Boys Basketball Class 2A Preview Week 7
We enter the third week of January and things feel still very unpredictable especially in Class 2A. We have had a few times rise to form and somewhat separate themselves but plenty of unpredictability remains. This week we will also release are first look at Regionals with a Regional Projection and I possibly will give my thoughts on who the top 16 teams are seeding wise for Regionals. (Rankings used are MileHigh Prep Reports Rankings)
Tuesday had some big games on the schedule but, mother nature had other plans as we had a winter storm hit many part of Colorado. There were a few games still played though Tuesday night. The biggest game to note on Tuesday was Front Range Christian defeating Denver Christian 72 to 59. I believe this game went to OT and was a big win for Front Range Christian. Other games to note for Tuesday were Crowley County beating Las Animas 60 to 40, Middle Park defeating Vail Mountain 55 to 22, and James Irwin defeating CS School 58 to 53. Most games that were scheduled for Tuesday have been rescheduled.
Wednesday schedule is very lack luster with 2 games to quickly mention. The first game is Union Colony (5-4) Prep traveling to face Lyons (2-6). This is a league game in the Mile High League. UCP is looking to keep gaining ground in the CHSAA Seeding Index and this is a big game for them. The main game Wednesday night features Golden View Classical (5-4) taking on Windsor Charter (8-1 3A). This is also a league game inside the Foothills League and both teams look to remain unbeaten inside league play. Golden View Classical will look to improve on the season and lean on Jakob Gonzalez (18.8 ppg) and MinZheng Wahlers (17.5 ppg). (This Game has been moved to Saturday!)
Thursday features 18 games in Class 2A. A few mix 2A vs 1A games including Akron vs Fleming, Cotopaxi vs Springfield, Elbert vs Deer Trail, and Kiowa vs CS School. Most of those games will be featured in Kerry Sherman 1A preview coming out later today.
The main event Thursday night must be #1 Limon (7-0) traveling to face #5 Evangelical Christian (8-0). Limon is 7-0 on the season and their best win in 2023 is their win over Genoa-Hugo 54-39. Limon has not faced top competition in 2023 and they will be tested by ECA. Limon will turn to its leaders in Jordan Rockwell (16.3 ppg) and Kaden Becker (11.5 ppg) but also look for Michael Hoffman (6.8 ppg) and Treyton Marx (6.0 ppg) to have a big impact on this game. Evangelical Christian enters the contest at 8-0. ECA has played a schedule loaded with tough 1A teams. ECA defeated Flatirons Academy in their last win 69 to 50. ECA will be looking for their biggest win of the season if they can upset Limon. ECA will need their star players to step up.
I think another very good game Thursday night features Front Range Christian (5-2) at Heritage Christian (6-2). Front Range Christian is on a 2-game winning streak with wins over Dayspring Christian and Denver Christian. FRC will be looking for a key league win over Heritage Christian and what could be their best win on the season. FRC will turn to 2A leading scorer Shane Curry (27.3 ppg) to be the leader but also look for Ian Woo (14.4 ppg) and Zach Szabo (10.1 ppg) to have an impact on the game. Heritage Christian enters at 6-2 and they have not lost a game in 2023. They have not played the most difficult schedule but their win over Union Colony Prep is a quality win. Heritage Christian will look to improve to 5-0 in league play. Heritage Christian will look for Raul Bertinato (13.5 ppg) and Levi Hermsen (12.0 ppg) to have breakout games to get the league win over FRC.
The final game to mention on Thursday night is John Mall (4-5) making the trip down Highway 10 to face Fowler (6-5). This is a key Santa Fe League matchup. John Mall is off to a surprising 4-5 start and they are looking for revenge after falling to Fowler 50-35 at the beginning of January. John Mall to get revenge will need big performances from Elton Chavez (23.0 ppg) and Adrian Silva (13.3 ppg). Fowler sits at 6-5 on the season and they are on a two game winning streak. Fowler picked up a very important win over Hoehne last Friday and look for another key win in the Santa Fe League. Gage Gottbehuet (13.0 ppg) and Landy Mason (11.5 ppg) continue to be leaders in the paint for Fowler but Harrison Proctor (8.8 ppg) will also be key in this game.
Two other games to mention for Thursday night are Lamar (2-9 4A) at #4 Custer County (6-1) and Crested Butte (3-4 3A) at Center (3-8).
Friday features 23 games and only a handful really catch my eye. There are some big 1A vs 2A key games and those will be featured in Kerry Sherman 1A preview. Most leagues are kicking off league play or have league play underway.
In my opinion the biggest game Friday is #3 Wray (6-4) hosting Holyoke (5-5). Wray enters the matchup on a 3-game winning streak with key wins over Burlington and Akron. Wray has improved their season record to 6-4 and will look to improve to 3-0 in league play. Wray currently has 4 players averaging over 10 ppg and they are Rafal Trejo (14.0), Joey Uyemura (13.8), Ab Ruiz (12.5), and Chris Arambula (11.4). Holyoke enters the contested at 5-5 and they have hit a bit of a skid losing 2 straight games. Holyoke is sitting at 1-1 in league play and would love to get over .500 on the season and in league play. Holyoke will turn to Wyatt Sprague (17.5 ppg) and Cash Weber (14.3 ppg) to be leaders but also look for Reid Sprague (11.6 ppg) to provide another scoring threat.
We stay in the Lower Platte League for another key league matchup between Haxtun (6-4) and Sedgwick County (2-6). Haxtun sits at 6-4 on the year but have lost 3 straight games. Haxtun will be looking to right the ship this week and they seem to be going in the right direction after a close 53-47 loss to Yuma. Haxtun will need key players to step up this week to avoid dropping to 1-3 in league play. Sedgwick County sits at 2-6 on the year but they have started 2023 with a key win over Caliche last Friday. Sedgwick County will look to snag another key league win and they will need big performances from Jared Ehmke (8.8 ppg) and Jaxon Carlson (8.3 ppg)
We head down to south to the Santa Fe League in a key league matchup between Hoehne (6-3) and #2 Crowley County (13-0). Hoehne had their 4-game winning streak snapped last Friday by Fowler 44-41 and they are looking to bounce back from that loss by upsetting the #2 team in Class 2A. Hoehne will need a big game from Dario Vezzani (15.1 ppg) but Jace Rogers (7.4 ppg) and Tanner Rusk (7.1 ppg) will be vitality important to Hoehne pulling the upset. Crowley County enters undefeated at 13-0. Crowley County already has key wins over Holly, Swink, and Las Animas under their belt. Crowley County next 3 games will basically determine the league title and Hoehne will be a solid test for Crowley County. Gunner Hughes (16.1 ppg) continues to be the leader for Crowley County but Elijah Mcneil (9.3 ppg) and Blevyns Brown (7.6 ppg) are key for Crowley County to continue their run this season.
Fowler will look to stay above .500 on the season and push their winning streak to 3 when they travel to face 3A Peyton. Fowler sits at 6-5 on the season and they face John Mall Thursday night in a key Santa Fe league battle. Fowler cannot overlook John Mall to this game. Fowler will be facing a tough Peyton team who is much better than their record indicates. Peyton is 5-7 on the season and they have hit a big of a bumpy streak losing 3 in a row and 5 of their last 6 games. All those losses are quality losses but they are looking to snap the streak. Peyton will look for Logan Nickell (20.3 ppg) and Ayden Breese (15.4 ppg) to lead the way, but more depth scoring could be needed to get by Fowler.
The final key matchup to mention on Friday night is on the western slope. Hayden will make the trip down to face Vail Mountain. Hayden sits at 4-5 on the season and they are undefeated in the Western Slope League at 2-0. They will look for their best win of the season if they can defeat Vail Mountain. Hayden is led by Cale Howard (12.6 ppg) but need to have big games from Liam Frentress (7.7), Adrian Drew (6.9), and Wes Gioia (6.0) to grab the win. Vail Mountain sits at 4-3 overall and they had their 4 game winning streak snapped Tuesday night by 4A Middle Park. Vail Mountain will be looking to get back to their winning ways when they host Hayden. Vail Mountain will also be looking to stay undefeated in Western Slope League play. Spencer Hurd (15.5 ppg) and Tommy Steele (10.0 ppg) are the leaders for Vail Mountain, and they will need to have big games to get Vail Mountain back in their winning ways.
A few other games to mention for Friday are John Mall (4-5) at Swink (5-5) and Merino (6-3) at Caliche (3-5).
Saturday also features a jam-packed session with 22 games. Saturday has a few more important games than Friday and some key league matchups. A few big 1A vs 2A games are Swink vs McClave, Merino vs Stratton, Haxtun vs Otis, Flatirons Academy vs Dayspring Christian, and Sierra Grand vs John Mall.
We kick things off Saturday in the Santa Fe League. Holly will make the trip west to face Hoehne. Holly sits at 8-2 on the season and 3-1 in the Santa Fe League. Holly had their four game winning streak snapped by Crowley County in a tight 51 to 48 contest. Holly will face Las Animas Thursday night before their game against Hoehne. Holly will look to stay within reach of Crowley County but will be tested by Hoehne. Holly is led by Andre Salgado (13.3 ppg) and Truman King (12.1 ppg) but Holly has also had good minutes from Dayne Eaton (7.8) and Colby Swopes (7.7). Hoehne will end their tough three game stretch against Holly. Hoehne can either be in first place after their games against Crowley County and Holly or could be sitting in 4th or 5th after this Saturday. We will learn more about Hoehne after this weekend.
We head west for are next game as we jump into the West Central League in a key matchup between Custer County and Cotopaxi. Custer County sits at 6-1 on the season with their best win coming against Vail Christian to start January off. Custer County will face Lamar on Thursday before this game but the stretch of games coming up for Custer County will be a true signal at how good this team is. Custer County will face Cotopaxi, Sanford, Del Norte, ECA, and Monte Vista in their next games. Custer County has 3 players scoring over 15 ppg, Garrett Olomon (18.0 ppg), Adin Zehr (15.3 ppg), and Cameron Penkoff (15.2 ppg). Cotopaxi enters the contest at 6-3 overall. Cotopaxi has not played the toughest schedule with their best win coming over 1A Centennial. Cotopaxi will be looking for their best win this Saturday. Cotopaxi will also face Springfield on Thursday and both games will be important for Cotopaxi.
We move down to the San Luis Valley with a key league battle between Monte Vista and Sanford. Sanford has hit a rough patch losing 5 straight games but all to quality opponents. Sanford will be looking to get back to their winning ways and must have big performances from Cash Caldon (12.0 ppg) and McCray Larsen (11.0 ppg). The main thing for Sanford is who else steps up scoring wise to take pressure off the main threats. Monte Vista enters the contest at 5-3 overall and come off a win over Ignacio 38-35. Monte Vista will be looking for another key win on the season and will be tested by a tough defensive Sanford team. Monte Vista will look to Memphis Garcia (9.6 ppg), Andrew Chavez (9.8 ppg), and Azariah Hurtado (7.6 ppg) to be leaders against Sanford.
#9 Wiggins will host a non-league matchup against Heritage Christian Saturday afternoon. Wiggins enters the contest at 6-4 and 2023 has been up and down. Wiggins is 2-2 in 2023 and they will look to get over .500 for 2023. Wiggins will be tested by Heritage Christian and look for Cole Kerr (20.9 ppg) and Omar Perez (13.1 ppg) to have big games. Heritage Christian is 6-2 currently but they do have a key game against Front Range Christian Thursday Night. Heritage Christian will be tested in back to back games and we will learn how much of a contender both these teams are.
We stay in non-league play with Burlington making the trip to Colorado Springs to face the Colorado Springs School. Burlington sits at 5-4 overall and they face a tough two game stretch this weekend with a tough matchup against Genoa-Hugo Friday and this game on Saturday. Burlington will look to stay above .500. Burlington continues to be led by Keziah Williams (18.0 ppg) and Henry Goodnow (14.1 ppg). CS School is currently 4-3 and they also have a tough two games stretch against Kiowa and Burlington. CS School is still a team we don’t know a ton about but I think their game against Burlington will give us a clue into how much of a contender CS School is.
We wrap things up Saturday in Strasburg with Byers making the trip to face Strasburg. Byers currently sits at 5-3 on the season and they will look for a quality win over 3A Strasburg. Byers will be looking to push their current winning streak to 3 but will be tested by Strasburg who is much better than their record indicates. Byers currently has 4 players scoring over 9 ppg. Wyatt Harris (14.4), Chase Long (11.0), Zach Cary (10.9), and Quincy Eacret (9.1). Strasburg enters the contest at 2-6 currently but they have played one of the toughest schedules in 3A and they are finally healthy. Strasburg will look to get things going in the right direction but must continue to get quality play from Tyce Bollers (17.0 ppg) and Austin Velasco (14.8 ppg).
Some other games to note for Saturday are Plateau Valley (7-2) at Hayden (4-5), Evangelical Christian (8-0) at Elbert (3-4), Del Norte (5-4) at South Park (4-3), and Deer Trail at Limon (7-0).