It’s a very busy and very important Tuesday night in girls’ basketball as several teams look to lock down conference championships. There are two major headliners as Rye and Rocky Ford collide in a battle of unbeatens for the 2A Santa Fe championship and Regis and Highlands Ranch continue their great rivalry to decide the 5A Continental chase. Another winner-take-all title game is found between Montrose and Fruita Monument in the Southwestern.
Photo provided by Rye High School.
Mile High Academy at Shining Mountain: The winner lands second behind Flatirons Academy in the 1A 5280. Shining Mountain is probably favored as they played Flatirons Academy to a four-point loss while Mile High Academy fell 55-32. Lola Conaway (13.2) and Frances Hillard (10.1) lead the Lions offensively but they also get support from Kalea Zeender (9.6) and Sophia Matarrese (5.6). Zeender (6.9) and Matarrese (8.1) also combine for 15 rebounds a game. Mile High Academy gets a combined 26 points from Anela Dixon (13.6) and Jocelyn Curiel (12.3). Sidney Folkenberg adds 8.6 points and 13.9 rebounds.
Rye at Rocky Ford: Fans in Southeast Colorado have been waiting for this game for almost a month as the two had already separated themselves from the rest of the Santa Fe conference. Both teams enter the game with perfect 18-0 marks so the loser will drop their first game of the season. Rye got in some prep work for the showdown by blitzing Simla 57-28 on Saturday. Sophie (16) and Sydney Adamson (15) combined for 31 points in the win while Jolee Ortiz (13) and Morgan Elarton (10) also reached double figures. Ortiz (6) and Sydney Adamson (5) combined for 11 steals as the Thunderbolts also forced 20 turnovers. Just five of Rocky Ford’s 18 wins are by single digits with their most impressive win coming over Limon in overtime just before Christmas. Their most recent game came last Friday with a road win at Holly 44-29. Abi Snyder dropped in 23 points with eight rebounds and seven steals.
Dawson at Denver Christian: The winner likely ends up second behind Heritage Christian in the 2A/1A Mile High conference. The two currently share the spot with identical 8-1 records and each has a loss to the first-place Eagles. Denver Christian was more competitive against Heritage Christian as they lost 41-26 while the Mustangs came up short 52-30. Those games were played three days apart. The game shapes up to be very close. Both have allowed exactly 290 points through nine conference games with Dawson having the edge offensively as they’ve scored 462 points compared to 398 for the Thunder. Kaitlyn Day (16.9) paces Dawson offensively. Maddy Timms (10.4) is next on the list and also leads the team with nearly eight rebounds per game. Kara Amidon (12.9) is the lone double figure scorer for Denver Christian but three others average at least five. The top rebounder is Denali Schmitt (6.9).
Skyview Academy at Colorado Academy: Lutheran and Jefferson Academy have clinched the top two spots in the 3A Metro and Skyview Academy clinches second by winning on the road. The Hawks are tied with Faith Christian at 7-3 but grab third place with a win since they beat the Eagles earlier in the year. Faith Christian is at Kent Denver tonight and gets to third with a win if Skyview Academy stumbles. The game is also important to Colorado Academy as they’re trying to move past Kent Denver and Prospect Ridge for fifth. All three clubs enter the night at 5-5 in conference play.
Platte Valley at Brush: Another third-place battle in Class 3A as the Broncos and Beetdiggers face off inside the Patriot. The winner also ends up opposite league champion University in the district tournament. Both clubs are two up on fifth place Liberty Common so the loser will not fall farther than fourth. Pace will be a goal for both clubs. Brush has scored 52 more points in league play but Platte Valley has given up 56 fewer points over the same stretch. The Beetdiggers feature two double-digit scorers in Dalaynia Tadolini (14.4) and Brooke Rule (10.3). Kenzie Kraich had a triple double earlier this year and enters the final regular season game averaging nine points, eight rebounds, six assists and nearly four blocks. Platte Valley is led by the sophomore duo of Cora Schissler (14.6) and Brooke Bunting (10.8). Freshmen Bree Bunting (10.4) and Andi Schissler (7.5) are the next two on the list.
Pueblo South vs Pueblo East: Pueblo West (8-0) is the 4A South Central league champion so this matchup will help determine second place. Both clubs are 5-3 with Pueblo South winning the first matchup 43-39. Pueblo East also matches up with Pueblo West on Friday so even with a win, they may slide back into a tie before the week ends. Pueblo South though will be favored in their final game with Pueblo Centennial so the Colts will be in good shape with a win tonight. South jumped to a 24-11 lead at halftime in game one and survived a strong second half charge. Just four players scored for South as Chloe Keck led the way with 16. Jada Dupree and Zedra Medina each added 11 and Madison Reardon seven. Jaydan Garcia and Harlie Medrano each netted eight to lead Pueblo East.
Windsor at Berthoud: Windsor cannot move up or down from fourth place in the 4A Tri Valley but the game is very important for the Spartans as they’re battling Holy Family and Erie for the league championship. All three teams are 12-2 and this game is probably the strongest challenge of the week for any of the top three clubs. Berthoud dominated the first matchup 61-36 as they led 19-7 after one quarter and 36-15 at intermission. Emily Cavey had 28 points and 15 rebounds along with three assists. Windsor shot just 29 percent from the field (14-49) and made just 6 of 28 three-point attempts.
Fruita Monument at Montrose: The winner is the 4A/5A Southwestern league champion as both teams. Fruita Monument won the first game 44-39 behind 20 points and five rebounds from Callie Allen. Bailey Rigsby added six points and six assists while Lila Dere netted 11 points and three steals. Caraline Burwell topped the Indians with nine points while Josie Eccher and Jaycie Casebolt each dropped in eight. Ally Nichols had five rebounds and Hadley Greiner five assists.
Fossil Ridge at Fairview: Coming off a huge win over Broomfield last Friday, Fossil Ridge (10-0) can now clinch the 5A Front Range title by beating the third-place Knights. Fairview also lost to Broomfield last week to lose their share of the league lead and a follow-up loss to Rocky Mountain dropped the Knights all the way to third. The Sabercats have just two losses since Christmas; falling to Castle View and Highlands Ranch. Fairview ended the two-game slide by rolling Greeley West 72-31 last Friday.
Fountain Fort Carson at Liberty: The Lancers start the week third in the 5A CS Metro and trailing co-leaders Doherty and Fountain Fort Carson by one game. They remain in contention as they face both first-place teams this week but they need a win this one to make the second one with Doherty (Thursday) meaningful to their championship hopes. Fountain Fort Carson took a tight first game 51-48 as they rallied from five down in the first quarter to gain the win. Danae Christensen paced the Trojans with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Raekyiah Williams also grabbed 18 rebounds. Lydia Marshall finished with 16 points and Ashley Zeglis 12 rebounds to lead Liberty.
Highlands Ranch at Regis: Quite a bit involved in this top five matchup as the winner lands the coveted 5A Continental championship and should also get an edge in the state tournament bracket that comes out on Sunday. Regis is #4 in RPI and Highlands Ranch #5 and they’re separated by only .004 points overall. On the court, the game is a toss-up. Regis has scored 549 points in eight league wins compared to 547 for the Falcons. The Falcons have given up 213 points and Regis 228. Individually, Highlands Ranch features double-digit scorers Payton Muma (15.4) and Taylor Ray (14.0). Muma has reached double figures in 16 of 21 games with a season high 27 coming in an out of state tournament in early December. Ray has scored at least 10 points in all but three games and she matched her season high (22) in last Friday’s win over Castle View. Jada Moore (17.3) and Ashley Vansickle (16.8) combine for 34 points for Regis with Samantha Jones a third double-figure scorer (10.4). Moore, who also averages eight rebounds a night, has seven double-doubles this year including a 24 and 12 effort in the win over Mountain Vista last week. Vansickle has a string of seven consecutive double figure games and her season high of 30 points came in an early conference win over Heritage.