It’s still more than a stone’s throw away from the end of the regular girls basketball season, but the first Colorado Preps rankings have been revealed and several teams at the top are hoping to keep their positions through the gauntlet that is league play.

In Class 3A, Colorado Springs Christian has turned heads while Peyton still appears a serious contender. In 2A, Merino and Sedgwick County have risen from the eastern plains with some mountainous results. And in 1A, the McClave Cardinals have taken early flight to the top.

So many more teams with championship aspirations dot the rankings — and then, some who did not appear in the rankings might feel a bit slighted. Below, news and notes on how some of the top-three teams in the lower classifications have built their resumé:

Class 3A

1. Colorado Springs Christian

Leading the way — The Lions average 73 points a game, and a chunk of that has come from senior Grace Minihane, sophomore Kinley Asp and freshman Rose Ross. Abigail Perry’s 12 rebounds per game have helped provide more offense, and Asp also has 32 assists and 23 steals through five games’ worth of stats on MaxPreps.

Looking ahead — C.S. Christian has a shot to create separation in the Tri-Peaks League with games against Manitou Springs, Rye, Salida and Woodland Park over the next two weeks. None of those teams boast a winning record so far.

2. Peyton

Leading the way — The senior-heavy Panthers are playing lights-out defensively, allowing just 32 points a contest. While the veterans are providing most of the scoring, sophomore Sammie Nickell is averaging a team-best 6.7 rebounds.

Looking ahead — Peyton and McClave clash on Jan. 20 at MHS, but the Panthers still need to focus on some pretty hefty opponents beforehand — including The Vanguard School early next week.

3. St. Mary’s

Leading the way — The Pirates have three players — two of them being sophomores — who average 14 points or better. Junior Hope Chavez has contributed about 4 points per game, but her supporting numbers (7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.5 steals) are stellar, as well.

Looking ahead — St. Mary’s had a big Tuesday night matchup against Buena Vista that represents their first time back on the court for game action post-holiday. Then, it’s another long break before traveling to Manitou Springs.

Class 2A

1. Merino

Leading the way — Merino does not disclose stats during the season, but it’s safe to say all-state players Makenna Sutter and Kya Piel are making opponents pay for each and every mistake they make.

Looking ahead — The Rams have played a very tough schedule so far and have emerged unscathed. A big weekend lies ahead on the 19th and 20th with back-to-back games against Caliche and Stratton.

2. Sedgwick County

Leading the way — Sedgwick County runs a deep rotation and that has kept it fresh for the start of the season. Lainie Nein and Abigail Dille have combined for 31 points an outing, and senior Chloe Thode has led the effort on defense.

Looking ahead — The schedule is fairly light for the Cougars over the next couple of weeks, but a matchup Friday against Caliche should keep them in tune.

3. Rangely

Leading the way — In racking up eight wins to date, Annika Cantrell has posted near-double-double averages of 8.9 points and 9.1 rebounds. Miah Wren continues to have a strong junior campaign on the scoring end.

Looking ahead — Caprock Academy and Plateau Valley present the Rangers with challenging games over the next couple weeks, as does Little Snake River (Wyo.). All three of those teams have winning records so far.

Class 1A

1. McClave

Leading the way — Sophomore Abrielle Gomez has carried a 16.6 scoring average along with 6.4 rebounds and 5.8 steals per game, and fellow sophomore Ashlynn Steinbrunn has cemented herself well after a solid freshman season, too, with 7.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per outing. Senior McKayla Kiniston has been the ultimate facilitator, averaging 5.0 assists.

Looking ahead — It’s a slow couple of weeks for McClave with just one game, against 5-3 Springfield, on Thursday. Then there’s the Jan. 20 tilt against Peyton.

2. Briggsdale

Leading the way — Briggsdale has been solid on both ends of the floor all season, and six girls carry an average of at least two steals per game. Kayl Klem leads that pack with 6.4 steals per game. Meanwhile, it’s been hard to stop senior Jenna Krise, Klem and Claire Brown around the BHS basket — the trio has combined for more than 50 points a game.

Looking ahead — A 20-point loss to Stratton last week didn’t derail the Falcons, who are now 6-1. A Thursday game at Akron will be another good measuring stick in an otherwise light schedule coming up.

3. Stratton

Leading the way — Stratton has shone depth on the scoring end with seven players averaging 3.5 points or better. While Sedonia Isenbart has been a star, junior Clare Miltenberger has some impressive across-the-board averages (4.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.0 steals).

Looking ahead — The Eagles have a lot of games remaining, for sure, and will get on the court five times in a nine-day stretch starting Thursday against Cheyenne Wells. Four of those five opponents have winning records.