Girls Basketball Class 1A State Tournament First Round Breakdown and Predictions
The end of the long season is in sight and 8 teams will battle for a state championship. I will give a quick look at how the 8 teams got here plus give my predictions for the first-round games. I will post my full 1A prediction later today.
#1 Kit Carson vs #8 Elbert
Kit Carson enters the State tournament at 22-0. Kit Carson played in the High Plains league winning the regular season title. Kit Carson entered Districts as the #1 seed and made quick work of their opponents winning both games by 20+ points. Kit Carson entered regionals as the #1 team in Bracket 1 and received a bye. Kit Carson played Wiley in the regional finals and made quick work of Wiley beating Wiley 65-27. Kit Carson enters the State tournament as the #1 seed. Kit Carson has dominated all year and are the favorites to win a State Championship. Kit Carson is led by a pair of seniors Tess Hornung 18.5 ppg and Olivia Isenbart 11.1 ppg. Kit Carson has 5 players scoring over 5 ppg.
Elbert enters the state tournament at 18-3. Elbert played in the Black Forest League and won the regular season title going 7-0. Elbert entered District as the #2 seed and had a bye in the first round. Elbert played Kiowa for a shot to qualify for the state tournament. Elbert beat Kiowa 43-33 to qualify for state but next on the line was a to play either the #1 or #2 team from District 1. Elbert would then upset Genoa-Hugo 30-24 to win the District 7 championship. At regionals Elbert would face North Park the #2 team from District 1. Elbert started the game outscoring North Park 15-9. Elbert took care of business in every quarter and would beat North Park 57-42 to qualify for the state tournament. Elbert is led by Graycee Lay 12.2 ppg and Olivia Lay 9.9 ppg. Elbert has 3 player scoring over 5 ppg.
Elbert will get the first shot to try and upset the heavily favored Kit Carson Wildcats. Kit Carson is going for the 4 peat. Kit Carson will get everyone best shot and must be ready. I am going with Kit Carson in this game.
#4 Briggsdale vs #5 De Beque
Briggsdale enters the state tournament at 21-2. Briggsdale is a very young team with no seniors on the team. Briggsdale competed in the North Central league finishing tied for first place with Fleming. Briggsdale entered the District tournament as the #1 seed. Briggsdale would be challenged in the semifinals by Merino beating Merino 47-40. The win over Merino qualified them for Regionals. Briggsdale would then face Fleming in the District Championship and Fleming would pull the 48-47 upset. Briggsdale would enter Regionals as the #1 seed. Briggsdale would get a bye and would face the winner of Merino vs Belleview Christian. Briggsdale would face Merino for the third time in one season. Briggsdale would get by Merino for the third time 45-32 and qualify for the state tournament. Briggsdale is very young as mentioned and are led by a sophomore and freshman in scoring. Sophomore Shelby Hoffman 16.4 ppg and Freshman Kylie Krise 15.7 lead the Falcons. Briggsdale also has 3 players scoring over 5 ppg.
De Beque enters the state tournament at 18-3. De Beque competed in the 2A/1A Western Slope League finishing tied for second place with Soroco. De Beque would enter the District tournament as the #1 seed and played a must win game against Ouray to qualify for the regional tournament. De Beque beat Ouray 53-27 to qualify for state. De Beque then took care of business against North Park and winning the district tournament 60-38. De Beque would play the #2 team from District 7 being Genoa-Hugo. De Beque would take a small lead into halftime over Genoa-Hugo 26-19. De Beque then outscored Genoa-Hugo 20-2 to blow the game open and win 54-33. De Beque would qualify for state. De Beque is led by a pair of senior Faith Novess 16.5 ppg and Jentry Largent 15.7 ppg. De Beque has 4 players scoring over 5ppg.
This is a very intriguing matchup. These two have played each other before and it was Briggsdale capturing the 35-31-win way back in December. Things have changed since then with both teams gaining experience. De Beque has been led by their senior leaders are playing their best basketball of the year. De Beque win over Genoa-Hugo was a huge win over a solid team. Briggsdale bounce back nicely after losing to Fleming. Briggsdale is my pick in this game but I expect a very close game.
#3 Sangre De Cristo vs #6 Fleming
Sangre De Cristo enters the state tournament at 21-2. Sangre De Cristo won the 1A Southern Peaks league dominating their competition. Sangre De Cristo would enter the District 6 tournament as the #1 seed and continued to keep things rolling beating all three opponents by 20+ points and winning the district crown. Sangre De Cristo would go in as the #1 seed in bracket 3. Sangre De Cristo would receive a bye and await the winner of Springfield and Eads. Sangre De Cristo would face the upset hungry Springfield team, and this was also a rematch of a 6-point game earlier in the year. Sangre De Cristo built an early 22-15 lead at halftime and saw it nearly disappear in the third quarter but held onto the 34-30 lead. The fourth quarter was much better for Sangre De Cristo as they outscored Springfield 19-11 and qualify for state 53-41. Sangre De Cristo has been without scoring leader Kylie Christensen since February and have seen Jessica Slane 14.0 ppg and Lexi Metz 8.6 ppg step up on the scoring end. Sangre De Cristo has 4 players scoring over 5 ppg.
Fleming enters the state tournament at 20-3. Fleming finished tied for first with Briggsdale in the North Central League. Entering the District tournament Fleming would enter as the #2 seed. Fleming would make quick work of their first two opponents and qualify for the regional tournament. Fleming would then face Briggsdale for the third time this year and would win the rubber match 48-47. Fleming would enter regionals as the #2 seed and would await the winner of Arickaree/Woodlin and Cornerstone Christian. Arickaree/Woodlin would win that game and set up a good regional final. Fleming would build an early 6 point lead and push it to 8 before halftime. Arickaree/Woodlin would keep it close to the end but Fleming would capture the 60-47 win. Fleming would qualify for the State tournament with the win. Fleming has been led by a trio of players sophomore Kendyl Kirkwood 16.4 ppg, senior Jenna Lengfelder 14.0 ppg, and freshman Whitney Chintala 12.1 ppg. Fleming has just 3 players scoring over 5 ppg.
This was probably my tough pick of the first round. Both teams are coming off close Regional Final wins. Sangre De Cristo is playing well right now but are going against a team who is use to playing in the State tournament. I am going to go with Sangre De Cristo in this game by 2. Honestly it could go either way, but I am going with a team gaining confidence daily.
#2 South Baca vs #7 Haxtun
South Baca enters the state tournament at 20-0. South Baca won the 2A/1A Arkansas Valley league going 5-0 in league. South Baca would enter the District tournament as the #1 seed and a bye. South Baca would face Kim/Branson in the semifinals and would win 54-30. South Baca would then face Wiley in the district championship. South Baca came to play and took care of business blasting Wiley 53-19. South Baca would qualify for Regionals with the win. South Baca would enter regionals as the #1 seed in bracket 2 and receive a bye. South Baca would face McClave in the Regional finals. South Baca would build an early 19-6 lead but saw McClave cut into the lead being outscored 15-10. South Baca would hold the lead and pull away in the fourth quarter winning 49-38. South Baca would qualify for state and enter as the second undefeated team. South Baca is led by sophomore Alissa Hebberd 12.7 ppg and Delany Eskew 11.8 ppg. South Baca also have 5 players scoring over 5 ppg.
Haxtun enters the state tournament at 18-5. Haxtun finished 4th in the 2A/1A Lower Platte league. Haxtun would enter the district tournament as the #1 seed and would need to win just 1 of 2 games to qualify for regionals. Haxtun won their semifinal game over Idalia 49-39 to qualify for state. In the District Championship Haxtun would face Arickaree/Woodlin. Haxtun would jump out to an early 19-6 lead and would never look back winning 58-26. Haxtun gained some much needed momentum and help in the RPI by winning the district tournament. Haxtun would enter regionals as the #3 seed and would await the winner of Shining Mountain and Idalia. Idalia would pull the upset and would set up another meeting between the two district teams. Haxtun like the first meeting would build an early 16-6 lead but Idalia started chipping away outscoring Haxtun 16-12 in the third quarter and then nearly coming back in the fourth. Haxtun though kept their composure and would win 50-44. The win qualified Haxtun for the state tournament. Haxtun has been led by Senior Dawson Knode 18.0 ppg. 4 other Bulldogs score over 5 ppg.
This is another intriguing matchup. South Baca has not played the toughest schedule but have proven themselves in every game. Haxtun played in the tough Lower Platte league and pushed Yuma and Wray both times. I am going with the upset in this game. I am going Haxtun over South Baca.