Class 1A Boys Basketball Breakdown

Class 1A Boys Basketball District Breakdown and Predictions

Class 1A Boys Basketball District Breakdown and Predictions

The Start of the basketball season is just a few days away and it is time to go District by District and give a breakdown and a few predictions.  I will finish both Boys and Girls District breakdown and then give my top 10 per Class.  Remember the top 24 teams make the postseason bracket with District Champions automatically qualifying for the postseason.  Must play a minimum of 7 games.  Last, the CHSAA seeding index will determine at-large qualifiers in each Class.  One last note, I am picking players based on what MaxPreps says is returning if players are not playing or transfer let me know and I will adjust the rankings if it makes enough of a difference. 

District 1

#1 De Beque

#2 Ouray

#3 Dove Creek

#4 Caprock Academy

#5 Nucla

#6 North Park

District 1 adds one team this season with Caprock Academy moving from Class 2A down to Class 1A.  The past two season have been dominated by De Beque and I do not see any changes this season.  De Beque will return 3 of their top 5 scorers with POY candidate Wes Ryan back for his senior season.  De Beque will be looking for depth behind their 2 senior leaders.  Ouray is my pick for second.  Ouray will be looking for players to step up this season with only 2 of their top 5 scorers returning.  Jackson Leo returns as the leading scorer, but I am concerned about the depth of Ouray.  Dove Creek is my pick for 3rd, but I could easily see them challenge Ouray at #2.  Dove Creek returns 4 of their top 5 scorers and lose just 1 senior from last year’s team.  Kade Hankins will be sophomore this season and led Dove Creek in scoring.  Look for Dove Creek to push for a top 2 finish.  Caprock Academy drops into 1A this season.  Caprock Academy could be a threat right away with just 1 senior graduating and them returning 4 of their top 5 scorers.  I have them at #4 right now but could easily see them higher in the standings.  Nucla sits at #5.  Nucla will rely heavily on Tyler Wytulka in the scoring department but should have some decent depth with 3 of their top 5 scorers returning.  North Park will be young this season and will rely heavily on a junior and sophomore class.  I could see North Park being a year away from really making a push in the District race. 

My predictions for District 1

District Champion: De Beque

Playoff Contenders: De Beque, Ouray, Dove Creek

Dark Horse: Caprock Academy

Player of the League Prediction: Wes Ryan

Others to Watch for: Jackson Leo Sr. Ouray, Jaden Jordan Sr. De Beque, Andrew Jordan Jr. Caprock Academy, Kade Hankins So. Dove Creek, Tyler Wytulka Sr. Nucla

District 2

#1 Kit Carson

#2 Eads

#3 Granada

#4 Cheyenne Wells

#5 Cheraw

#6 McClave

#7 Wiley

District 2 stays nearly the same this season, but they add Wiley into the District.  I do think that District 2 will be wide open this year.  District 2 had a lot of teams lose quality seniors and should be a fun District to watch.  Kit Carson keeps my #1 spot this season.  Kit Carson lose a very good senior class, but they do return their #1 scorer for a year ago in Sullivan Farmer.  His senior leadership will be key for Kit Carson and look for the upcoming junior and sophomore class to take a big step forward.  Eads will be a big contender this season for the District crown.  Eads lose 2 seniors from last year’s team and return 4 of their top 5 scorers.  Damien Barnes will be the leader this season and look for Eads to have an improved season.  Granada is another team that lose just 2 seniors from a year ago and return their top 4 scorers from last year.  Dominic Coleman and John Hainer will lead the team.  Granada should show improvement this season.  Cheyenne Wells is my pick for 4th.  Cheyenne Wells lose 2 of their top 3 scorers from a year ago but have plenty of talent returning to push for a top 3 finish in the District race.  Kody Ryser, Cade Mitchek, and Preston Hernandez must all step up this season for Cheyenne Wells to challenge for a top 3 spot.  Cheraw is my pick for 5th.  Cheraw lost a solid senior class that takes 4 of their top 5 scorers and will rely on a young group of guards to step up.  Trey Pearce will provide the scoring and rebounding in the Center position, but Cheraw will need the sophomores and junior guards to really come into their own if they plan to challenge for a top 3 spot in the district.  McClave comes in at #6.  McClave is a young team with their top 4 scorers all returning and 3 of the 4 are sophomores this season.  I may have McClave a bit low here especially if the younger players continue to step up.  McClave will be the dark horse this season.  Wiley rounds out the District 2.  Wiley lose their main offensive scorer from a year ago and will look for depth scoring this season.

My predictions for District 2

District Champion: Kit Carson

Playoff Contenders: Kit Carson, Eads, Granada, Cheyenne Wells

Dark Horse: McClave

Player of the League Prediction: Dominic Coleman Jr. Granada

Others to Watch for: Sullivan Farmer Sr. Kit Carson, Damien Barnes Sr. Eads, John Hainer So. Granada, Kody Ryser Jr. Cheyenne Wells, Cade Mitchek Jr. Cheyenne Wells, Trey Pearce Sr. Cheraw, Aiden Martinez So. McClave

District 3

#1 Primero

#2 Manzanola

#3 Springfield

#4 South Baca

#5 Walsh

#6 La Veta

#7 Kim/Branson

District 3 adds three teams this season with Primero, Manzanola, and La Veta joining the district this season and Wiley moving into District 2.  I think District 3 has 4 teams that will contend for the District crown and should be a great race.  I am picking Primero as the District Champs.  Primero finished third in District 6 a year ago and return their top 4 scorers from a year ago.  Antonio Cordova, Michael Damelio, and Lance Peters all return and should make Primero a huge threat.  Manzanola is my pick for second place.  Manzanola returns 3 of their top 5 scorers and leading scorer Blake Williams is back.  Manzanola showed success towards the end of last season and I think with a Daniel Escareno and Richard Roberts back should help Manzanola push for the top spot in the District.  Springfield is my pick for 3rd place.  Springfield returns their top 5 scorers from a year ago and will be looking to bounce back off a tough 6-14 season.  Springfield should have plenty of leadership back and look for Darian Schaller, Luke Hutches, and Hayden Lasley to lead Springfield in push for a District title.  South Baca is my pick for 4th.  South Baca lose their leading scorer from a year ago but return 3 of their top 5 scorers.  Ryan Varnado will be the main offensive threat this season.  South Baca will need other players to step up this season for depth scoring.  Walsh is my pick for 5th.  Walsh lose a great senior class with their top 5 scorers all graduating.  Walsh could be rebuilding this season but look for them to be tough to face with the size they still have coming back.  La Veta is my pick for 6th.  La Veta returns plenty of talent to push for a top 4 finish but coming together will be the key.  La Veta returns Carson Miller and Levi Hollberg.  La Veta is my dark horse pick to challenge for a top 3 spot.  Kim/Branson rounds out the District.  Kim/Branson lose a good senior class and lose 5 of their top 6 scorers.  Kim/Branson does have some talent coming back but look for next years team to really push for a top 3 finish.

My predictions for District 3

District Champion: Primero

Playoff Contenders: Primero, Manzanola, Springfield, South Baca

Dark Horse: La Veta

Player of the League Prediction: Antonio Cordova

Others to Watch for: Michael Damelio Jr. Primero, Blake Williams Sr. Manzanola, Daniel Escareno Jr. Manzanola, Darian Schaller Sr. Springfield, Ryan Varnado So. South Baca, Carson Miller Sr. La Veta, Joe Buhrle Jr. Kim/Branson

District 4

#1 Merino

#2 Haxtun

#3 Briggsdale

#4 Fleming

#5 Longmont Christian

#6 Peetz

#7 Prairie

#8 Caliche

#9 Weldon Valley

District 4 is one of the biggest and toughest Districts in Class 1A.  Making Predictions in the District is always tough and seems like there is always a team who rises and upsets teams once inside the District tournament.  I think District 4 is wide open with a solid senior class graduating.  Merino is my pick to win District 4.  Merino will return 4 of their top 6 scorers but will be looking to replace their #1 and #2 scoring options.  Merino will have plenty of depth back and look for Kody Clouse, Derrick Alber, and Andrew Frank to step up for Merino.  Haxtun is my pick for second place.  Haxtun had a bit of a down season a year ago with a very young team taking the floor.  The experience Haxtun gained a season ago should pay big dividends this season with 4 of their top 5 players returning.  Haxtun returns Tyan Tempel, Own Knode, and Isaac Andersen and should be a threat to win the District title.  Briggsdale is my pick for 3rd.  Briggsdale will lose their main offensive threat from a season ago but look for a pair of Junior in Braden Krise and Malik Carlson to step up and take over on the offensive side.  Depth is my big concern for Briggsdale but look for them to be a contender again this season.  Fleming is my pick for 4th.  Fleming will be losing a lot of depth but will return leading scorer Kade Comstock and #4 scorer Braylen Feather.  Fleming must have depth really step up this season to be contenders.  My fifth-place pick is Longmont Christian.  Longmont Christian lose their top 2 scorers from a year ago but have plenty of depth coming back.  Longmont Christian will lean heavily upon Daniel Vrooman, Kyle Saunders, and Caleb Schanafelt.  Those three are key for Longmont Christian to try and challenge the top 3.  Peetz is my pick for sixth.  Peetz lose their leading scorer from a year ago but look for Nolan Hill to step into the main scoring position.  Peetz also will need some depth to step up to help them move up the standing.  Prairie lose a solid senior class and will be replacing 4 of their top 5 scorers.  Prairie will turn to Andy Long to step up as the leader and look for the upcoming Juniors and Sophomores to step up this season.  Prairie is my dark horse pick.  Caliche and Weldon Valley bring up the end of the District.  Caliche lose their top 2 scores from a year ago and will be very young this season.  Weldon Valley should push for a higher position this season but must have the seniors step up this year.

My predictions for District 4

District Champion: Merino

Playoff Contenders: Merino, Haxtun, Briggsdale

Dark Horse: Prairie

Player of the League Prediction: Ryan Tempel Sr. Haxtun

Others to Watch for: Kody Clouse Sr. Merino, Derrick Alber Jr. Merino, Owen Knode Jr. Haxtun, Isaac Anderson Jr. Haxtun, Braden Krise Jr. Briggsdale, Malik Carlson Jr. Briggsdale, Kade Comstock Sr. Fleming, Daniel Vrooman Sr. Longmont Christian, Nolan Hill Sr. Peetz, Andy Long Jr. Prairie

District 5

#1 Genoa-Hugo

#2 Flagler/Hi Plains (They will be separated but not sure which kids go where, will sort once season starts)

#3 Stratton/Liberty

#4 Lone Star

#5 Arickaree/Woodlin

#6 Idalia

#7 Bethune

#8 Deer Trail

#9 Otis

District 5 is also another district tough to judge and may be one of the weaker District in Class 1A this year.  Genoa-Hugo is my pick to win District 5.  Genoa-Hugo returns their top 5 scorers from a year ago and lose just 2 seniors from last years team.  Genoa-Hugo will look to Wyatt Miller and Colby Simmons to be leaders this year.  Flagler/Hi Plains is my pick for second place.  Flagler/Hi Plains returns leading scorer Nick Schroeder but scoring depth must step up this season.  I see Flagler/Hi Plains being the main challenger to Genoa-Hugo for the District title.  Stratton/Liberty is my pick for third place.  Stratton/Liberty will lean heavily on Ashtin Davidson for scoring and must have sophomores and freshman really step up this season for Stratton/Liberty to hold onto a top 3 spot in the District.  Lone Star is my pick for fourth.  Lone Star I think can easily push for a top 3 spot especially with 4 of their top 5 scorers returning.  Brady Kuntz and Liam Garza will be the leaders and look for Lone Star to take a big jump this season.  Arickaree/Woodlin is my pick for fifth in District 5.  Arickaree/Woodlin returns 3 of their top 5 scorers and plenty of depth of a young team.  Tristin Niccoli and Chris Wood return as the leaders for Arickaree/Woodlin and I think could push for a top 4 spot in the District.  Arickaree/Woodlin is my Dark Horse pick.  Idalia returns 2 of their top 5 scorers and will lean heavily on a junior and sophomore class.  Yahir Enriquez and Christian Reyes are the leaders for Idalia and must have big season for Idalia to compete.  Bethune is my pick for 6th.  Bethune lose their leading scorer from a year ago but return a talented junior class and I think make big strides this season.  Bethune could be a year away though from really pushing for a top spot in the District.  Deer Trail and Otis round out the district.  Deer Trail lose their leading scorer from a year ago and I think if the depth step up could easily make a push for a top 5 spot.  Otis will be young this season and look for a rebuilding year for Otis.

My predictions for District 5

District Champion:  Genoa-Hugo

Playoff Contenders: Genoa-Hugo, Flagler/Hi Plains, Stratton/Liberty, Lone Star

Dark Horse: Arickaree/Woodlin

Player of the League Prediction: Nick Schroeder Sr. Flagler/Hi Plains

Others to Watch for: Wyatt Miller Jr. Genoa-Hugo, Colby Simmons Jr. Genoa-Hugo, Ashtin Davidson Sr. Stratton/Liberty, Brady Kuntz Sr. Lone Star, Liam Garza Sr. Lone Star, Tristin Niccoli Sr. Arickaree/Woodlin, Yahir Enriquez Jr. Idalia, Elias Garcia Jr. Bethune, Dayne Woodis Jr. Deer Trail

District 6

#1 Sangre De Cristo

#2 Sierra Grande

#3 Cotopaxi

#4 Antonio

#5 Centennial

#6 Creede

#7 Moffat

#8 Lake City

District 6 lose most of the out of the Valley teams and make this a very top loaded district this season.  I think the top 3 are the Class of the District but anything can happen in an all-San Luis Valley affair.  Sangre De Cristo is my pick to win District 6.  Sangre De Cristo lose huge pieces from last year’s team including their leading scorer and their #3 scorer, but I do not expect much of a drop.  Sangre De Cristo will lean on senior Kevin Enriquez to become the leader along with Leighton Curtis and Luke Christensen.  Key players must step up for Sangre to avoid slipping to my #2 pick.  Sierra Grande is my pick to finish second.  Sierra Grande had a tough season a year ago with a lot of new players stepping into big roles but look for Sierra Grande to make big strides this season.  Sierra Grande returns 3 of their top 4 scorers including their leading scorer in Isiah Chairez.  Caleb Scharsch and Thomas Archuleta must play big roles this season for Sierra Grande to win the District.  Sierra Grande will have the edge in experience over Sangre De Cristo, but can they put it all together.  Cotopaxi is my pick for third in the District.  Cotopaxi will be looking to replace their #1 scorer but return depth.  Cotopaxi will turn to Peter Belt and Ty Coleman to become leaders.  Antonito is my pick for 4th place.  Antonito returns leading scorer Josh Duran but can the rest of the team step up and help Antonito push for a top 3 spot in the District.  Centennial returns 3 of their top 5 scorers but will be looking for a new leader this season.  Lennie Valdez could be that leader and could help Centennial push for a higher spot.  Creede is my pick for 6th.  Creede will return their leading scorer in Fisher Leggitt but who else steps up will be key for Creede.  If players can step up around Leggitt I can easily see Creede push for a top 3 spot and are my dark horse pick.  Moffat returns 3 of their top 5 scorers.  Moffat is junior heavy, and we should see this team make big strides as well this season.  Moffat could be a main contender next year.

My predictions for District 6

District Champion: Sangre De Cristo

Playoff Contenders: Sangre De Cristo, Sierra Grande, Cotopaxi

Dark Horse: Creede

Player of the League Prediction: Isiah Chairez Jr. Sierra Grande

Others to Watch for: Caleb Scharsch Sr. Sierra Grande, Josh Duran Sr. Antonito, Leighton Curtis So. Sangre De Cristo, Kevin Enriquez Sr. Sangre De Cristo, Lennie Valdez Sr. Centennial, Peter Belt Sr. Cotopaxi

District 7

#1 Simla

#2 Edison

#3 Pikes Peak Christian

#4 Elbert

#5 Kiowa

#6 Hanover

#7 Evangelical Christian

#8 Miami-Yoder

#9 Cripple Creek

#10 Colorado D&B

District 7 adds a new team in Simla dropping from Class 2A down to Class 1A.  District 7 should be competitive and should make for a very fun race this season.  Simla is my pick to win the District.  Simla had a tough year in Class 2A winning just 5 games but return their top 4 scorers from a year ago.  Coletin Mazerall and Brayden Glover must be leaders for Simla to win the District 7 title.  Edison is my pick for second place.  Edison had glimpses of being a power last season including their upset of ECA.  Edison now is looking to become a top team and return their entire roster from a year ago.  Look for Brett Green and Josh Yoder to continue to get better in their Sophomore and Junior seasons.  Pikes Peak Christian is my third-place team.  Pikes Peak Christian return their entire roster from a year ago when they went 13-10.  Pikes Peak Christina will be looking to improve this season and look for Ethan Moore, Ben Schneider, and Uriah Wehner to have big season this year.  Elbert is my 4th place pick.  Elbert returns 4 of their top 5 scorers including their top 2 scorers Jhett Alapia and Joey Cornell.  These two must be the leaders on offense and depth scoring must step up.  Kiowa is my 5th place team and my dark horse pick in the District.  Kiowa had a tough season a year ago but return their top 4 scorers and I think make big strides this year.  Dustin Wenz and Colby Webb must be the leaders for Kiowa to push for a top 3 spot.  Hanover is my 6th place pick.  Hanover returns 4 of their top 5 scorers but will be looking for depth scoring to step up.  Dalton Sweazy is the leader but must have another player average near 10 points to push for a top 3 spot.  Evangelical Christian is my pick at #7.  ECA lose 4 of their top 5 scorers and Jonah Aragon is the lone return in the top 5.  ECA could have a bit of a rebuilding year but we will see how they start.  Miami-Yoder is in at #8.  Miami-Yoder is returning their top 5 scorers but will need to figure out how to win games this season.  Cripple Creek and Colorado D&B round out the bottom of District 7.

My predictions for District 7

District Champion: Simla

Playoff Contenders: Simla, Edison, Pikes Peak Christian, Elbert

Dark Horse: Kiowa

Player of the League Prediction: Brett Green So. Edison

Others to Watch for: Coletin Mazerall Sr. Simla, Brayden Glover So. Simla, Josh Yoder Jr. Edison, Ethan Moore Sr. Pikes Peak Christian, Ben Schneider Jr. PPC, Uriah Wehner Jr. PPC, Jhett Alapia Sr. Elbert, Joey Cornell Sr. Elbert, Dustin Wenz Sr. Kiowa, Dalton Swazy Jr. Hanover

District 8

#1 Mile High Academy

#2 Belleview Christian

#3 Denver Jewish Day

#4 Denver Waldorf

#5 Front Range Baptist

#6 Flatirons Academy

#7 Denver Academy of Torah

#8 Rocky Mountain Lutheran

#9 Shining Mountain.

#10 Beth Eden

District 8 has been very competitive and look for nothing to change this season.  District 8 always has upsets in the District tournament, and I would say there are 6 teams that should be tough in District 8.  My pick to win District 8 is Mile High Academy.  Mile High Academy return 3 of their top 5 scorers including leading scorers Blake Essex and Dylan McCottry.  Mile High Academy is looking to build off their semifinal appearance last year.  My second-place pick is Belleview Christian.  Belleview Christian returns 4 of their top 4 scorers and should be poised to push for the District title.  Belleview Christian will look to Logan Owen to be the senior leader.  My third-place pick is Denver Jewish Day.  Denver Jewish Day returns 3 of their top 5 scorers and leading scorer Jon Kochavi.  Depth scoring is key for Denver Jewish Day to push for the District crown and improved guard play.  My 4th place pick is Denver Waldorf.  Denver Waldorf returns 3 of their top 5 scorer but lose their leading scorer from a year ago.  Dylan Quinn and Will McHenry must become the leaders for Denver Waldorf to hold onto the #4 spot.  My 5th place pick is Front Range Baptist.  Front Range Baptist had a tough season a year ago but should be improved this year.  Front Range Baptist returns leading scorer Daniel Macfarlane and depth scoring will be key for this season.  Flatirons Academy is my pick for sixth.  Flatirons Academy will be looking for a new leading scorer but return the other top 4 scorers.  Trenton Rowan and Cody Koehn must be the leaders for Flatirons Academy.  Denver Academy of Torah come in at #7.  Denver Academy of Torah returns leading scorer Samuel Kaufman but will need other players to step up around him if they plan on making a big jump this season.  Rocky Mountain Lutheran, Shining Mountain, and Beth Eden round out District 8.

My predictions for District 8

District Champion: Mile High Academy

Playoff Contenders: Mile High Academy, Belleview Christian, Denver Jewish Day, Denver Waldorf

Dark Horse: Front Range Baptist

Player of the League Prediction: Blake Essex Sr. Mile High Academy

Others to Watch for: Dylan McCottry Sr. Mile High Academy, Logan Owen Sr. Belleview Christian, Assane Diop So. Belleview Christian, Jon Kochavi Sr. Denver Jewish Day, Dylan Quinn Jr. Denver Waldorf, Daniel Macfarlane Jr. Front Range Baptist, Samuel Kaufman Sr. Denver Academy of Torah