Boys Basketball Class 2A Preview
We move into the first full week after Christmas break and we have big games on the menu this week. Since we are still early in the season, we will just preview the big games in Class 2A and once we move closer to playoff basketball, we will switch back into playoff basketball mode. (Rankings used are MileHigh Prep Reports Rankings)
Tuesday had some big games on the schedule with many having big impacts towards league standings and RPI standings. The main event from Tuesday had to be Simla vs Byers. Simla was able to capture the win 63 to 48 but this was a much closer game than the score indicates. Simla and Byers were tied at halftime. Simla came out firing in the third quarter outscoring Byers 18 to 9 to pull away. Another big game to mention was Wray vs Burlington. Wray came out hot in the first half jump out to a 13-point lead and never looking back. Wray defeated Burlington 69 to 47. Wray gets to .500 on the year after a very tough schedule to open the season. A few other games to mention are Custer County over La Veta 71to 34, Heritage Christian defeating Union Colony Prep 59 to 36, and Crowley County over Cheraw 71 to 38.
Wednesday schedule is very lack luster with 2 games to quickly mention. Twin Peaks Charter (4-4) will take on Nederland (3-2). Both teams are looking for early momentum in the season. The final game to mention is John Mall (2-5) vs Dolores Huerta (1-6). For these two teams this is a huge battle with the loser more than likely falling way behind in the playoff race. John Mall opened the season 2-0 but have since lost 5 straight games including a few quality losses to Crowley County, Hoehne, and Fowler. John Mall will look for leading scorer Elton Chavez (23.0 ppg) to get them going in the right direction. Dolores Huerta has lost 4 straight games but have 4 quality losses to Florence, Monte Vista, Weld Central, and Limon. Dolores Huerta will look to improve their scoring they have averaged just over 27 ppg during their 4 games losing streak.
Thursday features 9 games in Class 2A. A few mix 2A vs 1A games including Akron vs Briggsdale (1A), Cotopaxi vs Centennial (1A), Holly vs Granada (1A), and Denver Christian vs Longmont Christian (1A). All those games will be featured in Kerry Sherman 1A preview coming out later today.
The main game in Class 2A is Dayspring Christian (2-6) traveling to face Front Range Christian (3-2). Dayspring Christian is 2-6 on the season but picked up the big win Tuesday defeating Longmont Christian 74 to 63. That win breaks a 3-game slide. Dayspring Christian has played a tough schedule with quality losses to Wiggins (2x), Haxtun, and Heritage Christian. Dayspring Christian will be looking for their second win in a row and will look for leading scorer Malachi Fast (17.0 ppg) to take the reins. Joe Davenport (9.1 ppg) and Cayman Yoder (6.0 ppg) will also be critical to help take pressure off the leading scorer. Front Range Christian enters the matchup at 3-2 and they come off a surprising loss to 1A Pikes Peak 69 to 65. Front Range Christian did play Tuesday night against Dawson School but not score was reported. Front Range Christian is led by 2A leading scorer Shane Curry who is averaging 29.0 ppg. Ian Woo (13.0 ppg) and Zach Szabo (10.2 ppg) provide good secondary scoring.
Friday features 25 games and the schedule really picks up on Friday. Any 1A vs 2A key games will be featured in Kerry Sherman 1A preview. Friday is loaded with big games across 2A and multiple will have big impacts towards league, districts, and regionals.
In my opinion the biggest game Friday is #8 Wiggins at #9 Merino. This will be the second matchup between these two teams and the first was a dandy with Wiggins grabbing the 51 to 37 win. This time around it’s a league matchup. Wiggins enters at 5-3 and come off a 60 to 41 win over Haxtun. Wiggins looks to Cole Kerr (20.3 ppg) and Omar Perez (13.0 ppg) as their leading scorers. Merino enters at 4-3 and broke their two-game slide with a 62 to 22 win over Peetz on Saturday. Merino will be looking for revenge against Wiggins. Leading Merino in scoring is Tyler Miller who is averaging 21.6 ppg. Merino does have 4 scorers all averaging over 7 ppg in Kaden Piel (10.6 ppg) Slayter Goss (7.2 ppg), and Jaxson Samber (7.0 ppg).
#5 Evangelical Christian will hit the road this week to face CS School. This will be a great tested between two undefeated teams. ECA enters at 6-0 and they started 2023 with a bang defeating Sierra Grande 59 to 26. ECA has broken the 50-point mark in every game so far. CS School enters at 3-1 on the season. They opened 2023 with a loss to Thomas MacLaren.
#6 Simla will look to continue their winning ways when they host Burlington. Simla is 7-2 to start the year and opened 2023 with a quality win over #7 Byers 63 to 48. Simla has now won 5 straight games including quality wins over Peyton, Byers, and McClave. Simla will be tested once again by Burlington. Burlington enters the matchup at 4-3 overall and they had their two-game winning streak snapped by Wray on Tuesday falling 69 to 47. Burlington will be looking to bounce back and will turn to leading scorers Keziah Williams (16.7 ppg) and Henry Goodnow (14.8 ppg).
Mancos will look to push their winning streak to three when they host Sanford. This game has normally featured 1 if not 2 ranked teams but is still a quality test for both teams. Mancos enters at 4-4 overall and those 4 losses have been quality losses. Mancos will be looking to add another quality win to their resume. Mancos features 5 players scoring over 7 ppg and are led by Kaiden Wyatt (13.3 ppg) and Brian Veach (11.5 ppg). Sanford enters the matchup at 3-5 and they are on a 3-game losing streak falling to 3A Centauri, 4A Alamosa, and 4A Pagosa Springs. Sanford will look to get back on the right track and will turn to Cash Caldon (12.0 ppg) and McCray Larsen (11.0 ppg) to lead the way. Depth scoring has been the main issue and look for that to improve.
We move into the Santa Fe League with a big matchup between Fowler and Hoehne. Fowler enters at 4-5 overall and they fell in their last game to Holly 49 to 43. Fowler sits at 3-1 in league play and will look to improve their league standings. Fowler has just 3 players scoring over 5 ppg and they lean heavily on big man Gage Gottbehuet (13.0 ppg) and Landy Mason (11.9 ppg). Hoehne is off to a solid start this season at 6-2. Hoehne does lack that quality win with their best wins coming over Sedgwick County (by 6) and John Mall (by 9). Hoehne will look to change that at home. Hoehne is lead in scoring by Dario Vezzani (16.1 ppg) secondary scoring options are Jace Rogers (8.1 ppg) and Tanner Rusk (6.3 ppg) the rest of the team is under 5 ppg.
Another important matchup in the Santa Fe League is Crowley County hosting Swink. Crowley County is 9-0 to open the season and they kicked off 2023 with a pair of wins over 1A Kim/Branson and Cheraw. They move back into league play when they host Swink. Crowley County has been paced by Gunner Hughes (15.9 ppg) and Elijah Mcneil (10.6 ppg). Swink enters 2023 with a 5-4 record and this will be their first game of 2023. Swink is entering on a 4-game winning streak including an important league win over Las Animas. Swink will be looking for their best win of the season if they can upset Crowley County. Swink has 3 scorers at 9.9 ppg and above they are Hunter Bauserman (12.9), Nate Cabrera (10.2), and Garland Guerin (9.9).
We move back west to the San Luis Valley and jump into Southern Peak league play. Del Norte will hit the road to face rival Center. Del Norte enters at 3-4 overall and they started 2023 with a bang defeating Sangre De Cristo 57 to 7. This snaps a 4-game losing streak. Del Norte has leaned heavily on leading scorer Ben Parra (18.7 ppg) but look for Camden Crowell (11.7 ppg) and Michael Laymon (6.3 ppg) to continue to step up. Center enters the matchup at 3-6 overall and they opened 2023 with a pair of losses to Rocky Ford and Peyton. Center will look for Alan Gonzalez (19.3 ppg) to help snap the skid.
We wrap up the big games on Friday on the Western Slope when Plateau Valley hosts Rangely. Both teams sit at 1-0 in league play. These two teams have faced each other in a non-league battle with Plateau Valley winning 48 to 29. Plateau Valley is 6-2 on the year and will look to Ethan Morse (13.7 ppg) and Jackson Bevan (12.7 ppg) to lead the way. Rangely is 5-3 on the year and will turn to Marsten Wagner (14.3 ppg) and Kevin Wren (12.1 ppg) to lead the way. This is a very big matchup with a wide-open Western Slope League.
A few other games to mention for Friday are Wray (4-4) at Akron (3-4), Lyons (2-5) at Heritage Christian (4-2), Caliche (3-3) at Sedgwick County (1-6), and Vail Christian (4-2) at Caprock Academy (3-4).
Saturday also features a jam-packed session with 24 games. Saturday may have the volume of games but lack the 2A matchups. A few big 1A vs 2A games are Mancos vs Ouray, Wiggins vs Idalia, Merino vs Genoa-Hugo, and Evangelical Christian vs Flatirons Academy.
We kick things off Saturday in the Santa Fe League. Crowley County will host Holly, and this could be for the early advantage in the Santa Fe League. Crowley County will be tested the night before by Swink and that could be a trap game. Holly will not play Friday night and instead will face Granada on Thursday. Holly already has an important league win over Fowler. Holly has been lead by Truman King (12.9 ppg) and Andre Salgado (12.3 ppg).
We stay in the Santa Fe League when a pair of rival’s clash. Rocky Ford makes the trip down highway 50 to face Fowler. Rocky Ford has moved into 3A but will be looking to improve their 2-7 record. Fowler could be looking to move over the .500 mark on the season depending on Friday Nights result. Fowler vs Rocky Ford is also a great matchup.
#1 Limon will move back out of league play this Saturday when they host Elbert. This is a stretch of 3 non-league games for the Badgers. Limon is 3-0 in 2023 and are coming off an 86 to 28 win over Calhan on Tuesday. Limon is led by Jordan Rockwell (13.5 ppg) and big man Kaden Becker (10.0 ppg). Elbert enters the contest at 3-3 and are off to an 0-2 start in 2023. Elbert fell to Pikes Peak Christian Monday 66 to 57. Elbert will be looking for their best win of the season and will look for Logan LaFollette (15.0 ppg) and Eli Cornell (11.8 ppg) to have big games.
We move back to the San Luis Valley with a non-league but a District Tournament Clash between Cotopaxi and Del Norte. Del Norte will face Center the night before and will be tested in that game. Del Norte will need big games from their stars against Cotopaxi. Cotopaxi moved into Class 2A this season and are 4-2 on the year. Cotopaxi won’t play a game Friday night but will be tested Thursday by Centennial. Cotopaxi will have time to regroup before their clash against Del Norte. Cotopaxi will be looking for their best win of the season against Del Norte.
We wrap things up Saturday on the Western Slope when Vail Mountain hits the road to face Rangely. Rangely as mentioned is 5-3 on the year and they have a big matchup Friday night against Plateau Valley. Regardless of the outcome they will have to bounce back for another big test the next day. Vail Mountain is 2-2 on the year and they opened 2023 with a win over Clear Creek. Vail Mountain will face Caprock Academy Thursday before their game against Rangely. Vail Mountain will be looking for their best win over season against Rangely.
Some other games to note for Saturday are Center (3-6) at Las Animas (4-2), Telluride (2-4) at Crested Butte (3-3 3A), Calhan (2-6) at Burlington (4-3), Escalante NM (8-6) at Sanford (3-5), CS School (3-1) at South Park (4-2), and Ouray (5-4 1A) at Mancos (4-4)