Scrolling across the state in boys’ basketball action, Smoky Hill had the best win of the week. Meanwhile, Pueblo South’s Maurice Austin had the biggest game of the season.

The two meet up on Saturday.

The Class 6A No. 6 Buffaloes, after beating No. 2 Valor Christian on Kevin Sylla’s layup in the waning seconds Monday night, is expected to rise in the second week of the Coaches and Media poll.

But before those are released Jan. 15, they’ll need to take care of business on the road against 5A-unranked Pueblo South and the state’s leading scorer, Maurice Austin (35.7 PPG), who went off for a school-record 56 points in the Colts’ 74-68 win over Air Academy Tuesday.

Austin’s 56 points in a game is tied for the 11th-most by a player in state history, per CHSAA’s record books. It’s also the most by a Colorado player since Primero’s Vince Damelio scored 61 in 2018. Chuckie Sproling’s 74 points in a game in 1987 is still the most in state history.

In this week’s look at the 6A, 5A and 4A classifications in boys’ basketball, let’s focus on a couple stock risers early in 2024.

Class 6A

No. 6 Smoky Hill: In their win over the Eagles (10-2), the Buffaloes (9-3) got 10 straight points in the fourth quarter from Kaylan Graham, who finished with a game-high 24. Lorenzo Contreras stole the ball in the closing moments of regulation, then found Sylla for the game-winning layup.

It was their second win of the new year after beating 4A No. 10 DSST: Green Valley Ranch by 47 on Jan. 5.

They travel to Pueblo South Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip.

No. 10 Douglas County: The Huskies (10-2) have won seven straight and three in a row in the new year.

In their latest, a 95-55 victory over 6A-unranked Vista Ridge Tuesday, Reilly Guerra (15.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 6.1 APG) had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for a triple-double. Vaughn Baldwin (10.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG) had a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards.

DC is at 5A No. 10 Ponderosa Friday night.

Class 5A

Pueblo South: Austin’s 56-point night Tuesday was the second time he’s hit the 50-point milestone this season. He had 50 in a win over No. 9 Lewis-Palmer Dec. 12.

As part of his 56, Austin made 19 field goals, five 3s and 13 free throws. The team did not add attempts to its stats sheet.

Heading into their game against 6A No. 6 Smoky Hill Saturday, the Colts’ 5-6 record isn’t great. But with Austin able to go off and take over a game at any time, they should likely rise in the rankings next week.

No. 7 Mesa Ridge: Like a pink elephant hiding under a handkerchief, the Grizzlies (8-2) are somehow staying under the radar in the early months of the season despite winning the 5A title last year, finishing 28-0.

From that team, leading scorers Tevin and Bryce Riehl are back and have guided Mesa Ridge to four straight wins. At the start of 2024, it beat No. 9 Lewis-Palmer by 31 behind 50 points from the Riehl brothers.

The Grizzlies are at unranked Vista Ridge Friday.

Class 4A

No. 6 Pagosa Springs: The Pirates have won eight straight since their overtime loss to 5A No. 6 Montrose on Dec. 1.

Blake Laner averaged 14.9 points and 7.9 rebounds before winter break, and the Pirates opened 2024 with 25-plus-point wins over Sanford and Gunnison.

They’re home against Centauri Friday.

No. 7 Riverdale Ridge: The Ravens (9-1) have won seven straight since their loss to 5A No. 1 Palmer on Dec. 2, their lone loss of the year.

On Tuesday, they scored 27 in the opening quarter of a 79-67 win over Frederick, a 5A semifinals team last winter. In it, Kameren Davis (15.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG) had his third straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

They won at Mountain View Thursday to push their record in the 5A/4A Longs Peak League to 6-0.