Despite a few cancellations, there are still many quality matchups on tap in girl’s basketball tonight.  A new feature we launch today is our Friday Five as we look at the top five games in each classification.


Stratton/Liberty at Fleming
Springfield at Kim/Branson
Byers at Genoa Hugo
Bethune at Otis
Prairie at Merino
Notes:  Coming off a very good overtime win over Arickaree/Woodlin on Thursday, Stratton/Liberty must quickly turn their focus to a top ten opponent on the road.  Fleming was also in action Thursday and blew past Peetz 50-19.  Results from the game could factor into regional tournament seeding should both teams advance through districts.  Springfield and Kim/Branson are battling for both league and district tournament positioning.  Kim/Branson has already lost a league game at Wiley so a second league loss could take them out of the championship picture.  Springfield has won three straight a non-league loss to Wiley at the Lamar Holiday tournament.  Genoa Hugo has already dropped a Union Pacific league loss to Limon so a second setback to Byers could take them out of the league title picture.  The Pirates recovered from the Limon loss with a solid win over Peyton the next night.  Byers (2A) rallied late but still fell short at home to Simla Tuesday night.  Bethune and Otis are both 4-2 and each could contend in what’s considered a wide open YWKC chase.  Otis has played the much stronger schedule and will be favored at home.  Bethune has not played since a December 18th loss to Brewster KS which snapped a four-game winning streak.  Otis lost their 2019 opener at Akron (45-40) last week.  Prairie is unbeaten in the North Central but has yet to face conference favorites Briggsdale and Fleming yet.  They still have two meetings left with those two rivals.  Merino is a future district opponent so the results could affect post-season seeding.


Haxtun at Holyoke
Wray at Yuma
DeBeque at Soroco
Rangely at Vail Christian
Simla at Calhan
Notes:   It’s a very important night inside the Lower Platte as the top four teams face off in two highly anticipated matchups.  Games between Wray-Yuma are always important of when or where they take place as results affect league standings, district and regional tournament pairings and often state tournament brackets.  Wray won the first meeting this season before Christmas 50-40.  Yuma has won their last five including a 74-20 blowout of Akron in their LPAA opener last week.  Wray rolled Burlington 59-33 last week and is unbeaten against Colorado teams with a lone loss to Dundy County NE.  Haxtun and Holyoke serve as the undercard but both teams have talent to push the Eagles and Indians inside the conference.  Their non-league battle in December was among the best early season games in any class with the Dragons scoring a 60-53 decision.  Six teams are either 1-0 or 2-0 and tied atop the Western Slope lead with De Beque and Soroco two of those clubs.  The Rams are 9-1 with a lone loss to a 5A Prairie View.  De Beque’s lone setback came very early against Briggsdale and they’ve won their last seven.  Rangely is another one the early WSL league unbeatens and they’re 5-3 overall.  Vail Christian (3-4) lost league opener to Plateau Valley 46-38.  Simla seems to be the overwhelming favorite to land the Black Forest crown but they edged Calhan by just nine points (48-39) at home in early December.


Machebeuf at Skyview Academy
Platte Valley at Eaton
University at Resurrection Christian
Roaring Fork at Delta
Olathe at Grand Valley
Notes:  Skyview Academy hopes to push pre-season favorite Lutheran for the Metro title and they scored a big win over Faith Christian earlier this week.  Today they look for another quality win over a Machebeuf team that is only 2-6 but one that features senior standout Abet Madeny who averages 16 points and 11 rebounds per game.  The game is the league opener for Machebeuf.  Platte Valley, Eaton and University are among the five teams without a league loss inside the Patriot.  Liberty Common moved to 2-0 by beating Strasburg last night so the other three and Sterling need wins to keep pace with the Eagles.  Resurrection Christian will be a tough out for visiting University but the game features a very good matchup of guards between Kylee Kravig and JuJu Hemeyer.  Eaton is 9-1 and Platte Valley 7-1 and both enter the contest ranked in the top 10.  Six teams have better than five hundred records entering Western Slope play and two of them collide as Roaring Fork goes to Delta.  Delta is 6-1 and ranked 5th statewide with Roaring Fork sitting at 7-3.  Grand Valley (6-1) is led by top scorer Shaya Chenoweth and Olathe has played a top schedule and is coming off a 40-26 win at Rangely last week.


Pueblo West vs Valor Christian
Greeley Central at Silver Creek
Thompson Valley at Centaurus
Air Academy at Discovery Canyon
Fruita Monument at Durango
Notes:  The three-day Rampart Classic is in it’s middle day with the feature attraction of the tournament set for tonight between Pueblo West and Valor Christian.  Win or lose, both top ten clubs will gain some valuable RPI points to their strength of schedule.  Both clubs were winners last night over Pine Creek and Rampart respectively.  Greeley Central and Thompson Valley (both 2-0) share the Northern conference lead and both need road wins to keep a share of the top spot tonight.  Opponents Silver Creek and Centaurus are among a group of four teams one game back.  So, if they each score wins, there will be a five-way tie for the spot with the four clubs and winner between Longmont-Niwot.  They’ve played just two games, but it appears that top ranked Air Academy could run the table in the Pikes Peak.  They easily dispatched top challenger Sand Creek (67-32) earlier this week and have at least four more wins that any other league member.  Discovery Canyon (5-5) scored an emotional win over Cheyenne Mountain (55-30) on Tuesday.  It was their first game since the school lost two students in a tragic car accident. The Southwest league has recently been a race between Montrose (13-1) and Fruita Monument (10-4) and could be again.  The two clubs are favored to battle for the crown once again but the long trip to Durango is always dangerous for conference rivals.  The Demons are 7-7 overall.


Highlands Ranch at Mountain Vista
Ralston Valley at Evergreen
Mountain Range at Fairview
Fossil Ridge at Monarch
Greeley West at Horizon
Notes:  The always rugged Continental chase opened on Thursday with top ranked Regis scoring a blowout win over Rock Canyon.  Highlands Ranch looks to match that win at Mountain Vista tonight.  The host Golden Eagles are 8-4 on the season but lost their January opener to Ralston Valley (56-40) last week.  As the Jeffco chase opens this week, Valor Christian is the likely front-runner but after the Eagles, there are several teams that could challenge for a top-two league finish.  Ralston Valley (8-4) is one of those clubs and they get in one more non-league battle against Evergreen.  The Cougars (8-2) are the defending 4A state champions and feature Claudia Dillon.  The fourth-year starter collects 21 points and 11 rebounds per night and led the Panthers.  With 13 teams, the Front League conference schedule is a gauntlet and each night more sorting out of the top spots continues.  Fossil Ridge and Monarch is the key game on tap tonight as they’re a combined 3-0 in league and 19-2 overall.  Horizon and Mountain Range will keep pace with the leaders if they post wins this evening.  Legacy moved to 3-0 by beating Fort Collins on Thursday.

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