Class 1A Top Ten Boys Basketball Breakdown
I will post Top Ten Breakdowns until we jump full sail into league play then we will move into league predictions and playoff scenarios. Early on three teams have jumped into the Top 3 and have looked so far like they are holding down those spots. A lot of movement has happened outside the top 3 with new teams into the rankings the past 4 weeks. This past week Haxtun and Walsh moved into the rankings and my preseason #4 teams has fallen out of the rankings in Kit Carson. Also Otis has fallen out of the rankings.
#1 Sangre De Cristo (5-0)
Sangre De Cristo has opened the season 5-0 but have battled in 4 of the 5 games with narrow victories against Creede, Cheraw, Sargent, and Del Norte. Sangre De Cristo is also missing their #2 guard and #4 scorer in Jared Sinclair. Sinclair will be back January 4th and offensively this team should improve. Defensively Sangre De Cristo has not given up over 40 points yet and defense has led the way for this team. Sangre De Cristo has one last game in December against league rival Creede. This is a massive game for League Standings. Creede, Cotopaxi, and Sierra Grande will be the biggest challengers to Sangre De Cristo in league and grabbing an early win over Creede could set Sangre De Cristo up for the rest of the year.
#2 Cornerstone Christian (7-0)
Cornerstone Christian has come out the gates firing picking up 7 wins over bigger schools with their best wins coming against Byers, Heritage Christian, and Grand Valley. Cornerstone Christian is being led by Brandt Vos and Eddie Cruz both scoring over 15 PPG. Cornerstone Christian does not have another scorer over 5 PPG. Cornerstone Christian should have one last solid test with Evangelical Christian coming up. That will be their first game against a 1A opponent. Cornerstone Christian does look like the early favorite in District 8 but of course Front Range Baptist will have something to say about that.
#3 De Beque (6-0)
De Beque is off to a blazing start breaking 60 points in all 6 games and breaking 75 points twice. De Beque opened their season with a huge win over Briggsdale and that set the tone for the rest of the year. De Beque also has quality wins against Creede and Hotchkiss. De Beque still has two games left in the month of December one of which is a huge match against Plateau Valley. De Beque also plays a 2A league schedule and should be pushed the rest of the league season as well. De Beque also has 3 players over 10 PPG with Brennan Rigsby (19.2 ppg) and Wes Ryan (16.7 ppg) leading the way. I am guessing after tonight game against Plateau Valley we will see how far this team has grown.
#4 Springfield (4-2)
I am sure many people wonder why a 4-2 team sits at my #4 spot. Springfield is 4-0 against 1A opponents picking up big wins over Sierra Grande, Wiley, and Kit Carson. Springfield has two losses to 2A power Holy granted Holly has dominated in both wins. Springfield keeps a hold of the #4 spot due to their success against 1A opponents. Springfield is done playing till January where they jump straight into the fire against an improved Kim/Branson team and an improved Granada team. District 3 also looks to be a battle as well with all 5 teams at or over .500. Springfield has been led by Alex Suarez (12.8 ppg) and Beau Dukes (11.7 ppg).
#5 Briggsdale (6-1)
Briggsdale has won 5 straight games since their loss to De Beque. The loss must have really jump started this team as they picked up big wins against Arickaree/Woodlin, Prairie, Fleming, and Idalia. Briggsdale has really jumped up the rankings with the big wins. Briggsdale did pick up some early momentum wins over District Foes Prairie, Fleming, and Weldon Valley. District 4 looks to be a great District race with 6 teams all fighting for the District crown. Briggsdale has 3 players over 5 PPG and are led by Wyatt Patton (20.0 ppg) and Braden Krise (10.8 ppg). After break Briggsdale has a monster game against Peetz and a rematch against Weldon Valley.
#6 Haxtun (3-2)
Haxtun up then down then up continues. Haxtun started the season with a solid win over Fleming but fell short in back to back games against Merino and Sedgwick County. Haxtun then rebounded well with monster wins over Peetz (78-52) and Holyoke (56-49). Haxtun big win over Peetz moved them back into the Top 10 and to the #6 spot. Haxtun is in its first year in 1A and will compete in District 5 against some very good competition. Haxtun should be challenged by Arickaree/Woodlin, Stratton/Liberty, Otis, and Idalia. Haxtun finishes their December schedule with a game against Caliche and then after break plays Leyton NE and Sedgwick County for the second time.
#7 Arickaree/Woodlin (4-1)
Arickaree/Woodlin was my preseason #2 team but a loss to Briggsdale by 4 dropped them to the #7 spot. Arickaree/Woodlin has one quality win against Genoa-Hugo (40-37) but besides that win have not faced much competition. Arickaree/Woodlin also competes in District 5 and the battle between them and Haxtun should be a good one. Arickaree/Woodlin has one last game left in the month of December against 2A Akron. This could be a quality win for Arickaree/Woodlin. After break Arickaree/Woodlin open play against Fleming and Kit Carson both would be considered quality opponents.
#8 Cheraw (6-1)
Cheraw started the year competing in the T-Bird shootout and had a great tournament finishing second to Sangre De Cristo. Cheraw even pushed Sangre De Cristo and were leading at halftime. Cheraw has a lot of length and immediately flew up my board as a team to watch. Cheraw has followed up that tournament with 4 straight wins with their quality win over South Baca (54-51). Cheraw has another opportunity to pick up one more solid win when they play Sierra Grande this weekend. Cheraw has quickly moved to the top of the District 2 standings but should be challenged by Granada, McClave, and Cheyenne Wells. Cheraw after break picks things up with a game against La Veta before jumping into back to back tough games against McClave and Walsh.
#9 Peetz (3-1)
Peetz has suffered just one loss on the year to Haxtun. Peetz has played well to start the year picking up a couple big wins over Caliche and Otis. Peetz is a team to see if they can continue to improve and challenge for the District 4 crown. Peetz has one last game in December against Bridgeport NE. After break Peetz jumps into the fire with games against Briggsdale and Merino. Both games after break should give us a good idea on the growth of this team.
#10 Walsh (4-2)
Walsh has opened the year with a 4-2 mark and are undefeated against teams of their class size. Walsh has two losses to Syracuse KS and to 2A Holly. Walsh has solid wins against McClave and Kit Carson. Walsh finished third this past weekend in the Lamar Holiday Shootout which is a very solid outing for this team. Walsh competes in District 3 and as mentioned District 3 looks to be very competitive. Walsh is finished with their December schedule and after break things heat up quickly. Walsh opens with Stanton County KS and then play Cheraw on 1/12. District play for Walsh will be key for them this year.
Non-Top 10 teams
A few teams to mention sitting outside the top 10 are Front Range Baptist, Kit Carson, Otis, Merino, Ouray, and Cotopaxi. Front Range Baptist is 4-1 on the year. Their lone loss is to 2A Heritage Christian (52-49). One of the reason that Front Range Baptist is not ranked is their weak schedule. Front Range Baptist beat Loveland Classical, Eagle Ridge, Longmont Christian, and Loveland Protestant. Their early only quality win is over Longmont Christian. After break things do heat up for Front Range Baptist but until then they remain unranked. Kit Carson fell out of the rankings this week going 1-2 in the Lamar Holiday Tournament. We all knew Kit Carson would lack some size but also an injury to one of their key players also is slowing this team down. Kit Carson is still a team to watch and could move back into the rankings once they get back to full strength. Otis is 3-2 to start the year with a 24-point loss to Peetz. Otis also lost to Akron by 8 but did rebound nicely with a win over Stratton/Liberty. Otis also lacks some size and seeing how they play the rest of the year will be key for Otis. Merino started the year on a high note beating Haxtun but a loss to Otis and Burlington has slowed them just a bit. Merino also picked up a big win over Simla. Merino has not played a ton of 1A opponents but a big game against Peetz on 1/5 should give us a good idea how good Merino is. The two last teams to mention are Ouray and Cotopaxi. Ouray is 5-0 and picked up their biggest win of the season last night beating Telluride 42-40. Ouray now has a big quality win and will be the favorite to win their District. Cotopaxi has just 2 losses to South Park and Rye neither bad losses but plenty of questions still arise with this team. Cotopaxi recently beat Centennial but beat them by just 1 but also beat Creede in OT 50-47. My question on Cotopaxi is can they become consistent and beat Sangre De Cristo and Sierra Grande.