Week one of the girls’ basketball season wrapped up on Saturday night and several teams in classes 1A, 2A and 3A had impressive weeks. We look at those clubs in the first installment of our weekly recaps of the 2019-20 campaign.
1A-Lone Star: A very good start to a season filled with high expectations as the Longhorns won the Jeff Sherman tournament at Arickaree/Woodlin. Their best win of the two came in the first round on Friday as they upset #5 Genoa Hugo 33-22. They then followed up with a win over North Park on Saturday in the championship contest. Lone Star had not won more than five games in any season during the MaxPrep era (2005-06) until grabbing 14 wins a year ago. Six of those wins came against junior varsity opponents but the Longhorns have a traditional schedule this year and should contend for the YWKC championship.
1A-Longmont Christian: The Warriors grabbed a second place trophy at the White River Tournament in Meeker and along the way beat the host and 6th ranked Cowboys in the semifinals. Jessica Schneider scored 14 points and Taylor Vandenburg 13 in the win. Vandenburg added 21 the next night but the Warriors fell to 3A Moffat County in the championship.
1A-Kim/Branson: The Mustangs faced a pair of 2A opponents and one 3A while competing at the Trinidad State Invitational. They won two of those games to earn a third place. Wins came against John Mall (45-11) and Hoehne (35-18) with a loss to eventual tournament champion Trinidad (57-31).
2A-Rye: League wins are important at any time of the season and the Thunderbolts collected two in week one. Included on the list was a very strong showing against Fowler (49-21). Sophomore sisters Sophie (19) and Sydney Adamson (10) combined for 31 points and junior Jolee Ortiz added a dozen. That trio hopes to lead the ‘Bolts to the Santa Fe league championship. Next up is a tough assignment with fellow 3-0 Trinidad as the Miners are coming off a tournament title last week.
2A-Wray: The Eagles rivalry with Yuma is one of the best in the state as the two clubs from the East are always in the discussion for top clubs in Class 2A. They met for the first time last Saturday with the Eagles picking up a 48-40 win. Tabby Jones led the way with 12 points and freshman Larissa Salmans added nine. It was a non-conference win as the clubs meet again on January 17th for the Lower Platte matchup.
2A-Center: The Vikings have not had a winning season during the MaxPreps era (since the 2006-07 season) so playing for a tournament championship is not that common. But they got that chance last Saturday at the T-Bird Invitational. Even though they got thumped by a very good and highly ranked Sangre De Cristo club, the overall effort of the week bodes well for the rest of the season. Center won just eight games last year but already has two this year. They’re hoping to build on last year’s regional tournament appearance.
3A-Vanguard: Another unranked team that scored a top five upset on their way to a tournament championship. The Coursers stunned #3 Delta 59-47 on Friday in the opening round of the Faith Christian tournament. They sandwiched wins over Pueblo Central and Manitou Springs around that upset to finish week one unbeaten at 3-0. While St Mary’s is the heavy favorite to land the Tri Peaks title, the Coursers may have given notice they will push for the runner-up spot.
3A-Academy: In previewing the top matchups ahead of week one, we wondered why the Wildcats were not included in the pre-season top 10. They returned a good share of their roster including two sophomore standouts from a team that won 22 games a year ago. Now look for them to zoom way up the rankings after beating #10 University, #8 Platte Valley and #5 Eaton on consecutive nights at the Northern Colorado Roundball Classic. Those two sophomores, Mikayla Espinosa (19.3) and Aryanna Perez (11.7) combined for nearly 31 points a game in those three “upsets”.