Conference races continue to dominate the girls’ basketball schedule and as we look to the week ahead, we breakdown each league chase and determine the most important matchups in each.
5280: Shining Mountain and Flatirons Academy both won league openers last week so they have the early advantage. Those two along with Belleview Christian (8-2 overall) will probably battle for the title. Shining Mountain is at Belleview Christian on Thursday.
Black Forest: Results from the Saturday game between Edison and Evangelical Christian have not been reported yet so the league standings are not complete. Before the game, Edison and Elbert were both 1-0 in league play so right now their head-to-head battle will be for the outright lead. Elbert has already beaten ECA so they’ll be in great shape with a victory.
High Plains: Kit Carson is out of the gate at 2-0 with McClave right there at 1-0. The Cardinals go to Eads on Friday and a win keeps them tied with the Wildcats. Eads is 0-1 in league play.
North Central: Briggsdale is 4-0 in the conference with a one game edge and win over Fleming (4-1). Prairie (2-1) is tied with Fleming in second place. Those two teams collide on Saturday and Prairie also has a Friday date with Briggsdale. So there are several possibilities after this weekend. With two wins, Prairie takes over the conference lead while two losses make it a two team race between Briggsdale and Fleming.
Southern Peaks: Sangre De Cristo was the pre-season favorite and the T-Birds face their top two challengers this week on back-to-back nights. First up si a home date with Cotopaxi and they then head to Antonito the next night.
YWKC: With their win over Bethune last week, Lone Star is in great shape to land this league championship. They’ve also beaten Idalia. The Longhorns have an interesting non-league home date with Shining Mountain on Tuesday.
Ark Valley: Springfield (2-0) and South Baca (1-0) are expected to battle for the league title and top district seed. Kim/Branson and Wiley also have above five hundred overall records but the Mustangs lost to Springfield and the Panthers to South Baca last week. Springfield has a nice non-league test at home with McClave on Saturday while Wiley (Thursday) and Kim/Branson (Friday) both face Cheraw.
Black Forest: Colorado Springs School moved to 2-0 and remained in a first place tie with Simla following an important win over Peyton last week. Simla is 4-0 in conference play. Peyton looks to rebound and stay in third place by beating Calhan on Tuesday.
Santa Fe: Rye (6-0) and Rocky Ford (5-0) share the top spot and both have at least a two-game edge on all other conference teams. The race could stay that way until the final week when the Thunderbolts and Meloneers meet for the only time in the regular season. Swink, Hoehne, Holly and Fowler all have two losses and will battle for third. Holly is at Hoehne in a key game on Friday while Swink must also tangle with Rocky Ford that same evening.
Southern Peaks: We expect a solid race between Sanford and Del Norte. Sargent, Custer County and Center should square off for spots three through five. Sargent meets both pre-season favorites this week as they go to Del Norte on Friday and hosts Sanford the next night. Sanford and Center also collide on Friday.
Lower Platte: Merino and Sedgwick County are both 2-0 with Holyoke and Wray both at 1-0. Holyoke has the most difficult stretch as they face Sedgwick County on Friday and then Wray on Saturday. They’ve already beaten Wray once this year (49-31) before Christmas.
Mile High: Four teams are unbeaten entering the week. Heritage Christian, Dawson and Denver Christan are 3-0 with Union Colony at 2-0. None of those league leaders go head-to-head this week so the best matchup may feature fifth place Gilpin County (2-1) at Union Colony on Friday.
San Juan: Telluride, Ridgway and Ignacio begin the week at 2-0 with Dove Creek (1A) in fourth one game back. Ignacio has beaten Dove Creek and is favored to win the title. They can take control of the race with two wins this week as they host Ridgway and Telluride on Friday and Saturday.
Union Pacific: Limon (2-0) is alone atop the standings but they meet Deer Trail club on Friday that will be playing their conference opener. Genoa Hugo, Byers and Stratton/Liberty share second at 1-1 but the Pirates scored a big win over Byers last week. Genoa Hugo also goes to Stratton/Liberty on Saturday.
Western Slope: Meeker (9-2 overall) and Hotchkiss (9-1) have opened league play with four straight wins and they sit atop the standings with Plateau Valley at 2-0. DeBeque and Soroco both have one league loss but the Dragons have the advantage since they beat the Rams last week. DeBeque hosts Meeker on Friday in the top game for the week.
Intermountain: Alamosa (1-0) can match Pagosa Springs 2-0 start by beating Bayfield in a makeup game on Tuesday. If that happens, the Alamosa-Pagosa Springs game on Friday will determine the outright leader. Pagosa Springs scored a big win last week in their first meeting with Centauri. Alamosa used a state record 12-three pointers from Emily Lavier to beat Monte Vista in their opener.
Metro: Lutheran, Jefferson Academy and Skyview Academy are all 2-0 with Peak to Peak and Colorado Academy also sharing first place at 1-0. Peak to Peak has two big games as the Pumas meet Skyview Academy on Tuesday and then Lutheran on Saturday.
Patriot: This will be a good race as Eaton, University and Liberty Common have started 2-0. Sterling, Estes Park, Platte Valley and Brush are next with one loss apiece. The key game has University at Eaton on Tuesday as that winner will keep a piece of first place.
Tri Peaks: St Mary’s (2-0) is in first place with Manitou Springs and James Irwin both 1-0. Three more clubs, Vanguard, Buena Vista and La Junta all have one loss. Buena Vista is next to challenge St Mary’s as the two meet in Colorado Springs on Friday. Vanguard and La Junta also meet that night.
Western Slope: Moffat County, Delta and Coal Ridge are 2-0 and sit tied in first place. Cedaredge and Grand Valley have yet to play a conference game but should contend. Coal Ridge is 1-1 and also in the early mix. The Titans head to Delta on Friday while Moffat County also faces Grand Valley. Delta also has a nice non-league game with 4A Montrose on Tuesday.
Confluence: DSST-Green Valley (3-5) and Eagle Ridge Academy (5-7) both won conference openers and have the early advantage. Lotus School is 6-1 but has yet to play a conference game. They also drop into Class 2A for the post-season.
Frontier: Academy (9-0) is the overwhelming favorite to land the league title. They’ve opened 1-0 and so has Middle Park. Arrupe Jesuit is 2-0 but none of those three do not collide this week.
CS Metro: Canon City (5-0) is alone atop the league standings and leads Mesa Ridge (4-1) and Sierra (3-1) by one game. The Tigers knocked off Sierra last week and heads to Mesa Ridge on Saturday.
Jeffco: Green Mountain (4-0) and Evergreen (3-0) have a two game edge on all other league members. They get together in the first of two conference matchups on Wednesday. The second pairing is in late February.
Northern: Thompson Valley and Greeley Central are 4-0 and tied for the lead. They’re a combined 20-3 overall and will play in Greeley on Friday. It’s the first of two conference matchups. Northridge and Longmont are both third at 3-1.
South Central: No league games have been played thus far. Pueblo West (11-1) is the pre-season favorite with Pueblo County (7-6) expected to be their top challenger. They’re the only two league teams above five hundred overall. Their first showdown is a week from Tuesday (28th).
Western Slope: Glenwood Springs (2-0) may run the table here. The Demons are the only league team with more than four wins on the season. Right now, Glenwood shares first place with Battle Mountain (1-0) and their first clash is set for January 31st.
Colorado 8: No league games have been played but Skyview (9-4), Weld Central (9-3) and Riverdale Ridge (7-2) should contend for the championship. Weld Central faces the other two this week with the Rebels hosting Skyview on Tuesday and then going to Riverdale Ridge two days later.
Tri Valley: Holy Family (6-0) is coming off a big week where they beat Erie, Berthoud and Windsor over a five-day stretch. Those wins left the Tigers alone in first with a one game edge on Berthoud and by two over Windsor. Berthoud is at Windsor on Tuesday.
Pikes Peak: Falcon and Sand Creek are both 4-0 with a one game edge on Cheyenne Mountain. The key game pits Cheyenne Mountain at Falcon on Friday.
Front Range: Four teams are unbeaten with Fossil Ridge and Broomfield at 2-0 and Legacy and Fairview at 3-0. Fort Collins (2-1) is one game back in fifth place. They host Broomfield on Tuesday in the only head-to-head battle of the top five clubs.
Jeffco: No league games have been played to date but Valor Christian (13-1) and Ralston Valley (10-2) should finish 1-2. They meet on January 29th.
Centennial: Cherry Creek and Grandview are both 4-0 and currently ranked 1-2 in Class 5A overall. They meet at Creek on Friday in the most anticipated girls game of the week in any division. Mullen is the #1 team in Class 4A but fell to third with last week’s loss to Cherry Creek.
CS Metro: Liberty (3-0) is alone in first. The Lancers lead Doherty and Fountain Fort Carson (both 3-1) by one game. None of these three meet this week.
Continental: Still very early as each team has played just one league contest. Regis, Chaparral, Ponderosa, Highlands Ranch and ThunderRidge were the first game winners. ThunderRidge goes to Regis on Tuesday.
City: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Denver East and Far Northeast all won league openers last week. The number of leaders will be reduced by one when Far Northeast visits George Washington on Saturday.
East Metro: Vista Peak (1-0) is the expected winner but the Bison share first place with Thornton (3-0), Westminster (2-0) and Prairie View (2-0). None of those four meet this week.
Southwestern: Fruita Monument (1-0) has the only conference in as they beat Grand Junction last week week. Montrose (12-2) will likely push the Wildcats for the league championship. Montrose is at Grand Junction Central and Fruita then makes the southern swing to Durango on Saturday.