3A METRO LEAGUE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL REPORT #4
By Doug Wright
Here is an update on the 3A Metro League girls’ teams, which are in the Metro League playoffs this week. The league tournament play-in games finished according to plan; however, as discussed below, there were some surprising results in Tuesday’s quarterfinal league tournament games. We also include each team’s RPI, which will determine whether some of these teams will make the Class 3A State tournament. A couple Metro League teams are clustered “on the bubble” around the 32nd and final spot for the State tournament, and the league tournament games are meaningful as a result.
Metro League Tournament Results (# = League tournament seed):
Play-In Games (2/22). Losers are eliminated from post-season play.
#8 Peak to Peak over #9 Machebeuf
#5 Prospect Ridge Academy over #12 St. Mary’s Academy
#7 Colorado Academy over #10 Stargate Academy
#6 Kent Denver over #11 Manual
Quarterfinal Games (2/25). Winners advance to Final Four; losers move to Consolation bracket.
#1 Lutheran over #8 Peak to Peak 60-26
#4 Faith Christian over #5 Prospect Ridge Academy 30-29
#6 Kent Denver over #3 Skyview Academy 42-41
#7 Colorado Academy over #2 Jefferson Academy 39-33
Semifinal Games (2/27 at Manual HS). Note that reseeding does not occur.
#1 Lutheran vs. #4 Faith Christian
#6 Kent Denver vs. #7 Colorado Academy
Championship and Third Place Games (2/29 at Manual HS)
Championship Final Four Summary:
Lutheran (19-1, 11-0 Metro League, RPI #3) has made short work of all of its Metro League opponents this season. Its semifinal opponent is Faith Christian (11-9, 8-3 Metro League, RPI #19), which has made a nice late season run to edge above .500 on the season. The Eagles eeked out a one point victory over an improving Prospect Ridge team to advance to the semifinals, but will be no match for the talented Lutheran squad. Depending on seeding, we expect the Lions—currently ranked #2 in the MileHigh Prep Report rankings and CHSAA state poll–to make the Final Four at the Class 3A State tournament.
Colorado Academy (12-9, 5-6 Metro League, RPI #31) and Kent Denver (10-11, 5-6 Metro League, RPI #29) pulled off surprising quarterfinal upsets over the #2 and #3 seeds Jefferson Academy and Skyview Academy on Tuesday night, indicating that the Metro League teams sans Lutheran either are evenly matched or just not that strong. Colorado Academy’s victory was particularly surprising because it had lost to the Jaguars by 22 points just two weeks ago. As a result, one of the most intense Colorado high school rivalries will renew in Thursday’s semifinals as the Mustangs seek to avenge a three point loss at Kent Denver earlier in February. We look for a close contest again. Colorado Academy must slow down talented Sun Devils’ sophomore Amanda Licht to prevail. This game has huge implications for the 3A State championship due to the “bubble” RPIs of both teams. The winner will be in; the loser may well be on the outside looking in.
Predictions: Semifinals: Lutheran over Faith Christian; Colorado Academy over Kent Denver
Final: Lutheran over Colorado Academy
Third Place: Faith Christian over Kent Denver
Consolation Final Four Summary:
After running through the Metro League with only a loss at Lutheran in a close six point game, Jefferson Academy (15-5, 10-1 Metro League, RPI #15) was shocked by Colorado Academy in the league tournament quarterfinals. The Jaguars had received votes as a CHSAA-ranked team and were viewed in these pages as a potential Elite 8 contender in the State tournament. Now relegated to the Consolation bracket, they face Skyview Academy (15-5, 8-3 Metro League, RPI #16), which similarly was upset by Kent Denver in the quarterfinals. Skyview Academy is a young team that may be returning to earth following strong December and January play as they have lost three games in February. Jefferson Academy defeated the Hawks by double digits earlier this month, and we expect a similar result this time. Fortunately, both teams have solid RPIs placing them safely in the 3A State tournament.
Peak to Peak (9-12, 5-6 Metro League, RPI #38) and Prospect Ridge Academy (10-11, 6-5 Metro League, RPI #36) comprise the remaining Consolation bracket teams. Prospect Ridge has shown improved play of late, with a victory over Skyview Academy and a fifth place league finish before Tuesday’s one point loss at Faith Christian. We expect Prospect Ridge to defeat Peak to Peak in the Consolation semifinals but will not be able to handle Jefferson Academy in the Consolation finals.
Predictions: Semifinals: Jefferson Academy over Skyview Academy; Prospect Ridge Academy over Peak to Peak
Final (Fifth Place): Jefferson Academy over Prospect Ridge Academy
Seventh Place: Game Not Played