Six days remain in the regular season and each one of them includes a good list of games that will impact league races and playoff bracketing in girls’ basketball. We look at two such games on tap this evening plus the schedule includes the start of the Colorado 8 League tournament.
The biggest game is found in 5A where, after being postponed from last Wednesday, #3 Grandview and #4 Cherry Creek finally get together for a much-anticipated rematch. Grandview won a very tight first battle 54-53 and that game is the only separation of the two schools in the Centennial standings. Grandview clinches the league title with a win while Cherry Creek forces a tie for the top spot if they bounce back from the earlier loss.
Both teams have two games remaining in league play after tonight but neither has been challenged by any other Centennial member. Grandview has won their remaining games by at least 35 points while Cherry Creek has not been pushed to closer than 18 points.
In game one, the Wolves rallied from an eight-point deficit in the first quarter. They outscored the Bruins 31-22 over the second and third quarter to regain a one-point advantage that stood up to the end. Alisha Davis netted 17 points and Allylah Marlett 10 for Grandview. Creek received 20 points from Jana Van Gytenbeek along with 19 points and 12 rebounds from Cali Clark. Those two combined for 25 shots with the remaining Bruins attempting only 12.
Another rematch with league title implications can be found in Class 4A between Greeley Central and Thompson Valley. Central won the first meeting 44-33 so they have a one game edge on the Eagles atop the Northern conference. Central is the league champion with a win while the two will most likely share the top spot if Thompson Valley gains the victory.
The difference in game one was the second quarter where the Wildcats sprinted to a 15-4 advantage. Naomi Hidalgo sparked that run and finished with 12 points to lead Greeley Central. The senior has had a fantastic career and is the all-time leading scorer for the program. Entering the week, Hidalgo has 1,359 career points and has also pulled down 768 rebounds over the past four years.
Thompson Valley is paced by Sydnee Durtsche who leads the Eagles in points (12.0) and rebounds (10.8). She finished with a game high 13 in the first meeting.
Concerning RPI, Greeley Central is 9th and Thompson Valley 17th. Both are solid locks to make the 4A state tournament bracket regardless of results this week.
The Colorado 8 league tournament gets underway this evening and the winner will earn the automatic bid to the state tournament. It’s designed to let all teams have a chance at earning a post-season bid. Skyview won the regular season title so the Wolverines are the #1 seed. They host #8 Arvada in a first round game on Tuesday. Another game tomorrow has #2 Weld Central at home against #7 Alameda.
The remaining two quarterfinal contests are tonight as #4 Conifer is home to #5 Englewood and #3 Riverdale Ridge entertains #6 Fort Lupton. Winners advance to the semifinals on Wednesday and those survivors then battle for the league crown on Friday. A consolation bracket is also on the schedule so each league team is guaranteed three contests this week.