Class 1A Boys Basketball League Predictions
It has been a few weeks since my initial Class 1A league predictions and figured it was a good time to update and give a look at what I think may happen in terms of the league battles. I am also working on a Playoff Prediction and could be out today or tomorrow for Class 1A. Remember the league champions automatically qualify for the Class 1A State Tournament. 13 possible automatic berths could be given out, but a lot of leagues are mixed with 1A and 2A and we will dive into that much more in this article. The rest of the State Playoff Bracket will be selected with the CHSAA Seeding Index (RPI, Coaches Poll, Maxpreps Poll, and Packard Poll)
Class 1A Arkansas Valley League
#4 South Baca
A total of 5 schools makes up the 1A Ark Valley league. No league games have been played yet. The Ark Valley league is off to a rough start with only 1 team at .500 and the rest of the league below .500 and 2 winless teams. Currently Kim/Branson sits at #26 in the RPI with Springfield at 32 and Wiley at 35. Right now, the Ark Valley is probably a 1 team league maybe 2 if numbers start to change in the right direction for the Ark Valley League. My current pick to win the Ark Valley league is Kim/Branson. Kim/Branson is the only team at .500 and have a pair of solid wins over Crowley County and Manzanola. They also played Holly tough. Wiley is my pick for second place. Wiley played tough against Kit Carson, Eads, and Holly and picked up an impressive 15-point win over McClave last night. Springfield is my third-place team. Springfield played tough against Granada and Boise City OK but fell big to Primero. Springfield, I do think have a realistic shot at jumping up to first place. South Baca and Walsh round out the bottom of the Ark Valley league.
Class 1A Black Forrest League
#2 Evangelical Christian
#3 Pikes Peak Christian
A total of 7 schools makes up the Black Forrest league. Edison would have been #8 but are not playing this season and were a top pick of mine to compete in the Black Forrest League. The Black Forrest league looks to be in pretty good shape with three teams sitting at just 1 loss. Simla sits at #7 in the RPI, ECA sits at #9, and Pikes Peak Christian is at #21. The Black Forrest league should get 3 teams into the playoffs maybe 4 but of course seeing how the games play out will be key. Simla is my pick to win the Black Forrest League. Simla already has league wins over Hanover, Miami-Yoder, and Pikes Peak Christian. Kiowa, ECA, and Elbert remain on their schedule, but they are on the right pace to finish top 3 in the league. ECA is my pick for 2nd place. ECA has won 4 straight games but have not jumped into league play yet. They kick that off on Friday against Pikes Peak Christian and a win should put them in the right direction. Pikes Peak Christian is my pick for 3rd place. PPC is 1-1 in league and have played Miami-Yoder and Simla. PPC still has the bulk of their schedule remaining and will need to have big wins to keep a #3 spot. Elbert is my pick for 4th place. Elbert is 2-2 on the season and have been an early surprise. Elbert picks up wins over Hanover and Kiowa and now turn to the top 3 to try and move up in the standings. Elbert does not play Simla, ECA, and PPC till the end of February. Kiowa is my pick for 5th. Kiowa is 2-4 on the season. Kiowa will have their work cut out for them if they plan on pushing for a top 3 spot. They play Elbert against tonight and then ramp up their schedule with tough games towards the end of February. Hanover and Miami-Yoder round out the Black Forrest League.
Class 1A Fishers Peak League
#3 La Veta
3 teams make up the Fishers Peak League and I am guessing it’s league championship or not getting in to the state playoffs. Primero is my pick to win the Fishers Peak League. Primero is off to a great start and I think a legit state title contender. Primero has only been challenged by 2A Custer County 68-56 but have cruised in the rest of their games. Primero also beat Manzanola last night 59-33 and can wrap up the league title on Friday against La Veta. Winning out will be key for Primero to boost their shot at hosting a first-round game. Manzanola is my pick for 2nd place. Manzanola is off to a rough 0-3 start but I think get things back on track on Thursday against Las Animas. Manzanola has played a tough schedule to start and probably have to win out or win 80% of their games to try and put themselves in a position for an at-large berth. La Veta is my pick for 3rd. La Veta has also played a tough schedule like Manzanola and will also be looking to win out to try and improve their shot at an at-large berth. I am guessing whoever finishes second has a shot at an at-large berth but only if they can win over 80% of their games going forward.
Class 1A High Plains League
#1 Cheyenne Wells
#6 Kit Carson
Probably one of the toughest league this season in Class 1A will be the High Plains League. Only 1 teams in under .500 and 3 teams sit undefeated at this point in the season. Cheraw, Cheyenne Wells, and Eads all sit in the top 10 with Granada in the top 15. This will be a battle in all games and don’t think you will see many blowout inside the league games. I could see 4 teams getting into the playoffs. Cheyenne Wells is currently my pick to win the High Plains League. Cheyenne Wells is off to a solid start at 4-0 with an impressive win over Simla. Cheyenne Wells biggest test will come Friday against Cheraw who is my pick to finish second. Cheraw has 3 impressive wins over ECA, Kim/Branson, and Kit Carson. Cheraw tough will be looking to take a big leap forward with a win over Cheyenne Wells. Eads is my pick for 3rd place. Eads picked up a very important 63-55 win over Granada last night. That wins puts them in solid position for a top 3 finish. Eads has a huge game against Cheyenne Wells next week and still a very tough schedule going forward. Granada is my pick for 4th place. Granada is 4-1 on the season and will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season on Friday against Kit Carson. Granada will be looking to beat Kit Carson and keep pace with the top 3 teams. McClave is still a sleep at this point in the season. McClave is young and could surprise a team or two as the season progress and that goes for Kit Carson as well. No teams in the High Plains league are easy wins and this will be the better of the leagues battles to watch.
1A/2A Lower Platte
1A teams: Haxtun, Merino, Caliche
The Lower Platte League is a 2A/1A mixed league with only the true champion getting an automatic berth. I do not think a 1A team will win this league. Merino, Haxtun, and Caliche are the 1A teams. Merino and Haxtun in my opinion will have a really good shot at making it into the at-large field. Both teams RPI should be high by the end of the season. Merino sits at #8 and Haxtun sits at #4. I think if these two 1A teams can win against the bottom of the league and dominate against 1A opponents they should get in. I won’t give my league predictions until my 2A Article tomorrow.
3A/2A/1A Mile High League
1A teams: Longmont Christian
Only one 1A team plays in the Mile High League and that is Longmont Christian. I do not think Longmont Christian will win the Mile High League especially with 2A power Denver Christian and 3A power Highland. I do think though if Longmont Christian can finish in the top 5, they will put their name in the hat for a playoff spot. Will have to watch and see how things go.
Class 1A North Central League
#5 Weldon Valley
Traditionally a very tough league but this year could see only 1 maybe 2 teams get into the playoffs. Looking at the top RPI’s Fleming sits at #14 with Briggsdale at #17. Those two seem to be the beacon carries and the two teams with the best shot of getting into the playoffs. Briggsdale is my pick to win the North Central League. Briggsdale is 4-1 on the season and their lone loss is to Haxtun by 9. Briggsdale does not play Fleming will the end of February and should be for the league title. Fleming is my pick for second place. Fleming is 3-2 with losses to Haxtun (by 20) and Merino (by 30). Fleming did pick up a big non-league win over Genoa-Hugo last weekend. Fleming has some key games against Kit Carson this weekend and could be big looking towards the playoffs. Prairie is my pick for 3rd place. Prairie is 2-3 on the season but played Haxtun tough this past weekend. Prairie will hope to jump into the top 2 and will get their chance towards the end of February. Prairie must pick up some key non-league wins as well to hope for an at-large berth. Peetz is my pick for 4th place. Peetz is young team and should improve as we move more into the season. Big games still remain against most of the league and we will see if they can pull an upset. Weldon Valley rounds out the North Central League
1A/2A San Juan Basin
1A Teams: Dove Creek, Nucla, Ouray
I do not think the 1A teams can win the San Juan Basin. I believe that will go to either Ignacio or Mancos and will give my prediction in the Class 2A breakdown. Dove Creek, Nucla and, Ouray will have to get in with an At-large berth and Dove Creek has the best RPI at 38. Dove Creek will have some work to do along with Nucla and Ouray. If one of the 1A teams can finish in 3rd place, then possibly one of them can hope for a playoff berth.
Class 1A Southern Peaks League
#1 Sangre De Cristo
#2 Sierra Grande
The Southern Peaks league looks to be a 2-horse race and probably only 2 teams getting into the state playoffs. Sangre De Cristo and Sierra Grande seem to be the favorites early on. Sangre De Cristo is my pick to win the Southern Peaks League. Sangre De Cristo is 3-1 on the season and their lone loss is to Sanford by 10. Sangre De Cristo will look to run the table the rest of the way but have tough games against Monte Vista, Del Norte, Rocky Ford, and Sierra Grande still on their schedule. Sierra Grande is my pick to finish 2nd. Sierra Grande is 3-1 on the season with their lone loss to Center by 9. Sierra Grande has not played as tough as a schedule as Sangre De Cristo but it will get tough with games against Primero, Manzanola, and Sangre De Cristo remaining. Antonito is my pick for 3rd. Antonito is 1-2 on the season. They have a win over Centennial but fell to Sierra Grande by 16. Antonito must win out and hope for the best to try and get into the playoffs. Creede is my pick for 4th place. Creede has only played 1 game so far this season and lost to Cotopaxi 64-47. Creede will look to shock everyone and try and win the league title. Moffat and Centennial round out the Southern Peaks League.
1A/2A Union Pacific League
1A Teams: Genoa-Hugo, Deer Trail, Flagler
I do not think a 1A team will win the Union Pacific league. I will also give my full prediction on the 2A Prediction tomorrow. I do think Limon or Byers win the Union Pacific both are 2A teams. Genoa-Hugo looks to be the 1A team with the best shot at the playoffs in the league. Genoa-Hugo sits at #24 in the RPI. Genoa-Hugo will have to finish 3rd in league and must pick up some key non-league wins.
1A/2A West Central League
#2 Custer County
#3 South Park
#4 Cripple Creek
The West Central league I believe comes down to 2 teams Cotopaxi vs Custer County. The winner gets into the playoffs. Cotopaxi, I think can get in as an at-large team but will need to win key games along the way. Cotopaxi is my pick to win the West Central League. Custer County I think only gets into the 2A playoffs with the automatic berth due to the 1-4 start. Custer County has played tough in all their games just have not been able to close them out.
Class 1A YWKC League
#3 Lone Star
The YWKC league is one of the bigger leagues in Class 1A. So far 2 teams sit about .500 with the rest with just 1 or 0 wins. The YWKC league might get just 1 maybe 2 teams into the playoffs but of course we will have to watch the numbers and see what they do. Idalia is my pick to win the YWKC league. Idalia is 3-2 on the season and have played a quality schedule. Idalia is 1-0 in league play with a win over Lone Star but really dive into league play this week. Hi-Plains is my pick for 2nd place. Hi-Plains is 1-4 on the season but have been playing better as of late. Hi-Plains picked up a key win over Kit Carson last weekend and now will look to gain some momentum. They have not played a league game yet and won’t till 2/19 against Otis. Lone Star is my pick for 3rd place. Lone Star is 0-3 on the season but have played tough in their games. Lone Star has a tough schedule ahead of them, but I think can find some wins as the season progresses. Arickaree/Woodlin is my pick for 4th place. Arickaree/Woodlin is 2-1 on the season. Arickaree/Woodlin has not played the toughest schedule yet but things really ramp up this weekend. Stratton/Liberty is my pick for 5th place. They are a young team and could shock a team as the season goes on. Bethune and Otis round out the YWKC league.
Class 1A 5280 League
#1 Mile High Academy
#2 Belleview Christian
#3 Denver Jewish Day
#4 Denver Waldorf
#5 Flatirons Academy
#6 Rocky Mountain Lutheran
#7 Denver Academy of Torah
#8 Shining Mountain
#9 Front Range Baptist
#10 Beth Eden
The biggest 1A league and one of the more competitive ones always has a surprise result. Plenty of tough teams in this league. The top 5 will all have a shot at the playoffs, but it will come down to what the rankings think. My pick to win the 5280 league is Mile High Academy. They have not opened their season yet and we will see how they do on Thursday. Belleview Christian is my pick for second place. Belleview Christian picked up a key win over Denver Jewish Day 42-38 in OT. That win will go a long way to figuring out the league. Their next games is 2/11 against Mile High Academy. Denver Jewish Day is my pick for 3rd. Denver Jewish Day is 4-1 on the season and have a key league win over Rocky Mountain Lutheran. Denver Jewish Day will hope to pull an upset on Mile High Academy to try and move into the top 2. Denver Waldorf is my pick for 4th. Denver Waldorf is 2-0 on the season and still very early into their schedule so we could see them move after this weekend. Flatirons Academy is the early surprise team. Flatirons Academy has not played a very tough schedule, but things increase in tough this weekend. Rocky Mountain Lutheran is 4-2 on the season but recently hit a two-game slide. Things inside league play really get-tough next week. Denver Academy of Torah, Shining Mountain, Front Range Baptist, and Beth Eden round out the 5280 league.