Class 3A Boys Basketball First Round Playoff Predictions
The State Basketball Playoff Brackets were released this yesterday and we kick State Tournament playoff tonight. We move right into my First Round Predictions. I will also have my full Playoff Predictions released later but want to get my round-by-round predictions completed. First thing I want to say congratulations to all teams that made the State Brackets. Second, this is all for fun and just my predictions. I always enjoy having conversations about my missed picks and like seeing everyone predictions as well. Finally, let’s play basketball!!
#17 Brush over #16 Kent Denver
Kent Denver enters the playoffs at 10-4 and finished 5th in the Metro League. Kent Denver ended the year winning 4 of their last 5 games and are on a bit of a hot streak. Kent Denver is led in scoring by Jr. Duke Benson (20.1 ppg), So. Jay Royal (17.4 ppg), and Sr. Adrian Doerr (16.7 ppg). Kent Denver went 0-4 against State Tournament teams. Brush enters the playoffs with an 11-3 record and finished 4th inside the Patriot League. Brush continues to improve early and took big strides this season. Brush is led in scoring by Jr. Cesar Hinojos (20.1 ppg), Sr. Tyler Barfuss (16.1 ppg), and Sr. Keegan Link (11.2 ppg). Brush went 3-3 against playoff teams. I am going with Brush over Kent Denver in this game. Should be a great game I think Brush has proven they can win against playoff teams which is why I am picking them.
#9 Resurrection Christian over #24 DSST-Conservatory Green
Resurrection Christian enters the playoffs with an 8-3 record and finished 2nd in the Patriot League. Resurrection Christian ended the year winning 5 of their last 6 games including a few wins over playoff teams. Resurrection Christian is led in scoring by Sr. Wade Shields (15.5 ppg), Sr. Zach Cook (10.7 ppg), and Sr. Cade Bothwell (8.1 ppg). Resurrection Christian went 3-3 against playoff teams. DSST-Conservatory Green enters the playoffs at 8-5 and winners of the Confluence League. DSST-Conservatory Green beat DSST-Green Valley Ranch earlier in the season and that proved to be the difference in the year. DSST-Conservatory Green is led in scoring by Fr. Azar Ghezae (10.4 ppg), Sr. Semaje Dawson (9.7 ppg), and Sr. Zyler Shaw (9.4 ppg). DSST-Conservatory Green went 0-2 against playoff teams. I am picking Resurrection Christian over DSST-Conservatory Green. I think Resurrection Christian played the tougher schedule and have more program tradition. DSST-Conservatory Green gets big success in their first year and we will see what this does for the program.
#21 Alamosa over #12 Colorado Academy
Colorado Academy enters the playoffs with an 8-1 record and finished tie for first in the Metro League. Colorado Academy did not play Lutheran or Faith Christian during the regular season and did not play the toughest schedule. Colorado Academy is led in scoring by Jr. Elliott Cravitz (16.6 ppg) and Jr. Ahbil Woldeyohannes (13.4 ppg). Colorado Academy went 1-1 against tournament teams. Alamosa enters the playoffs at 9-4 and finished 2nd in the Intermountain League. Alamosa had a lot of young players to start the season and have grown a ton. Alamosa also won their final 3 games to get into the tournament. Alamosa is led in scoring by Jr. Damian Orozco (10.0 ppg), Sr. Kane Absmeier (8.9 ppg), and Sr. Dylan Mendoza (8.3 ppg). Alamosa went 3-2 against tournament teams. I am going with Alamosa over Colorado Academy. I think Alamosa is peaking at the right time and playing their best basketball. Defense will be the key to Alamosa pulling the upset.
#13 Coal Ridge over #20 Buena Vista
Coal Ridge enters the tournament at 11-3 and winners of the 3A Western Slope League. Coal Ridge ended the season winning their final two games and 4 of their last 6 games. Coal Ridge is led in scoring by Sr. Andrew Herrera (10.8 ppg), Sr. Moises Contreras (8.7 ppg), and Sr. Karsen DuBois (7.9 ppg). Coal Ridge went 2-2 against tournament teams. Buena Vista enters the playoffs with an 8-3 record and finished 5th place in the Tri-Peaks League. Buena Vista ended the season winning 3 of their final 4 games all were key to getting into the tournament. Buena Vista is led in scoring by Sr. Dominic St. John (9.1 ppg), Jr. Connor Scott (7.7 ppg), and Sr. Isaac Bearss (7.6 ppg). Buena Vista went 2-2 against tournament teams. I am going with Coal Ridge over Buena Vista. I think tournament experience will be for Coal Ridge to win this game. Both teams played tough opponents and ended the season on high points. Defense is key to both teams but I think Coal Ridge has the tournament experience and that proves to be the difference.
#15 Gunnison over #18 Salida
Gunnison enters the playoffs with an 10-4 record and finished 4th in the Western Slope League. Gunnison ended the year on a 6 game winning streak including wins over playoffs teams. Gunnison could be peaking at the right time. Gunnison is led in scoring by Sr. Braden Wood (21.6 ppg) and Sr. Aidan Hulbert (16.9 ppg). Gunnison went 5-3 against tournament teams. Salida enters the tournament at 10-3 and finished 4th in the Tri-Peaks League. Salida ended the regular season on a 3 game winning streak to secure a top 20 seed. Salida is led in scoring by Sr. Myles Godina (13.5 ppg), Sr. Jonah Ellis (10.9 ppg), and Sr. Leif Gislason (9.6 ppg). Salida went 1-3 against playoff teams. I am going with Gunnison over Salida. I think scoring will be key for Gunnison in this game. I also think playoff experience will be key for Gunnison. If Salida can keep the scores under 50 they can win this game.
#10 Highland over #23 University
Highland enters the playoffs with an 13-1 record and winners of the Mile High League. Highland played a 2A schedule but dominated their 2A opponents in the process. Highland is led in scoring by Sr. Jase Bessire (20.5 ppg), Sr. Bowen Tolle (17.3 ppg), and Sr. Holden Morgan (11.4 ppg). Highland went 4-1 against playoff teams and their key win over Resurrection Christina early in the season is a big win. University enters the playoffs with an 8-6 record and finished 5th in the Patriot League. University won 5 of their final 6 games to punch their ticket into the tournament. University is led in scoring by Jr. Tayt Chacon (22.6 ppg), So. Desmond Williams (11.0 ppg), and Sr. Alex Martinez (9.3 ppg). University went 0-6 against tournament teams. I am going with Highland over University. I could see this game turning into a very high scoring game. I think Highland has to much firepower, but I think University is hot right now and this could be a very good game.
#11 Faith Christian over #22 Strasburg
Faith Christian enters the playoffs at 8-4 and finished 4th in the Metro League. Faith Christian won 5 of their final 6 games to clinch a home playoff game. Faith Christian is led in scoring by Sr. Caleb Clark (21.7 ppg), So. Geo Velarde (15.8 ppg), and Sr. Graham Kroll (9.4 ppg). Faith Christian went 2-4 against playoff teams. Strasburg enters the playoffs with an 9-5 record and finished 3rd in the Patriot League. Strasburg ended the season on a bit of a down note dropping their final 2 games but before that ran off 3 straight wins 2 of which were over playoff teams. Strasburg is led in scoring by Sr. Collin Russell (16.4 ppg), Sr. Daniel Alvarado (13.1 ppg), and Sr. Trystan Graf (8.0 ppg). Strasburg went 3-2 against tournament teams. I am picking Faith Christian over Strasburg. I believe this will be a good game. If Strasburg can get back to playing in peak form, they have proven they can beat some top teams. Faith Christian will need their playoff experience to help them in this game. I think Faith Christian scoring ability could be the difference but I expect a very solid game.
#14 C.S Christian over #19 Pinnacle
C.S Christian enters the playoffs with an 11-3 record and finished 3rd in the Tri-Peaks League. C.S Christian ended the season winning their final 3 games and should have momentum going into the tournament. C.S Christian is led in scoring by Sr. Caleb Stockton (16.8 ppg), So. Nathan Davies (14.6 ppg), and Sr. Luke Davies (7.9 ppg). C.S Christian went 3-3 against tournament teams. Pinnacle enters the tournament with a 13-1 record and winners of the Frontier League. Pinnacle won their final 4 games and were solid in the Frontier League. Pinnacle is led in scoring by So. Robert McClinton (15.8 ppg), Jr. Xavier Moralez (9.5 ppg), and So. Daunte Dominguez (9.0 ppg). Pinnacle went 1-0 against playoff teams. I am going with C.S Christian over Pinnacle. I think C.S Christian played the tougher schedule than Pinnacle and have the playoff experience. This is a big game for Pinnacle as they are a young team and building a solid team for the next few years.