Cherry Creek High School has well over 200 state championships in its school’s history. The first came in 1957 on the golf course, and the latest ones include the football team’s fourth consecutive title and CHSAA’s first-ever esports championship earlier this month.

In many sports throughout a school year — take swimming and tennis, for starters — the Bruins have often been seen as something of a write-in champion. Pure dominance with no real end in sight.

Basketball, though, has been different. The Bruins, mere mortals on the hardwood, have just two titles in the sport (boys in 1995; girls 2019).

But even that may be changing.

On the girls’ side this winter, the Bruins look the part of state contenders three years after star guard and current Baylor Bear Jana Van Gytenbeek led them to 24 wins and past Grandview in the 5A title game.

Could it be another Cherry Creek dynasty in the making? Maybe. For now, it’s a good start.

In this week’s look at girls basketball, let’s go over some early contenders and see where things stand headed into the end of the season’s third week.

Class 6A

Monarch coach Mike Blakely said he got a glimpse of Cherry Creek down at that “She Got Game” tournament in Texas earlier in the month and was immediately impressed.

More should be known when the No. 5 Coyotes (5-0), behind the lone returning all-state player from the state’s largest classification, Natalie Guanella (17.4 PPG), host the No. 1 Bruins Friday night.

Up to this point, Cherry Creek (7-0) has been led by a trio of sophomore scorers in Tiana Chambers (13.3 PPG and 5.8 rebounds), Aneya Chambers (10.2 and 8.0) and Braelynn Barnett (10.0 and 6.8).

Last week, it beat a pair of 2021-22 5A round of 16 teams in Columbine and Pine Creek and also upended 4A runner-up Windsor. Its defense is allowing just 39.3 PPG.

Over the next week, the Bruins won’t be the only state power we can learn more about.

No. 2 Valor Christian (4-1), behind Montana commit Macey Huard (17.4 PPG), hosts No. 4 Regis Jesuit (4-3) Thursday night and is at home against the Bruins Dec. 21.

The Raiders host the Coyotes Dec. 21.

As of Thursday morning, individual leaders include Denver South’s Nevaeh Millard, who leads the class at 20.3 PPG. Grandview’s Sienna Betts is just behind her at 20.2 to go along with 15 boards per game. (Her sister Lauren Betts was the 5A player of the year last season and now plays at Stanford.)

From outside the arc, nobody has been hotter than Rocky Mountain’s Sara Chicco. The junior has 26 3-pointers in six games, shooting 46% from deep.

Class 5A

Mead remained the top team in the CHSAA coaches poll for a second straight week, beating Legacy, Lutheran and Pueblo West to improve to 5-0 on the season.

With their depth of scorers, the Mavericks’ may prove to overpower most teams left on their schedule this season. Darby Haley, Charlotte Brennan, Brooklynn Charo and Kyra Haan can all lead in scoring on any given night.

Maybe even better for them, their defense has yet to allow 50 points in a game this season.

Behind the Mavs in the current rankings is No. 2 George Washington (3-0). Against Northfield, ThunderRidge and Fort Collins, the Patriots’ stingy defense has allowed 13 points, 33 and 24.

No. 3 Roosevelt (3-1), meanwhile, has two wins by more than 60 points. It also beat state runner-up Windsor and lost to 6A No. 1 Cherry Creek.

Individually, Air Academy’s Caitlin Kramer is averaging 24.4 points per game. She had 33 points and 35 on consecutive nights last week, beating Pueblo East and Vista Ridge.

Sand Creek’s Abigail Leahy leads the state with seven double-doubles. She is averaging 18.9 PPG and 12.6 boards.

Class 4A

Last week’s top-10 game between Holy Family and Resurrection Christian is further proof that early state rankings hold up about as well as wet paper.

The Tigers (4-0) outscored the Cougars 24-5 in the third quarter, winning 59-33. Which could mean A.) There is a large gap in parity inside the classification’s top 10. And/or B.) Holy Family is just that good.

Proving balance on both ends for the Tigers, Julia Hodell is averaging 13 PPG and five steals, while Essynce Contreraz is at 11 and 6.5 through three games (per MaxPreps stats).

Get this: As a team, the Tigers are averaging nearly double the amount of steals per game (20.5) as their giving up field goals (11.25) per game.

Holy Family will host No. 3 University (6-0) Friday. Taryn Kravig is averaging 16.8 PPG for the Bulldogs and Addison Harding is posting 10.3 PPG and 8.8 boards.

Elsewhere, No. 2 D’Evelyn (6-0) has early wins over 6A Denver East, Rock Canyon, Chaparral and Arvada West. Peyton Marvel is averaging 17.5 PPG, 12 boards and six steals.

Among early individual stats that pop out, Eagle Ridge Academy’s Megan Derby has 56 steals in five games.

Peak to Peak’s Alexandra Eschmeyer, the daughter of former NBA player and Pumas coach Evan Eschmeyer, is averaging 7.5 blocks.