Several important conference games are on tap this week as girls basketball teams work on landing league titles. In our first conference rundown of the 2021-22 season, Colorado Preps runs through the current standings and lists the top matchups for the week.
5280: Flatirons Academy is heavily favored to land the crown and they begin the week tied with Front Range Baptist in first. Both are unbeaten but only one will be left standing when they collide on Saturday. The defending state champion Bison will host.
BLACK FOREST: Probably four teams with a legitimate chance of winning the league championship. Kiowa (1-0) shares first place with Simla (2-0) with Elbert a game back at 2-1. The Bulldogs have a loss to Kiowa from last week so that decision hurts their title chances. A fourth contender could be Evangelical Christian. The Eagles have not started their league schedule yet. Simla has two non-league tests this week as a young set of Cubs hosts Limon on Wednesday and then visits Cheraw on Friday.
FISHERS PEAK: LaVeta has beaten Manzanola and Manzanola has a win over Primero. That means LaVeta is the league champion if they beat Primero on February 3rd. The league is a combined 6-23 and does not get a guaranteed berth like last year as they will have to quality through district tournaments.
HIGH PLAINS: Cheyenne Wells and McClave are both at 2-0 and one game up on Granada, Kit Carson and Cheraw. League wise, the most important game features Kit Carson at McClave on Friday. Otherwise, there are three non-conference games of note with McClave hosting Kim/Branson on Tuesday and the then going to South Baca on Thursday. Kit Carson also visits Springfield on Saturday. All three games could factor into regional tournament seeding for those clubs who advance that far.
NORTH CENTRAL: Briggsdale (10-0) and Fleming (12-0) share the lead and are also ranked 1-2 in Class 1A statewide. They meet in Briggsdale on Saturday so there is plenty on the line. The winner lands the conference championship, the likely top district seed and probably the top overall seed if they advance to the state tournament.
SOUTHERN PEAKS: Sangre De Cristo has won eight of ten games overall and remains favored to land another conference crown. They’ve not started their league schedule yet but do so this week. The key game is against Centennial on Saturday. Centennial is already 2-0 and sits alone atop the very early standings. Sierra Grande is in the chase for second and they also begin league play at home against Antonito on Friday.
YWKC: Lone Star (2-0) and Arickaree/Woodlin (2-0) share the conference lead with Idalia a game back at 2-1. Lone Star has a win over Idalia so they can basically clinch the championship by beating Arickaree/Woodlin on Thursday. Arickaree/Woodlin also meets Idalia on Friday so they are the champions if they post wins in both.
ARK VALLEY: South Baca and Kim/Branson are 17-2 overall and favored to battle for the conference championship. Springfield should also be a factor but they have a critical league loss to South Baca (48-44) from last week. South Baca and Kim/Branson meet on February 11th and then Kim/Branson faces Springfield on the 18th.
BLACK FOREST: Calhan, Fountain Valley and Dolores Huerta Prep each won league openers last week so they sit atop the early standings. Preseason favorite Peyton has not yet played a league game however. The Panthers host DH Prep on Thursday and then battle top 10 ranked Yuma in a fun non-conference game on Saturday.
SANTA FE: Rye (5-0) and Hoehne (6-0) share the lead at the midway point of the conference schedule. They still have two meetings with the first coming up on February 1st and round two one week later on the 8th. Both teams could get tested this week as Rye meets Swink on Thursday and Hoehne tangles with Fowler. Swink and Fowler are tied for third at 3-1.
SOUTHERN PEAKS: Sanford (2-0) and Del Norte (1-0) have the early lead and are favored to finish 1-2. Sargent has not played a league game and could be a factor as they head into this week with a 6-2 overall record. Sargent hosts Center on Thursday and that winner likely ends up in the top three. The Farmers also host Ignacio in a fun and important non-league game.
LOWER PLATTE: Holyoke (2-0), Merino (3-0) and Sedgwick County (3-0) sit atop a very good conference and a possible league championship game is set for Friday as Holyoke visits Sedgwick County. The Cougars are at home and also own a 51-49 decision over the Dragons back in December. Merino (1A) of course will watch that outcome with great interest but they will have their hands full in hosting Akron the very same night. The Rams also visit 2A defending state champion Limon on Saturday. Another key league game comes up on Friday between Yuma and Wiggins. Also this week are nice non-league pairings of Briggsdale-Wiggins (Tuesday), Fleming-Akron (Thursday) and Limon-Wray (Friday).
SAN JUAN: Like the chances of Dove Creek (3-0) to win the championship as the 1A Bulldogs have already beaten Ignacio. The Bulldogs share the top spot with Dolores (1-0) but the Bears challenge Ignacio in the first of two meetings on Tuesday night. As mentioned, Ignacio also makes the trek to Sargent on Saturday. But please note that all games within the conference are listed with an asterisk right now as the area is dealing with COVID issues and have already postponed several contests.
UNION PACIFIC: Four teams are still unbeaten with Limon (4-0) having the most conference wins. Byers is 2-0 with both Burlington and Stratton both 1-0. Of the leaders, Burlington has the most difficult stretch as the Cougars face Stratton on Thursday and then Byers on Saturday. Wins in both make them the top challenger to Limon for the league championship.
WEST CENTRAL: Cotopaxi and Custer County (1-0) will likely battle for the championship with South Park needing some help to climb back. The Burros have a loss to Custer County (24-20) so they must beat Cotopaxi to have any chance. That game takes place on February 14th. Cotopaxi and Custer County collide on February 10th. All three teams head to the San Luis Valley for district action with Cotopaxi hoping to challenge Sangre De Cristo in the 1A bracket and the Bobcats and Burros competing on the 2A level.
WESTERN SLOPE: Soroco (5-0) is alone in first and in really good shape. They’ve already beaten Cedaredge and Meeker and those two are probably the top challengers. The Bruins and Cowboys have the one league loss and share a crowded second spot with North Park and West Grand. Soroco faces West Grand on February 5th and North Park on the 18th. The most attractive game this week has Cedaredge at West Grand on Friday as both need wins to stay one game back of the league leading Rams.
MILE HIGH: Dayspring Christian (4-0), Denver Christian (4-0) and Heritage Christian (2-0) are all unbeaten in league play. That will change this week when Denver Christian entertains Dayspring Christian on Thursday. Denver Christian also goes to fourth place Highland (4-1) on Saturday so they have a difficult week.
INTERMOUNTAIN: Alamosa has played just one league game but the win over Pagosa Springs earlier this month leaves them alone in first. Pagosa Springs (2-1) and Centauri (0-1) remain one game back. Pagosa Springs goes to Alamosa on Saturday as the rivals meet for a second time. Alamosa also hosts Montezuma Cortez on Friday. Centauri and Montezuma Cortez meet twice this week; in Cortez on Tuesday and in La Jara on Saturday. The tight scheduling is due to earlier postponements.
METRO: Lutheran is favored but they still have work to do. Through the first two weeks of league play, the Lions are 4-0 but so is Jefferson Academy and Skyview Academy. That trio leads Kent Denver, Prospect Ridge and Colorado Academy by one game in the loss column. Tuesday could offer up some separation as Skyview Academy visits Colorado Academy and Prospect Ridge goes to Jefferson Academy. In non-league action, Kent Denver tries to upset top ranked Platte Valley in Kersey on Saturday.
PATRIOT: Platte Valley (3-0), Eaton (3-0) and University (4-0) should make up the top three. All are ranked in the top four of the 3A statewide rankings and each has at least a two game lead on all other league teams. None of the three meet this week as those games are saved for later in the conference schedule. Platte Valley though could get pushed by Resurrection Christian on Tuesday. The Cougars fell at University last week by just four points (55-51) and are also ranked this week.
TRI PEAKS: Vanguard (4-0) and St Mary’s (6-0) control the race as all other league members have experienced at least two losses. Ellicott and Colorado Springs Christian are tied for third. None of the top four teams face each other this week and the St Mary’s-Vanguard battle won’t take place until February 10th.
WESTERN SLOPE: Delta and Grand Valley are both 2-0 with Moffat County also keeping a share of the lead with their conference opening win over Coal Ridge last week. The Titans are fourth at 1-1. Moffat County seeks another top 10 upset when they go to Delta on Saturday. The Bulldogs also host Montrose in non-league play on Thursday.
CONFLUENCE: DSST-Byers and Lotus School (both 2-0) have the early lead. They play on Friday February 4th and that game should determine the league champion and top district seed.
FRONTIER: The usual suspects are at the top of the standings as Academy (3-0), Bennett (4-0) and DSST-Montview (2-0) enter the week unbeaten in conference play. Middle Park and Platte Canyon each have one league loss and remain in the chase. Bennett goes to Platte Canyon Saturday while Academy has an important non-league game at home against Eaton. That game, win or lose, will boost the Wildcats RPI number going into the postseason.
CS METRO NORTH: Even though each conference team has played just two league games, Classical Academy (2-0) is already alone in first. They lead Falcon, Elizabeth and Sand Creek by one game. The four leaders intertwine in three games this week with Sand Creek hosting Falcon on Wednesday and then Classical Academy on Friday. Also on Friday. Falcon stays home to battle Elizabeth. League teams face each other twice during the conference slate.
CS METRO SOUTH: Mesa Ridge (5-0) and Canon City (3-0) are both unbeaten in conference play with all other league members having at least two losses. The Grizzlies host the Tigers in the first of two meetings on Friday. Game two is set for February and there’s a strong chance the two games will determine first and second.
JEFFCO: Green Mountain (6-0) stayed unbeaten in league play by beating Wheat Ridge on Monday. They have a one game edge on D’Evelyn (8-1) who also scored a win over Littleton on Monday night. The Lions and Golden opened the night in third place with two league losses but the Demons were beaten by Evergreen so it’s now a two-team race. Green Mountain beat D’Evelyn in the first meeting last week and they the Rams and Jaguars collide again on February 11th.
LONGS PEAK: It’s an important week in this conference especially for Roosevelt. The Riders are 4-0 and share the lead with Thompson Valley (4-0) while Berthoud and Riverdale Ridge are tied for third with identical 3-1 records. Roosevelt meets all three of those clubs over a four day span; they host Thompson Valley on Tuesday, go to Riverdale Ridge on Thursday and then return home against Berthoud on Friday. Much of the pecking order will be determined by the outcome of those three games.
WESTERN SLOPE: Glenwood Springs (4-0) is alone in first and beaten the two second place teams, Summit and Steamboat Springs, by at least 27 points apiece. They meet both clubs again later in the year but the Demons seem to be the best team in the conference. Game two with Summit is on February 1st and Steamboat Springs comes up against February 12th.
COLORADO: It’s very early with Skyview, Fort Lupton and Englewood all 1-0. Aurora Central is 6-6 overall but has not played a league game. Skyview is the two-time defending league champion and their first win this year was their 15th straight in conference play. They host Englewood on Tuesday and then the Pirates tangle with Fort Lupton on Thursday so the early standings will shuffle a bit this week.
SOUTH CENTRAL: Pueblo County and Pueblo West were both in action on Monday and both picked up conference wins so the Hornets (2-0) and Cyclones (3-0) continue to share first place. They meet on Thursday with the winner taking the outright lead.
NORTHERN: It’s a very big week for the conference as Holy Family (12-1) goes to Windsor (13-0) and then the Wizards head to Mead (13-1) on Friday. All three teams are ranked in the top five of Class 4A and all are unbeaten in the conference.
PIKES PEAK: Entering the week, Doherty and Pine Creek are both 4-0 with a one game edge on Palmer Ridge and Liberty (both 4-1). The only game between those four teams is set for Tuesday between Palmer Ridge and Pine Creek.
FRONT RANGE: Eight teams are within one game of the lead with Monarch and Rocky Mountain (3-0) sharing the conference lead. They meet on Tuesday night so that winner will be alone in first. Several other games are on tap involving head-to-head matchups of top teams and Fort Collins is involved in three of them as the Lambkins meet Horizon on Tuesday, Fossil Ridge on Friday and Rocky Mountain on Saturday. The Lambkins share third place with Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Poudre, Legacy, and Broomfield with one league loss apiece.
JEFFCO: Valor Christian sits atop the 5A rankings and is heavily favored to win the championship. They’re 1-0 out of the gate with Bear Creek, Chatfield and Arvada West also winning conference openers. Columbine is also 1-1. Valor Christian goes to Chatfield on Wednesday and Ralston Valley plays Arvada West that same night. Then on Friday, Chatfield goes to Columbine.
CENTENNIAL: Arapahoe (3-0) opens the week one game up on Mullen and Grandview (3-1) by one game. Two top level games are set for this week and Mullen takes part in both. They challenge the first place Warriors on Thursday and then returns home to face Grandview on Saturday. Grandview has a good non-league test with Regis on Friday as well. Maybe another game to watch is Saturday between Arapahoe and Cherry Creek as the Bruins are 2-2 and in fourth but they’ll be a tough out.
CONTINENTAL: Highlands Ranch (3-0), Legend (2-0), Regis (3-0) and Castle View (1-0) are the last four unbeaten clubs in a very good conference. ThunderRidge and Chaparral sit tied for fifth at 2-1. Three games of note set for this week and two are on Wednesday between Highlands Ranch-ThunderRidge and Chaparral-Castle View. On Friday, Chaparral entertains Legend.
EAST METRO: Four teams haven’t played a league game and one of them is Rangeview. The Raiders have spent time in the top 10 this year and have won nine of their first 12 games. They’re favored along with Vista Peak who has won their first two league games. The Bison and Raiders play on Saturday but it’s a non-conference matchup. Their league game takes place on February 19th at Vista Peak.
SOUTHWESTERN: Grand Junction Central and Fruita Monument are both 2-0 with a one game edge on Montrose (1-1). Durango is 1-2 in league play but 11-5 overall so the Demons will be a factor as well. Montrose has the most difficult week as they face Grand Junction Central on Tuesday and Durango on Saturday. The Indians are at home for both however.
DENVER PREP: There are five teams without a league loss; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Kennedy, Northfield and Denver East. There are three games this week featuring head-to-head matchups of those clubs as Kennedy goes to Denver East and George Washington meets Northfield on Wednesday with Thomas Jefferson taking on Kennedy two nights later.