Boys Basketball League Predictions Class 1A
In Class 1A things are much different than 3A & 2A. In Class 1A you must finish in the Top 3 or 2 of District to advance to regionals (District 1 & 7 only qualify two to regionals). I will pick essentially which teams are making it to regionals. Regionals works as follows Region 1 is District 1 & 7, Region 2 is District 4, 5, & 8, Region 3 is District 2, 3, 6. I won’t post this again till after Winter Break and then it will become a weekly post. I am making these selections based off preseason analysis and the current games played.
District 1 (Only qualifies 2 teams)
- De Beque
District 1 gets only two teams into regionals. Last year De Beque and North Park were the two teams that qualified for the regional tournament. North Park lost a lot of talent from last year’s team including 3 of their top 4 scorers and return their second leading scorer Bryce Carlstorm. De Beque returns their top 5 scorers and probably one of the best scorers in 1A Brennan Rigsby. District 1 has 4 tough teams this year and will make this District tournament very fun. De Beque is my early pick to win District 1. They return their top 9 scorers, plenty of rebounding and, experience from last year’s team. My team picked to finish second is Ouray. Ouray took a step back last year after losing a very good senior class. They do lose their #2 scorer but return the rest of the roster. Scout Manley and Griffin Holifield will have to step up big for Ouray this year but I except them back in the hunt for regionals. Dove Creek and North Park will still challenge for a top 2 spot but keep an eye out for both of these teams.
- Kit Carson
District 2 gets 3 teams into regionals. Last year McClave was the District Champion with Kit Carson and Cheraw finishing second and third. McClave loses a lot of talent from last year’s team with their top 3 scorers all graduating. McClave does return the rest of the roster but will need some players to step up. Kit Carson returns their top scorer and their 3rd leading scorer. Kit Carson does lose its #2 and #4 scorers and their tallest player on their roster. Kit Carson returns a lot of speed and shooting and will need that this year. Cheraw returns the most of the top 3 teams from last year. Cheraw returns their top 3 scorers but after watching them this week only have 1 primary ball handler on the roster. District 2 should be very competitive. My early season favorite is Kit Carson. They have a ton of speed and can shoot the ball extremely well. My biggest concern is can they match up with the length and size of my #2 pick. My #2 team is Cheraw. Cheraw returns a lot of talent, size, and speed. Cheraw played well against Sangre De Cristo until their only ball handler got into foul trouble which is my biggest concern. My #3 pick is McClave. McClave already picked up a big win on the season over Stratton/Liberty but Stratton/Liberty had just 1 week of basketball practice. McClave though looks like it does have some players stepping up but we will learn more about this team as we go into the season. My sleeper pick for District 2 who could challenge the Top 3 is Granada. Granada does not have a lot of size, but they could see the youth they have been playing step up.
- South Baca
District 3 qualifies 3 teams into the regional tournament and competes in Region 3. Last year Holly was your District Champion with South Baca and Walsh finishing 2nd and 3rd. Holly has since been moved into Class 2A. South Baca lost arguably one of the best guards in Class 1A graduation and a top post player to graduation. South Baca does return their #3 thru #5 scorers but will need a player to really step up. Walsh returns every player from last year’s roster. Walsh could be a team to really watch for as District 3 should be wide open this year. District 3 like I mentioned is open to anyone winning but I do think 3 teams should rise to the top. My early season pick to win District 3 is Walsh. Walsh returns their entire roster plus regional experience will help. My #2 pick is South Baca. South Baca lost its top two scorers and will hurt early on this year. I do think South Baca will get better as the year goes on but they will have to develop by then. My #3 pick is Springfield. Springfield is already off to a quick start with wins over Cheyenne Wells and Sierra Grande. Springfield will be a team to watch.
District 4 qualifies 3 teams into the regional tournament and competes in Region 2. Last year Heritage Christian won District 4 with Peetz and Longmont Christian finishing 2nd and 3rd. Heritage Christian is now in 2A. Peetz lost a stellar senior class and are the defending state champions. Peetz will return their #2 scorers and need a lot of players to really step up this year. Longmont Christian lost their top two scorers Dominic Puchino transferred and Voigt graduated. Longmont Christian will be searching for new leadership. District 4 will be hard to gain a real grasp on this year. Merino joins the league as well which will make this a much tougher league to figure out. My #1 early season team is Peetz. Peetz has the tradition of winning plus return some very good athletes. Bryson Long will help lead this team and I still think this team will push for a great 8 and have a really good chance to defend their crown. My #2 team is Merino. Merino drops from 2A down to 1A and they should make an immediate impact. Merino returns their top two scorers but must find some depth behind them losing their #3 and #4 scorers. Merino has a win over Haxtun early on which was an upset and they look to challenge for a regional berth. My #3 pick is Prairie. Prairie loses their #2 and #5 leading scorers but return the rest of their roster. District 4 is usually a deep league and that continues this year. I have 3 teams to keep an eye on they are Fleming, Briggsdale, and Longmont Christian. Each return some key players, but leadership and playoff experience could limit how far this teams makes it.
District 5 qualifies 3 teams to regionals and compete in Region 2. District 5 I feel is more known as a football District but as of late have improved and should make this league very interesting. Last year Arickaree/Woodlin won the district tournament with Otis and Stratton/Liberty finishing second and third. Arickaree/Woodlin returns their entire roster and hope to improve upon their 17-7 finish and qualify for the state tournament. Otis also returns their entire roster and are hoping their hot shooting and speed can make up for the lack of size. Otis also is hoping to improve upon their 14-9 record of last year. Stratton/Liberty loses their top scorer and rebounder but return the rest of the roster plus coming off a state championship in football could help propel this team. District 5 could be one of the tough leagues this year especially with Haxtun being added to the mix. My #1 pick is Arickaree/Woodlin. Arickaree/Woodlin took big steps last year wining the district and qualifying for the regional tournament. They now know what it takes to make it farther and are a legit state tournament threat. My #2 team is Otis. Otis returns their entire roster but lake size. Otis will have to run teams out of the gym and must shoot the ball well. They started the year with a solid 55-51 win over Prairie but Peetz got the best of them 64-40. My #3 team is Haxtun. Haxtun drops from 2A down to 1A. Haxtun loses their #2 and #3 scorers from their Regional team. Haxtun does return their #1 scorer but an early loss to Merino does raise some question. I have two sleeper teams to watch for and easily could jump into the Top 3 they are Stratton/Liberty and Flagler/Hi Plains.
- Sangre De Cristo
- Sierra Grande
District 6 gets three teams into regionals and competes in Region 3. Last year District 6 was won by Creede with Sierra Grande and Sangre De Cristo finishing 2nd and 3rd. District 6 has started to prove they are a threat qualifying two teams into the state tournament and 1 team coming an OT away from a State Championship berth. Creede was an OT buzzer beater away from the state tournament. Creede loses their top scorer and their #3 scorer from last year. They do return their #2 and #4 scorers plus the experience gained in the state tournament. Sierra Grande loses their #1 and #2 scorers and will be tasked with replacing 28.9 PPG. Sierra Grande does run an offense that can make up for losing big name scorers. Sierra Grande will need some players to really step up. Sangre De Cristo returns their entire roster and are a team to watch out for. They gained valuable state tournament experience playing the eventual state champion Peetz. District 6 I would say is 5 teams deep this year again and should make for an exciting year. My #1 pick in District 6 is Sangre De Cristo. Sangre De Cristo returns their entire roster but are without Jared Sinclair till after December which could hurt but Sangre did pick up a huge win over Cheraw and Cheraw is no joke. My #2 team is Creede. Creede losses a huge piece in Isaac Borchers. Creede though returns Casper Freedle, Colter Simon, and Marcos Romero who all must step up this year. My #3 team is Sierra Grande. Sierra Grande loses Arthur Rodriguez who was the top scorer in 1A last year. Replacing 28.9 PPG won’t be easy, but Sierra Grande returns a deep roster plus their run and gun system will help against taller opponents. Sierra Grande also picked up a big win over South Baca. The Top 3 are not a guarantee with Cotopaxi and Manzanola challenging to jump into the Top 3.
District 7 (Only 2 teams make it to Regionals)
- Pikes Peak Christian
District 7 replaces District 8 and only gets two teams into regionals and face off with District 1 in Region 1. Last year Genoa-Hugo was your District Champion with Elbert and Deer Trail finishing 2nd and 3rd. This year only the top two teams get into the state tournament and makes this a much more interesting District tournament. Genoa-Hugo loses their #1 and #3 scorers from last year but return their #2 and #4 scorers plus have some Sophomores who need to step up this year. Elbert returns their #1 and #2 scorers but losses some key depth with their #3 and #4 scorers graduating. A lot of freshman played last year, and their growth will be huge for this team. Deer Trail loses their leading scorer and #3 scorer. They do returns their #2 scorer and #4 scorer but players stepping up will be key. District 7 should be interesting this year. My #1 team is Genoa-Hugo. Even with key losses last year they are returning enough talent to make a repeat run into regionals. Ben Miller and Greg Tidquist are key to Genoa-Hugo success. #2 team is Pikes Peak Christian. Pikes Peak Christian is returning their top 3 Scorers but are losing some depth at the #4 and #5 spot. The top two teams though will have to hold off Elbert, Deer Trail, and Kiowa to qualify for regionals.
- Cornerstone Christian
- Front Range Baptist
- Rocky Mountain Lutheran
District 8 replaces District 7 in Region #2 and qualifies 3 team to regionals. District 8 should be very competitive once again and I am sure they are happy to qualify 3 teams to regionals. Last year Front Range Baptist was your league champion with Cornerstone Christian finishing second. Front Range Baptist loses some key players from last year’s 3rd place team. Front Range Baptist losses their #1 and #3 scorers but return their #2 and #4 scorers. Front Range Baptist will need some players to step up this year but should be very competitive once again. Cornerstone Christian returns some key players returning their #1 and #2 scorers. They do lose their #3 and #4 scorers, but the rest of the roster also returns which will makes this team dangerous. District 8 could once again be a battle between the top two teams from last year, but I expect a battle for the #3 spot. My #1 team is Cornerstone Christian. Cornerstone Christian returns their top scorers and their top two rebounders. Cornerstone Christian will need another player to really step up and help with the scoring and I could see Zach Dube being that player. My #2 team is Front Range Baptist. They are just edged out by Cornerstone Christian due to Front Range Baptist losing their top scorer and ball handler Adam Poole. Front Range Baptist needs a player to step up and take over the point position. The #3 spot I think is much more in the air. I am going with Rocky Mountain Lutheran as my #3 team. They do lose their #1 and #2 scorers but returns the #3 and #4 scorers. RML will need players to step up but should be in contention for the #3 spot.