in the 2016-17 season by grabbing 21 wins against just four losses. They also reached the state tournament for the first time since 1989 and nearly upset top seeded Kent Denver in the quarterfinals. Martinez and the Longhorns actually led by ten points going to the fourth quarter but let the lead slip away late. The loss though did not dampen their best season in almost three decades.
CLASS 4A: Terry Anderson – Northridge
Last year the Grizzlies finished below five hundred (10-13) but this season upped the win total to 21. Similar results were found in conference play as the Grizzlies captured just five wins there a year ago but in 2016-17 ran the table (14-0) to win the title by a whopping three games over second place Silver Creek. Northridge also qualified for the 4A state tournament for the first time in three years beating Mountain View in their first game before falling to Mead (63-61) in the Sweet 16.
CLASS 5A: Monty Alcaraz — Fort Collins
22 wins overall, a conference championship and a trip to the Great 8 for the first time since 1988 gives the award to Alcaraz and the Fort Collins Lambkins. Their best season in many years ended with a hard fought 65-62 loss to George Washington in the state quarterfinals. Before that loss, the Lambkins had won 16 straight games including 12 straight to win the Front Range league championship.