Note: For more photos from Paul DiSalvo, click here.
The big-school classifications saw two new No. 1s in this week’s CHSAA boys basketball coaches’ poll, as Fossil Ridge in Class 6A and Eagle Ridge Academy in 4A both climbed to the top.
In this week’s look in on the sport, we take a peek at some of the most impressive risers among the 6A, 5A and 4A classifications.
No. 2 -> No. 1 Fossil Ridge (8-1): Senior Nick Randall is a 6-foot-8 combo forward, averaging 24.7 points and 9.7 boards through nine games this winter. In other words, a bad time for the opposition.
In his latest game, the returning second-team, all-state player went 11 for 17 from the field with 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 73-35 win over Erie Saturday. It was his ninth straight game with 18 or more points. It was his fourth double-double of the season.
The runner-up in the largest class a year ago appears to have all the parts of a contender this year. Its lone loss came to No. 7 Valor Christian, 70-68, on Dec. 10.
The Sabercats host Brighton Tuesday and are at Boulder Friday.
No. 5 -> No. 2 Rock Canyon (11-1): The Jaguars have won nine straight, capping off last weekend with an impressive 67-55 win over No. 7 Valor Christian.
Mac Terry, a junior, had 17 and 16 points in wins over Boulder as well as the Eagles last week. Gavin Hershberger leads the team at 13.2 PPG followed by Terry and Aidan Peck at 11.3.
Rock Canyon’s only loss this season came to former No. 1 Mountain Vista, 52-51, on Dec. 3.
The Jaguars host Eaglecrest Tuesday and are again at home against No. 10 Highlands Ranch Thursday.
Honorable mention: Fountain-Fort Carson is up to No. 9. The Trojans are 13-0.
No. 10 -> No. 6 Windsor (6-3): The Wizards have climbed up the rankings following a 1-3 start and are now winners of five straight.
David Hageman, one of the most talented point guards in the state, is averaging 19.2 points per game and 5.4 rebounds. Last week, he scored 16, 25 and 18 in wins over Legend, Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail.
Windsor plays in the 6A/5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference, which is stacked with ranked teams in No. 3 Mead, No. 9 Silver Creek and 4A No. 2 Holy Family.
The Wizards open league at Longmont Wednesday before hosting Greeley West Friday and Greeley Central Saturday.
Unranked -> No. 9 Silver Creek (7-3): Give Raptors coach Bob Banning a bunch of credit. A team that graduated its top seven scorers from last year has somehow already found its way back into the top 10.
Zach Schmeeckle has been a breakout star early in the winter, averaging 20.7 points per game. He scored 21 in a win over Summit Jan. 3 before having 22 in a tight 55-50 loss to Holy Family Thursday.
The Raptors’ losses this season are to Mead, Holy Family and 4A No. 1 Eagle Ridge Academy.
Honorable mention: Air Academy is slowly moving up in the top 10. The Kadets, who have won four straight, are currently No. 4.
No. 2 -> No. 1 Eagle Ridge Academy: The best three-worded team in the state, Eagle Ridge Academy is the new No. 1 in the class. Holy Family had been the top-ranked team for most of the season.
Hunter Hill leads the team at 16.3 PPG and shot 6 of 6 for 16 points in a 65-42 win over Jefferson Academy Saturday. A total of five players for the Eagles are averaging double-figure point totals this winter.
ERA is at No. 4 Kent Denver Tuesday. The Sun Devils (8-2) have won six straight.
Unranked -> No. 9 Lutheran: Braydon Jacob is putting up huge numbers for the Lions. And better yet, he’s doing it with laser-sharp efficiency.
Averaging 22.2 PPG, Jacob shot 11 for 15 for 30 points in a 69-55 win over No. 7 Severance a week ago. He was then 6 of 12 for 19 points in a 68-62 win over University Thursday.
The point guard is shooting 52% from the field this winter and an astounding 50% from 3-point range (31 of 62).
Lutheran is at D’Evelyn Tuesday, then is at Cheyenne Mountain Thursday.
Honorable mention: No. 6 Pagosa Springs (8-1) has won seven straight since its loss to 5A No. 10 Montrose on Dec. 2. The Pirates were ninth in the previous rankings.