FRIDAY FIVE – BEST GAMES OF THE NIGHT

Alamosa swept Bayfield in conference play last year but the Wolverines avenged those losses with a district tournament win on their way to the 3A state title. The two clubs meet for the first time this season on Friday.

Mother Nature has already taken a few games off the schedule, but there are many remaining games of note to be played.  We provide a quick breakdown of the best five in each class for Friday.

 

CLASS 1A

Springfield at Kim/Branson

McClave at Cheraw

Byers at Genoa Hugo (PPD)

DeBeque at Soroco

Prairie at Merino

Notes:  The first four games listed are all conference games involving teams that could challenge for the league title.  Post-season seeding for district tournaments will also be impacted.  Springfield opened January with a solid win over Cheyenne Wells last week and tonight’s game is their first real road test of the season.  All other games have been played at home or on a neutral court.  Kim/Branson lost at Wiley last week so they need a win to remain in the Ark Valley title discussion.   Following a strong first half, Cheraw is considered the team to beat inside the High Plains but they open league action against a solid McClave club.  Byers (2A) is coming off a nice home win over Simla on Tuesday and they open Union Pacific action on the road.  The Bulldogs should battle Limon for the championship and neither can afford a slip up until they collide next month.  De Beque is the top 1A team in the 2A dominated Western Slope and face a road trip against a vastly improved Soroco club.  Both are unbeaten in early conference play.  Prairie and Merino could be future district opponents so the winner could gain a leg up in seeding.

 

CLASS 2A

Haxtun at Holyoke

Wray at Yuma

Highland at Clear Creek (PPD)

Swallows Charter at Fowler

Center at Sargent

Notes:   The Lower Platte schedule hits full speed tonight with two excellent matchups involving quality teams.  Yuma downed Wray 55-45 in the season opener for both clubs and the rematch is tonight.  The Eagles started league play with a strong showing in a 77-73 win over Wray while Yuma rolled past Akron in their opener last Friday.  Haxtun has a non-league win over Holyoke from December already on their resume and looks for the season sweep this evening.  The Highland-Clear Creek has been postponed but their rescheduled date will be very important to the eventual Mile High championship.  Fowler looks to rebound from a frustrating loss at Holly last Saturday.  That decision dropped them out of a first-place tie in the Santa Fe but a win this evening and tomorrow against Rocky Ford puts them in great shape to finish no lower than second.  Sanford and Del Norte are front-runners to land the top two spots in the Southern Peaks but the winner of Center-Sargent could easily end up third.  Both are below 500 for the season but each has played better recently.  Center pushed Rocky Ford in a narrow loss last week and Sargent scored a nice win over Mancos in December.

 

CLASS 3A

Alamosa at Bayfield (PPD)

Pagosa Springs at Montezuma Cortez

Manual at Jefferson Academy

Resurrection Christian at University

Roaring Fork at Delta

Notes:  Alamosa and Bayfield have dominated the Intermountain conference the past few years so the two meetings between the rivals are always important to the top of the standings.  Bayfield is the defending state champion and the club always plays better after Christmas.  Alamosa has won outright or shared the league title each of the past four years.  Montezuma Cortez is unbeaten on the season but their IML opener at home with Pagosa Springs may represent their most difficult challenge.  Both the Panthers and Pirates could also challenge for the title in what should be a wild IML race.  Jefferson Academy opened the week 8-0 but needs an upset of Manual to avoid a third straight loss.  The Jaguars lost to Weld Central on Monday and then fell to Kent Denver (49-40) in their first Metro game.  A second early loss could make it difficult for them to challenge for the league crown.  Manual put in a very strong showing in their blowout of Colorado Academy two nights ago.  The Patriot race should also be a good one as several teams hope to challenge top ranked Sterling for the championship.  Resurrection Christian and University are both in that group.  It’s the same situation for Roaring Fork and Delta on the Western Slope.  Coal Ridge is heavily favored to win another league crown but the Rams and Panthers are among the teams hoping to unseat the Titans.

 

CLASS 4A

Standley Lake at Wheat Ridge

Green Mountain at Golden

Fruita Monument at Durango

Steamboat Springs at Palisade

Pueblo West vs Valor Christian

Notes:  Wheat Ridge and Golden share the early lead in the Jeffco as both clubs have opened at 2-0.  Standley Lake is one of three games at 1-1 and one game off the pace so the Gators’ battle with Wheat Ridge will affect the early league standings.  Green Mountain is the only team without a league win at this point.  Palisade opened league action with a win over Eagle Valley last night but faces a stronger challenge against Steamboat Springs tonight.  The teams are a combined 17-5 on the season.  For Steamboat Springs, this is their conference opener.  Fruita Monument (11-4) and Durango (7-6) are the only two SWL teams above five hundred for the season so the first of two conference meetings could give an indication of the league favorite.  Montrose (7-7) could also challenge.   Following a high-scoring 77-70 loss to Pine Creek on Thursday, Pueblo West seeks their first win of the Rampart Classic.  It won’t be easy.  Valor Christian (3-9) is six games below five hundred but as always, the Eagles have played a tremendous schedule both inside and outside the state borders.  They fell to Rampart 74-68 in their tournament opener.

 

CLASS 5A

Legend at Ponderosa

ThunderRidge at Rock Canyon

Rocky Mountain at Broomfield

Dakota Ridge at Columbine

Arvada West at Rangeview

Notes:  Two of the many heavyweights in the Continental square off in the league opener for both as ThunderRidge ventures to Rock Canyon.  The Grizzlies are 10-2 and the Jaguars 11-2 and both will be among the league title challengers along with the likes of Mountain Vista (10-0), Chaparral (11-2), Highlands Ranch (9-3) and Castle View (9-2).  Legend (8-5) and Ponderosa (8-4) hope to be in that group at year’s end, plus their game is a very good rivalry as well.  Broomfield (4-7) has been inconsistent this season but a win over Rocky Mountain keeps the Eagles tied with Fairview, Greeley West, Boulder and Poudre for the Front Range lead.  Those four clubs are all 2-0 with Broomfield sitting at 1-0.  Chatfield has the ringleader of the Jeffco conference for several years and the Chargers (6-9) could again be in the mix.  But right now, Columbine (7-5), Ralston Valley (9-4) and Arvada West (8-2) are among the top teams.  The Rebels look to open the league slate with a win over longtime rival Dakota Ridge (5-8).  Arvada West entered the rankings this week but staying there will be difficult.  The Wildcats were knocked off by Ralston Valley on Tuesday and now take on the 7th ranked Raiders on the road.

 

 

 


Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer is the founder and owner of the Colorado Preps Network which debuted in the summer of 2003. Kevin and his wife Lanette reside in Fort Morgan and are the proud parents of Lexi and Tyler.

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