Eight players who were named to either the all-state first or second team in their respective class last season are back for another season on the boysâ€™ basketball courts.Â And all eight are off to fast starts in helping their teams to key wins through the first eight days of the season.
In Class 1A, Creedeâ€™s Isaac Borchers is the only returning all-state player after being named to the second team as a junior.Â He helped the Miners to the tournament title at Sangre De Cristo last week including a very impressive win over Sierra Grande (63-47) in the championship game.
Borchers scored 14 in the win over Sierra Grande and averaged 17 points for the week.Â He also added ten rebounds and nearly four assists over the three-game stretch.Â The Miners are favored to win the Cotopaxi Tournament this Friday and Saturday.
Carlos Parra of Del Norte made the second team all-state team in Class 2A last year and is the lone all-state returnee in the division.Â Stats have not been posted for his first three games but the lefty helped the Tigers place second at the Centauri Tournament last week.Â The Tigers lost in overtime to Centauri 66-59 in the tournament finals.
Parra next lines up at the La Junta Holiday Tournament this weekend.Â He averaged nearly 20 points, six rebounds and three steals per game as a junior and is the lone returning starter for the Tigers this year.
Class 3A defending state champion Sterling is already 4-0 this year and a major reason why is the early play of Bodie Hume.Â The returning first-team all-stater averaged 14 points, five rebounds and three steals in leading the Tigers to a tournament title in Scottsbluff Nebraska last week.Â His best game may have been the tournament opener where he netted 18 points and four steals against Chadron.
Hume was back on the court Tuesday night and dropped in another 23 points in a 54-28 road win at Fort Morgan.Â He and the rest of the Tigers head to the Buena Vista tournament Friday and Saturday where they will face good tests with Jefferson Academy and Bayfield.
Benjamin Hawkins of Faith Christian is another returning first team all-state standout in Class 3A.Â His Eagles lost to Sterling in the state championship last year (48-47) and opened the new campaign by falling short against a very good Platte Valley squad (76-70) on Tuesday night.
Complete stats for the game have not been posted to MaxPreps but Hawkins scored 15 points in the season opener. As a junior, Hawkins scored double figures in every game and finished the season averaging nearly 21 points per game. He and the rest of the Eagles head west to the Glenwood Springs Tournament this weekend where they will face the host Demons, Canon City and Alamosa.
The lone returning all-state standout in Class 4A is Golden senior Adam Thistlewood.Â He was named to the first team last year and is a leading candidate for Player of the Year this year.Â The Demons moved to 3-1 on the early season by beating perennial 5A power Fossil Ridge (62-47) on the road Tuesday night.Â Their lone loss came against Lewis Palmer (67-54) last week as part of the prestigious Golden/Dâ€™Evelyn season opening tournament.Â The Demons also beat Holy Family in that event and Thistlewood dropped in 23 points with 12 rebounds in the victory.
Next up for Golden is another rugged test against 9th ranked Longmont on Thursday night.
In Class 5A, Kaison Hammonds of ThunderRidge, Sam Masten of Rock Canyon and Daylen Kountz of Denver East all achieved all-state honors last season and the trio has led their teams to a combined 12-0 record thus far.Â Each club is 4-0 on the young campaign.
Hammonds scored 82 points with 22 rebounds, 10 assists and 13 steals in leading the Grizzlies to four wins at a California tournament last week.Â He dropped in a season best 30 points in the tournament title game.Â Hammonds is also shooting 58 percent from the field.
The Grizzlies have returned to Colorado and will face their first in-state opposition on Thursday against Grand Junction as they host their own tipoff tournament.
Masten paced Rock Canyon to their own tournament championship last week and added a fourth win against Eaglecrest (59-53) on Tuesday night.Â Masten went for 18 points against Eaglecrest and is averaging 21 points per game.Â The guard has already pulled down 37 rebounds and handed out 17 assists and converted 28 of 41 free throw attempts.
Kountz averaged 21 points, five assists and four rebounds per game in leading Denver East to their 4-0 start including quality wins over Vista Ridge and Far Northeast.Â The senior has scored at least 21 points in three of the four games.
Returning All-State Players
|Kaison Hammonds||ThunderRidge||Senior||1st Team|
|Sam Masten||Rock Canyon||Junior||1st Team|
|Daylen Kountz||George Washington||Senior||2nd Team|
|Adam Thistlewood||Golden||Senior||1st Team|
|Benjamin Hawkins||Faith Christian||Senior||1st Team|
|Bodie Hume||Sterling||Senior||1st Team|
|Carlos Parra||Del Norte||Senior||2nd Team|
|Isaac Borchers||Creede/Lake City||Senior||2nd Team|