Class 1A Boys Basketball Sweet 16 Predictions
The First Round is complete, and a few lower seeds pulled some upsets. We still have 8 games on tap for Thursday. Some very intriguing matchups in the sweet 16.
Playoff Prediction Results: 6-2 (75%)
Missed Rocky Mountain Lutheran over Briggsdale and Longmont Christian over Genoa-Hugo
#1 Belleview Christian over Eads
Eads moved into the sweet 16 beating Denver Waldorf 53 to 42. Eads had a 14-5 second quarter that proved to be the difference maker in the game. Eads was led in scoring by Porter Spady (15 points) and Brandon Lening (13 points). Belleview Christian enters the playoffs with a Bye and a 12-0 record. Belleview Christian swept league play and was not really challenged beside Denver Jewish Day back in January. Belleview Christian is led in scoring by Sr. Logan Owen (19.2 ppg), So. Assane Diop (16.3 ppg), and Nathaniel Owen (15.8 ppg). I am going with Belleview Christian over Eads in this game. Both teams have a common opponent of Denver Waldorf. Belleview Christian beat Denver Waldorf 67-26. Eads will need to play a compete game to pull this upset. I am guessing Eads will need over 70 points to knock off the #1 seed. Eads will have shaken off the rust and could be an advantage. Belleview Christian will have to quickly get back into action they have not played since February 25th and that could be a big factor in this game. I think Eads gives Belleview Christian all they can handle.
#8 Denver Jewish Day over #24 Rocky Mountain Lutheran
Rocky Mountain Lutheran moved into the Sweet 16 upsetting #9 Briggsdale. Rocky Mountain Lutheran used a 17 to 11 4th quarter to complete the comeback and beat Briggsdale. Rocky Mountain Lutheran was led in scoring by Jaxon Borchardt (21 points), Daniel Zemlicka (11 points), and Bobby Larsen (12 points). Denver Jewish Day enters the playoffs with an 8-2 record. Denver Jewish Day won their last 4 games to secure a bye. Denver Jewish Day is led in scoring by Jonathan Kochavi (20.7 ppg) and Gavin Foonberg (12.7 ppg). Denver Jewish Day and Rocky Mountain Lutheran faced each other in the beginning of February. Denver Jewish Day got the 52 to 50 victory over RML. I expect a very similar score and should be a close game. Both teams have played relatively recent and should make for a fun Sweet 16 game. I am going with Denver Jewish Day over Rocky Mountain Lutheran.
#5 Cheraw over #12 Sangre De Cristo
Sangre De Cristo moved into the Sweet 16 with the 59 to 28 victory over Pikes Peak Christian. A big second quarter led to Sangre De Cristo building their lead and taking a 28 to 13 lead into halftime. Sangre De Cristo dominated in the second half and now turn their eyes to Cheraw. Cheraw enters the playoffs with a 13-1 record and a second-place finish in the High Plains League. Cheraw ended the season losing to Granada and I am sure will have them chomping at the bit to get going. Cheraw will have to work thru some rust early game and that is where I give Sangre De Cristo the advantage. I am picking Cheraw over Sangre De Cristo. I think this will be one of the best games in the Sweet 16.
#4 Granada over #13 Evangelical Christian
Evangelical Christian moved into the sweet 16 with a 43 to 40 victory over Hi-Plains. This was a very close game and ECA was able to move past Hi-Plains. ECA now moves focus to Granada. Granada enters the playoffs with a 13-1 record and winners of the High Plains League. Granada ended the season on a 9 game winning streak including big wins over Kim/Branson and Cheraw to end the season. Granada is red hot and led in scoring by Dominic Coleman (21.0 ppg), John Hainer (11.6 ppg), and Brandon Gonzales (9.6 ppg). Both ECA and Granada have Hi-Plains as common opponents Granada beat Hi-Plains early in the season 56 to 42 but Hi-Plains did improve a lot since January. I think this will be a good game. I don’t see much rust by either teams and expect a hard fought contest. I am going with Granada over ECA. I think Granada is on a host streak and will move past ECA.
#2 Merino over #18 Cheyenne Wells
Cheyenne Wells pulled the second upset of the sweet 16 upsetting #15 seed Kim/Branson 45 to 43. Cheyenne Wells won the first half 20 to 17 and that proved to be the difference in the game. This was a well-played game now Cheyenne Wells must refocus. Merino enters the playoffs with an 10-4 record. Merino is on a 5-game winning streak and playing very good basketball. Merino is led in scoring by Kole Armstrong (13.6 ppg), Derrick Alber (9.7 ppg), and Chance Everhart (8.6 ppg). Merino and Cheyenne Wells do not have any common opponents. I am going with Merino over Cheyenne Wells. I think this is going to be a close game. Cheyenne Wells has proven at times they can hang with anyone and putting everything together will be key for Cheyenne Wells to pull the upset. Merino is on a hot streak and played a tough schedule and should be battle tested for this game.
#10 Caprock Academy over #7 Mile High Academy
Caprock Academy moved into the sweet 16 after defeating Fleming 71 to 62. Caprock Academy used a 17 to 11 3rd Quarter to push them to a victory. Caprock Academy tasted their first playoff victory since playing Varsity Basketball. Mile High Academy enters the playoffs with an 8-2 record and a second-place finish in the 5280 league. Mile High Academy enters the playoffs on a 3-game winning streak. Mile High Academy is led in scoring by Blake Essex (21.9 ppg), Braden Essex (14.5 ppg), and Dylan McCottry (14.0 ppg). I am going with the upset here and picking Caprock Academy over Mile High Academy. I think now that Caprock Academy got the first playoff game jitters out they will show how tough they are. Mile High Academy is a tough team and showed with the State Tournament appearance last year. This will be another great Sweet 16 game.
#6 Primero over #11 Haxtun
Haxtun moved into the Sweet 16 with a dominate win over Simla 56 to 34. Haxtun showed they are ready for a deep playoff run and got things going in the right direction with a big win. Haxtun now must quickly refocus for a big battle with Primero. Primero enters the playoffs with a 11-1 record and winners of the Fishers Peak League. Primero only loss of the season is to Holly in Class 2A. Primero is led in scoring by Antonio Cordova (18.1 ppg), Michael Damelio (13.4 ppg), Kelly Rael (11.3 ppg). This in my opinion is the best game in the Sweet 16. Two very good teams meet up here and I think should be taking place later in the tournament. Both teams can score the basketball and should be a great game. I am going with Primero over Haxtun in a close game.
#3 De Beque over #19 Longmont Christian
Longmont Christian had the 3rd upset of the first round. Longmont Christian upset #14 Genoa-Hugo 62 to 49. Longmont Christian used a 16 to 5 First quarter and a 17 to 13 3rd quarter to build the lead and hold to snag the upset. Longmont Christian now must quickly refocus on De Beque. De Beque enters the playoffs with a 13-1 record and winner of the 2A/1A Western Slope League. De Beque lone loss of the season is to Caprock Academy by 2 points. De Beque has some very solid wins over 2A teams. De Beque is led in scoring by Wes Ryan (26.3 ppg), Jaden Jordan (14.4 ppg), and Dillon Hurst (8.3 ppg). De Beque and Longmont Christian both played 2A schedule and expect both teams to come out swinging in this game. I expect little rust by both teams. I am going with De Beque over Longmont Christian in this game.
Complete Bracket Prediction
Just reposting my bracket of my compete prediction.