Finally, we’re back.

After a brief respite from prep basketball, the 2022-23 season resumed with play this week. With the calendar turning the page to January and the 2023 portion of the schedule, games resume in earnest this weekend.

With tournament play in the rearview, the boys non-league slate is set to heat up again – or even a few league contests. Take Class 3A’s top-ranked Faith Christian Academy, which took down Metro League foe Stargate School 90-77 behind 25 points each from Keegan Paige and Carson Jasa – not to mention 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists from Master Diggins – on Tuesday night.

As teams ease back into action, here is a look at a couple of games that stand out this week for Class 3A, 2A and 1A:

Class 3A

Both Highland and Yuma kicked off 2023 with impressive victories Tuesday night. Tenth-ranked Yuma downed No. 8 Manual 66-48, thanks to a big first half. No. 5 Highland rolled past 1A’s No. 2 Denver Jewish Day 75-53. Hyatt Tolle led four players in double figures with 19 points, and sophomore Sawyer Morgan hauled in 16 rebounds.

Highland and Yuma face off at 2 p.m. on Saturday in a non-league contest. The Huskies (5-2) have only lost to 4A University and 3A’s No. 4 Prospect Ridge Academy. Highland visits 4A Sterling on Friday night.

Yuma (3-1) only played three games in December, with its lone loss coming seventh-ranked Platte Valley.

On Tuesday night, Prospect Ridge Academy (6-1) opens Metro League play against Manual (1-2). Max Vacco is averaging more than 23 points a game for the Miners, which opened play in January against Brush on Wednesday night.

Manual faces Far Northeast and DSST-Byers this week before taking on Prospect Ridge.

Class 2A

The 3A/2A Lower Platte League figures to be a challenge from top to bottom this season. No. 5 Haxtun already opened league play with a victory over Caliche, and Friday, third-ranked Wray visits No. 9 Merino in the league opener for both squads.

Wray (2-3) opened the season with a two-point loss to 3A Yuma before dropping two of three games in a tournament to out-of-state teams. A 24-point victory over Chase County (Neb.) before the break gave the Eagles a boost, and a balanced offense that has four players averaging in double figures – led by Rafal Trejo at 15.4 points – could get rolling with three games in five days.

Merino (3-2) went 2-1 before the break in tournament play, including a victory over Haxtun. Tyler Miller is averaging 21.6 points a game for the Rams.

Sixth-ranked Simla rode a three-game winning streak into the break, with the Cubs facing a couple of tough tests to resume play. First comes a game with 1A No. 3 McClave on Saturday, and Simla (5-2) the travels to No. 10 Byers on Tuesday.

Simla’s only losses have come to No. 1 Limon and Merino.

Byers (3-1) hasn’t played since Dec. 15, but the Bulldogs won their last three in December after opening with a loss to Flatirons Academy. Chase Long leads three scorers in double figures at 14.3 points a game for Byers, which takes on Wiggins on Friday.

Class 1A

Crossovers between the 2A/1A classifications highlight the first week back. In addition to Simla meeting McClave, fifth-ranked Genoa-Hugo/Karval faces 2A’s top team in Limon on Friday.

The Pirates (5-0) closed out December with a narrow 47-46 victory over Hi-Plains, capping a perfect run to close out the year. Junior Trey Smith scored 28 points in that contest.

Limon (2-0) will have been off for more than a month by the time the Badgers host the Pirates. Limon defeated Peyton and Simla on Dec. 2 and 3, but hasn’t played since.

On Tuesday, 2A’s No. 2 Crowley County (7-0) travels to play 1A No. 7 Cheraw. Crowley County swept through its December schedule with ease, averaging 65 points while allowing only 30. Gunner Hughes leads a balanced attack at nearly 15 points a game.

Cheraw (5-1) had only one setback in December, and that came to 2A’s Evangelical Christian. The Wolverines have given up only 24 points a game in their five victories.