We’re going to change up our list of top games of the week for boys basketball by coupling those games with conference races. We’ll set the state for each league race entering the week and then mention the top games. We’ll look at those contests more in-depth with our class previews through the week.
Photo is provided by Lance Wendt.
Mile High: still very early in the chase with four teams at either 1-0 or 2-0 in the conference. Two of them collide on Tuesday when Rocky Mountain Lutheran goes to Flatirons Academy.
Black Forest: Coming off a huge win over Evangelical Christian on Saturday, Edison is alone in first and needs a win over Elbert on Friday to stay there.
High Plains: Kit Carson is 2-0 in league play and tied with Cheraw (1-0) for the early lead. Cheyenne Wells has not played a league game but gets started with a key game at Kit Carson on Friday.
North Central: Briggsdale (4-0) has the lead by one game over both Fleming and Prairie. Two games on tap will change those standings as Briggsdale hosts Prairie on Friday and then Prairie and Fleming tangle on Saturday.
Southern Peaks: Sangre De Cristo and Cotopaxi are likely the best two teams in the conference this year and they meet at Sangre De Cristo on Friday. That winner should end up with the league title at season’s end.
Ark Valley: Walsh and Kim/Branson may end up battling for the title but there is not an easy game in this conference this season. Walks gets challenged at Wiley on Friday.
Non Conference: Several nice games are on tap this week including Friday matchups between Idalia-Fleming and Kim/Branson-Cheraw and Saturday clashes of Holly-Kit Carson and Briggsdale-Caliche.
Black Forest: Peyton is 2-0 in league play and tied with Dolores Huerta atop the standings. Calhan is one game back at 1-1 and will go to Peyton on Tuesday.
Santa Fe: Hoehne and Fowler are both 5-0 and share the conference lead with Crowley County and Holly one game back. Two games of note can be found this week and both involve Hoehne. The Farmers host Holly on Friday and then go to Crowley County the next night.
Southern Peaks: It’s still very early in the league race but it appears that Sanford, Center and Crested Butte are the best three teams. Center plays both opponents on the week and they occur on back-to-back nights. After hosting Sanford on Friday, the Vikings then hit the bus to Crested Butte the next afternoon.
Lower Platte: Yuma, Sedgwick County and Holyoke are the last three remaining unbeaten league teams. That number will drop by at least one as Sedgwick County hosts Holyoke on Friday. Sedgwick County is unbeaten overall and favored plus they beat the Dragons before Christmas in non-league action.
Mile High: Highland and Heritage Christian meet in the most important game on Friday. Both are 3-0 in league play and start the week tied with Denver Christian and Dayspring Christian in first place.
San Juan: With Mancos beating Ouray last week, it appears the Bluejays and Ignacio will battle for league supremacy. They collide in the first of two meetings on Tuesday night with round two set for February 18th.
Western Slope: It’s a 12-game schedule so there is still plenty of basketball remaining. DeBeque (1A) and Vail Christian are the only two unbeaten teams in league play but Hayden, Plateau Valley and Paonia all sit one game back. Those three start the process of elimination with two games this week. Plateau Valley goes to Paonia on Thursday and then the Cowboys entertain Hayden on Saturday.
Intermountain: Montezuma Cortez and Centauri both won twice last week and sit at 2-0 in league play. Alamosa (1-0) stays tied if they beat Bayfield in a make up game on Tuesday. Then later this week, Cortez goes to Alamosa on Friday and Centauri on Saturday to help determine the first half leader.
Metro: More than likely the league championship will be decided on Tuesday as Faith Christian entertains Lutheran. Both have spent most of the year in the statewide top five and they seem to be the best clubs in the conference. Machebeuf and Colorado Academy also share the lead (1-0) and they face off on Saturday. CA also hosts Faith Christian on Thursday so it’s a significant week overall.
Patriot: It’s also a very important week inside the conference especially for Sterling as they entertain Resurrection Christian on Tuesday and then go to Eaton on Friday. Those three teams remain unbeaten in league action with Strasburg also in the first place mix (3-0). Resurrection Christian beat University last week so the Cougars likely clinch a top two spot by winning at Sterling this week. Coming off that loss, University needs a home win over Eaton on Tuesday to stay within one game of the leaders.
Tri Peaks: Four teams open the week without a league loss but at least two will drop from that list as the four go head-to-head in two games. First up is Salida at Manitou Springs on Friday followed by Lamar’s trip to Vanguard on Saturday.
Western Slope: This is shaping up to be a wild race as pre-season favorites Coal Ridge and Gunnison have already suffered a loss. Those two trail Aspen, Moffat County and Delta who are unbeaten going into the week. Aspen heads to Gunnison and Coal Ridge is at Delta on Friday so the race could open up a bit or draw even tighter.
Frontier: Hard to develop a key game in this race as no team has played more than two conference and only one team, KIPP Collegiate (5-2) has more than four wins overall.
Confluence: DSST-Byers and DSST-Green Valley are a combined 17-2 so their head to head battle should determine the league championship. They play next week. DSST-Byers has a a tough non-league trip to 4A power Golden on Friday.
CS Metro: Four teams have one league loss and share the early lead but the league picture will change dramatically based on results from three games. Harrison goes to Classical Academy on Tuesday; Sierra heads to Mitchell on Thursday and then Harrison is at Sierra on Saturday. Every team involved has one league loss but enters the week with a piece of first place.
Jeffco: Wheat Ridge (3-0) is alone in first with a one game edge on Golden and D’Evelyn. They play both teams this week with Golden up first on Friday and then D’Evelyn on Friday. Wins in both give Wheat Ridge complete control of the chase.
Northern: Longmont’s win over Centaurus last week kept the Trojans alone in first at 4-0. They lead Niwot, Mountain View and Silver Creek by one game as those three teams are all 3-1. Longmont heads to Mountain View on Tuesday and that same night, Silver Creek and Niwot also get together.
South Central: The league schedule opens this week with Pueblo West (9-4) having the best overall record. Pueblo East and Pueblo Central are both 7-6 and of those three clubs, there’s only one head-to-head meeting as East is home to Central on Tuesday.
Western Slope: Steamboat Springs (3-0) and Glenwood Springs (2-0) sit tied atop the standings. That tie will be broken on Saturday in Glenwood as the Demons host the Sailors. It won’t determine the title as the teams meet again next month.
Colorado 8: Only one league game has been played thus far as Fort Lupton has a win over Alameda. Englewood (8-0), Weld Central and Conifer (both 8-4) are the three teams with the best records and they don’t start squaring off until next week.
Tri Valley: Mead (6-0) has a one game edge on Erie (5-1). They meet on Tuesday for the first of two battles and the game wraps up the first half of the league schedule.
Pikes Peak: Cheyenne Mountain (4-0) has a one game edge on Lewis Palmer, Palmer Ridge and Vista Ridge. Two of the three second-place squads square off on Wednesday as Lewis Palmer makes the very short trek to Palmer Ridge.
Southwestern: Fruita Monument’s win over Grand Junction last week is the only conference game played to date. The Wildcats (10-5) should get pushed by Montrose (11-3) and Durango (8-6). Fruita Monument heads to Durango on Friday.
Centennial: Cherry Creek (4-0) has made it through the first two weeks of league play without a loss and they lead Eaglecrest, Grandview and Smoky Hill by one game. Creek faces two of those clubs as they visit Eaglecrest on Wednesday and then returns home against Grandview two nights later. Eaglecrest also goes to Smoky Hill on Friday.
Front Range: Boulder and Fairview are unbeaten in league play and the Panthers and Knights have a one game edge on five clubs. Two of those third place teams face off on Tuesday as Horizon goes to Fossil Ridge. A third one loss team, Rocky Mountain, is home to Boulder on Tuesday.
CS Metro: Pine Creek (4-0) is alone in first and they lead Liberty and Rampart by one game. Liberty looks to close the gap as they host the Eagles on Tuesday. It’s the first of two meetings.
Continental: Each team has just one league played so far with Rock Canyon, Highlands Ranch, Regis, Legend and Chaparral all posting wins last week. Only one game on tap this week features two of the league leaders on the same as Rock Canyon goes to Regis on Tuesday.
City: Denver East, George Washington, Northfield and Thomas Jefferson are all 1-0. The only game involving those four pits Northfield at Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday.
East Metro: Overall it seems to be a race between Rangeview (13-0) and Vista Peak (11-2) as they have the best overall records. Both teams are 1-0 in conference and are part of a five way tie for the early lead with Gateway (1-0), Aurora Central & Brighton (both 2-0). Vista Peak has the two top games of the week as the Bison meet Aurora Central on Tuesday and Brighton on Friday.