Class 1A Girls Basketball Breakdowns


Photo Credit: Ian MacLaren & (Dove Creek vs Mancos)



With the calendar having flipped to February, district tournaments will take place later this month. The jostling atop the CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index continues to heat up, but there are also a number of games that will impact the bottom end of the metric, where teams are trying to get into the top-32. All rankings come from the Tuesday update of the Seeding Index.


With last Friday’s 73-31 victory over Mancos, Dove Creek (10th) is nearing a championship in the San Juan Basin. Tuesday night’s 60-45 win against San Juan (UT), the Lady Bulldogs will take a 10-game winning streak into Wednesday’s rematch with Mancos. This time around, it will be on the road. Dove Creek led 33-12 at the half in the first meeting with the Lady Bluejays and was never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Kalie Gatlin led a quartet of Lady Bulldogs in double figures, pouring in 19 points. Kylie Gatlin added 15, while Ralynn Hickman (12) and Trista Barnett (11) combined for 23. Lexi Gray nearly recorded a double-double, scoring eight points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

Nucla (29th) is on the other end of the spectrum in the Seeding Index, with the Lady Mustangs needing a couple of wins to help lock down a spot in the 32-team bracket. Despite a pair of losses to Dove Creek (one in league play), the Lady Mustangs still have a shot at the league title. They host Dolores on Wednesday, and a win keeps them one game behind Dove Creek for the league lead. Nucla has won the last two clashes with Dolores. Nucla also visits Mancos on Thursday, and sole possession of second place in the league could be at stake.


Two important games on Thursday involve teams out of the Black Forest league. First, Kiowa (4th) hosts Pikes Peak Christian (35th) in a league tilt. It’s the first outing for Kiowa since the Lady Indians were upset by Cheyenne Wells (17th) 53-39 on Monday. That was their first loss of the year. A win over the Lady Eagles locks up the league title, but the game might mean even more for PPC, as it tries to move up in the Seeding Index. History is on the side of Kiowa, as the Lady Indians have won 12 straight in the series and 14 of the last 15.

The other is a non-league affair between Hanover (34th) and Kim/Branson (14th). Hanover finds itself in the same boat as Pikes Peak Christian, needing wins to improve its positioning in the Seeding Index. The Lady Eagles broke a modest two-game skid last Friday with a 40-28 victory over PPC. The Lady Mustangs had a two-game winning streak snapped by Eads on the same night, as they fell 46-15. They have not lost consecutive games this season.

Cheyenne Wells has started to turn the corner, reeling off three straight wins after slogging through a five-game losing streak. The Lady Tigers are 3-3 in games decided by single digits, including a pair of wins last week. Shaylee Scheler had 17 points in the win over Kiowa, and Paige Ryser added 16. That’s after Ryser went for 21 in an 43-42 OT victory at Hi-Plains (15th) last Saturday. The Lady Tigers travel to Wiley (28th) in a non-league game between squads that will be in the same district. Wiley has been involved in its share of close games, going 1-4 in contests decided by single digits. Three of those have been in their last five games, including the lone victory. Cheyenne Wells won both meetings with the Lady Panthers last year.

Stratton (9th) finally opened its Union Pacific slate on Tuesday, beating Deer Trail (22nd) 52-17 for its fourth straight win. That winning streak includes back-to-back wins over 2A Merino (59-57) and Kit Carson (8th) 40-36 last week. The Lady Eagles continue league play with a trip to Genoa-Hugo (18th), followed by a home game with 2A Byers on Friday. The Lady Pirates got back into the win column last Friday, downing Bethune (43rd) 34-26 on Friday. That ended a three-game skid. Stratton has won the last two contests with Genoa-Hugo, including a 62-24 decision last year.

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All three contests in the High Plains on Friday are big, as all six teams are in the top-17 of the Seeding Index. McClave (2nd) hosts Eads (16th), Granada (5th) welcomes in Cheyenne Wells, and Cheraw (7th) travels to Kit Carson.

McClave goes into Friday’s contest as one of only two remaining unbeatens in the classification. The Lady Cards held off Granada 41-35 last Friday, behind 15 points, five steals, and three blocks from Abrielle Gomez. Eads bounced back from a two-point loss to Cheraw last Friday and defeated Kim/Branson the following day. Tailee Weeks-Johnson (18) and Alessandra Paez (16) combined to score 34 points in that victory. McClave has won three straight in the series and four of the last five.

The loss to McClave broke a seven-game winning streak for Granada, who had not lost since the Lady Cards got them in the title game of the Lamar Holiday Tournament. It was only the third time this season that the Lady Bobcats did not score at least 40 points. They’re 1-2 in those games. After winning two straight against Cheyenne Wells, Granada dropped last year’s contest, 61-38. The Lady Tigers have won seven of the last nine in the series.

Cheraw is on a nice roll, winning nine straight. The Lady Wolverines have been very good in close games, with six of the wins in that streak coming by single digits. They are 7-1 in games of that nature this season. The Lady Wolverines visit South Baca (32nd) on Thursday, in a game where the home team is sitting right on the cut line for regionals. After two straight losses by single digits, Kit Carson got a 51-44 win over 2A Evangelical Christian last Saturday. Lindsey Mayhan went for 13 points to lead the Lady Wildcats, who had five players with at least eight points in the victory. Kit Carson has won the last 17 meetings with Cheraw during the MaxPreps era. Last year’s 27-25 contest was the first to be decided by single digits since 2014.

In the YWKC, Otis (27th) and Arickaree (30th) would both be in the regional field if the season ended now. However, neither can be overly confident as the final game tick off. Both teams roll into the contest on the home court of the Lady Bulldogs having dropped their last game. Otis, who began the season 0-5, trailed Briggsdale (1st) 46-15 at halftime last Friday, eventually falling by a 67-43 count. Madelyn Willeke was the lone Lady Bulldog in double figures, posting a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. On the same night, Arickaree was down 50-14 after three quarters at Idalia. The Lady Bison lost the game 50-23. Cora Schrock accounted for all but nine points for Arickaree. This is the first meeting between the two with Arickaree as a stand alone program since 2016. Otis went 21-1 in the games leading up to the time when Arickaree and Woodlin became a co-op. That program won 10 straight.


Of the games on the Saturday slate, a pair jump out because of where the teams stand in the Seeding Index. Right off the top, Briggsdale hosting Flatirons Academy in a rematch of last year’s title game is the main attention-grabber. The two programs also met in the 2021 semifinals, with Flatirons also winning that game. The Lady Falcons won the regular season meeting both years. After all but locking up the North Central title last Friday with a 64-50 victory over Fleming (6th), the Lady Falcons staged a huge comeback against 2A Haxtun on Saturday. Trailing 22-20 at the half, Briggsdale put together a 42-12 second half. The Lady Bison last took the floor on Monday, winning their second close game against 2A Dayspring Christian in a nine-day span. Kenlee Durrill and Emily Dehaan each had 10 points in a 43-29 decision. The game on Saturday pits two of the favorites for player of the year, Jenna Krise of Briggsdale and Durrill. In the four previous meetings, neither has averaged 14 points, almost 10 below their regular averages.

The other featured match-up on Saturday has Kit Carson visiting Idalia (11th) in a non-league tilt. Idalia has won its last three and is 6-2 since Jenna Wieser made her season debut right after the Christmas break. The senior, who is averaging close to 12 points and four steals, helped to offset the loss of Kierstin Wingfield. She injured her knee against Briggsdale before the break and is out for the year. Jaylyn Kechter is nearly averaging a double-double, checking in at 12 points and better than nine boards a game. Kit Carson will counter with the trio of Tess Johnson, Mayhan, and Kenzie Wagonner, who all average close to nine points. Six of the past nine meetings have been decided by single digits, with the Lady Wildcats taking the last one 32-31 two seasons ago.