CLASS 1A GIRLS BASKETBALL DISTRICT PREVIEW – TUESDAY
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
It’s a busy night across the state in Class 1A girls basketball, with 16 district tournament games on the calendar. Here is a quick look at each of those games.
DISTRICT 2 (LA JUNTA HIGH SCHOOL)
McClave is the top seed and the Lady Cards are already into the semifinals after receiving a bye. They will face either #4 Cheraw or #5 Eads in that round. With last Friday’s loss to McClave, Cheraw ended up dropping four of its final six games in the regular season. Eads was a bit better, winning four of its final seven, but the Lady Eagles lost two of three last week. Cheraw won the regular season meeting (30-28) in late January. The Lady Wolverines held Eads scoreless in the fourth to grab the win. Crislyn Miell hit three of four from the three-point line and scored 11 points to lead Cheraw. Tailee Weeks-Johnson led Eads with eight points.
Granada is the #2 seed and the Lady Bobcats square off against #7 Wiley in the bottom half of the bracket. They won their final six regular season games, the last five by at least 14 points Wiley lost its last two and four of six down the stretch. The Lady Bobcats got 19 points and 20 rebounds from Trinidie Quintana in a 66-25 win over the Lady Panthers in early January. KJ Phillips and Johanna Brown each had six points to lead Wiley.
The remaining quarterfinal contest has #3 Kit Carson hooking up with #6 Cheyenne Wells for the second time in five days. The Lady Wildcats won the meeting on Friday by a 45-32 count, with Nadaya Buttry connecting on four three-pointers for her team-high 12 points. Tess Johnson added a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Shaylee Scheler paced Cheyenne Wells with 13 points, and Paige Ryser added 10 points and eight steals.
DISTRICT 3 (HOME SITE)
One spot in the District 3 semifinals is still up for grabs after the top two seeds received byes and #3 La Veta’s 54-22 win over Primero last night. The #4 seed, South Baca, hosts Walsh tonight with the Lady Patriots looking to add a second win over their neighbors. South Baca won the regular season meeting 30-24 behind 10 points and 11 rebounds from Kate Elmore. The Lady Eagles, who picked up their first win of the season on Saturday, were led by Kayla Penick’s 11 points in the earlier loss to South Baca. Emily Hume added nine points and 17 boards in that meeting.
DISTRICT 5 (STRATTON HS/IDALIA HS)
The top half of the bracket will play both quarterfinals at Stratton High School after the Lady Eagles earned the top seed in the draw. They play the nightcap against #8 Bethune. Stratton snapped a three-game losing streak (all to top-12 2A teams) with Saturday’s 60-49 victory at Idalia. Sedonia Isenbart went 5-10 on threes and tallied a game-high 24 points in that win. Bethune dropped its last four games and eight of the final nine. They did not play Stratton during the regular season.
Flagler (#4) barely held on to a top-four seed after losing three of its final five games. The Lady Panthers fell 63-51 at home to Otis in the finale on Friday, and they drew the Lady Bulldogs in the quarterfinals for a quick rematch. Otis jumped over Arickaree for the #5 seed by winning its final two games. The Lady Bulldogs got a career-high 21 points from freshman Aedyn Tribelhorn in the win over Flagler last week.
Even with the loss to Stratton in the finale, Idalia had a big enough cushion over Hi-Plains to land the #2 seed and the right to host the bottom half of the bracket. The Lady Wolves had four losses by double digits, with a 14-point loss to Fleming last Friday as their biggest margin of loss. They will meet #7 Lone Star in the second game of the night. Jaylyn Kechter had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 51-23 win over the Lady Longhorns during the regular season, and Ailyn Monarrez added one of 10 points and 10 steals for the YWKC league champs. Jade Kuntz led Lone Star with seven points in the loss.
The earlier game will have #3 Hi-Plains looking to make it a pair of wins over Arickaree this year. The Lady Patriots nearly gave away a 10-point halftime lead at Arickaree in January, but used a 19-12 fourth quarter to hold on for a 44-35 win. Caelan Church went for a career-high 18 points against her former school in that victory. Cora Schrock led Arickaree with 14.
DISTRICT 6 (HOME SITES)
Top-seeded Sangre de Cristo advanced to the semifinals with a bye, and the Lady Thunderbirds will get the winner of #4 Creede and #5 Lake City on Thursday. Creede enters the postseason having lost its last three games, while the Lady Fourteeners lost their last two. The two programs met midway through December, with Lake City taking a 25-18 victory. Kate Cunningham posted 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead Lake City, and Creede was led by Jasmin Liang’s nine points.
Sierra Grande claimed the #2 seed in the tournament and the Lady Panthers host #7 Moffat in the quarterfinals. The Lady Panthers lost their final two games and four of their last five, but prior to those struggles, they had won five straight. The fifth of those was a 58-22 decision over Moffat, who lost four of its last four. The Cowgirls lost 10 straight to open the season. Paige Hammel nearly had a double-double for Moffat in the loss to Sierra Grande, with the sophomore recording 11 points and nine boards. Mia Esquer-Montoya had 14 points for the Lady Panthers, and Mariana Loya added a dozen.
Third-seeded Centennial enters the quarterfinals with two straight wins and victories in four of the last six. The Lady Rams have six losses by six points or less, including their last two. They are just over 10 days removed from a 66-39 win over their quarterfinal opponent, Antonito. The Lady Trojans lost four of their last five, including that defeat by Centennial. Luz Elana Parra (14) and Zanita Ruybal (12) combined for 26 points for Antonito, but they were no match for Xiomara Maestas’ career-high 42 points.
DISTRICT 7 (HOME SITES)
Kiowa is safely into the semifinals, as the top-seeded Lady Indians received a bye. They will meet the winner of #4 Deer Trail and #5 Pikes Peak Christian. Deer Trail got off to a 4-1 start, with the lone loss coming by six points. The Lady Eagles then closed the season with just two wins in their next 13 contests. That included a current seven-game losing streak. One of those early wins came against Pikes Peak Christian during the tournament hosted by Deer Trail. Pikes Peak Christian has also had a rough run lately, dropping three straight and six of its last 11. They got 10 points from Sarah Harris in the 47-25 loss to DT in early December, while Allena Sanchez-Neal led everyone with 13 points.
Struggling late in the season has been a common thread, and #2 Genoa-Hugo enters postseason play with four straight losses, and defeats in six of its last seven overall. The seventh seed, Miami-Yoder, has been even colder of late. The Lady Buffs lost their final eight regular season games. The two teams did not meet during the regular season.
Hanover is one of the few teams in the district playing well as the postseason begins. The Lady Hornets, seeded third, won their last three games. They’re 5-1 in their last six. One of those wins came over #6 Cripple Creek-Victor, who ended a three-game slide in its last outing. Hanover beat the Lady Pioneers 44-23 earlier this month, and 54-39 around a month ago. Lavana Sweazy tallied 22 points in the first meeting and 13 in the second.
DISTRICT 8 (HOME SITES)
It’s already semifinal time in District 8, with a play-in game having been played last Saturday. Front Range Baptist beat Denver Waldorf 38-16 in that contest, earning a shot at #1 Flatirons Academy. Their first go with the Lady Bison didn’t go very well, as the two-time defending champs took a 72-7 win in early January. Kenlee Durrill led Flatirons with 23 points and 11 steals, while Libby Ciccone had three for the Lady Falcons.
The other semifinal has #2 Belleview Christian hosting #3 Rocky Mountain Lutheran. The Lady Bruins won their final two regular season games, and four of their last five, while RML snapped a four-game skid in the season finale. That losing streak included a 47-22 defeat by Belleview Christian. Ginny Shade led the Lady Eagles with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Bethany Long posted a double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Bruins.
CLASS 1A BOYS BASKETBALL DISTRICT PREVIEW – TUESDAY
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
A few district quarterfinal games were played in Class 1A last night, and nine more take center stage for the boys today. Games continue throughout the week, with champions crowned on Friday and Saturday.
DISTRICT 2 (LA JUNTA HIGH SCHOOL)
The defending state champs from McClave earned a bye into the semifinals, where they will await the winners of Tuesday’s quarterfinal between #4 Granada and #5 Eads. The Bobcats started to get healthy at the right time and enter the postseason with five straight wins. The last of those came on Friday against Eads, giving them two over the Eagles this season. Granada got a 53-41 win in the Lamar Holiday Tournament, with Brandon Gonzales scoring 15 points. Porter Spady had 14 for Eads in that meeting. On Friday, the Bobcats received 18 points, 12 boards, and six blocks from John Hainer in the 54-36 victory. Spady led Eads with 10 points.
Cheyenne Wells also came on strong late in the season, with the #2 Tigers winning their last five games. That includes a 53-32 win over #7 Kit Carson last Friday. Carson Noe led a trio of Tigers in double figures with 18 points, while Keaton Marriott had seven to pace Kit Carson. The Wildcats dropped their last 12 games of the regular season, with their last win coming on Jan. 7th. Only two of those losses were by single digits.
Third-seeded Cheraw alternated wins and losses down the stretch, going 3-2 in its last five. The biggest win of the year came in the finale, where the Wolverines edged McClave 37-35. They face #6 Wiley in the quarters. The Panthers also went 3-2 down the stretch, but had a two-game skid prior to that portion of their schedule. The two met in late January, with Cheraw outscoring the Panthers 12-4 in the fourth to take a 47-46 victory.
DISTRICT 6 (HOME SITES)
Sierra Grande (#1) and Centennial (#2) are both in the semifinals, as they each received a bye through the quarterfinals. Their potential challengers meet at home sites on Tuesday.
Moffat, the fourth seed, hosts #5 Antonito, with the Cowboys looking to break a three-game losing streak. They dropped five of their last seven, with one of the wins coming against Antonito in January. The Cowboys put four in double figures, led by Noble Cole who had a monster double-double of 21 points and 25 rebounds. The 71-43 loss started a current eight-game slide for the Trojans, who got 17 points from Jasiah Jiron in that contest. Moffat also has a 61-49 win over the Trojans from a December tournament. Jiron had 34 in that loss, while Ziah Pesqueira had 31 for the Cowboys.
Sangre de Cristo hosts #6 Creede, with the winner moving on to face Centennial in the semifinals. The #3 Thunderbirds lost three of their last four, two by single digits, while Creede lost three straight and seven of eight. Sangre opened the year with a 57-14 win over the Miners, and added a 53-44 win almost three weeks ago.
DISTRICT 7 (HOME SITES)
Despite a three-game losing streak to end the regular season, Genoa-Hugo did enough during the rest of the season to secure the top seed for the district and with it, a bye into the semifinals. The Pirates will have to wait until later Tuesday night to learn who they will play in that round.
The two teams squaring off for the right to move on are #4 Kiowa and #5 Miami-Yoder. Kiowa lost its last four games, the final three by a total of 97 points. The Buffs lost three of their last four, with their last win prior to that stretch coming against Kiowa, 45-36. Timothy Rogers led Miami-Yoder with 12 points, while Paulino Lupercio had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Indians.
Pikes Peak Christian won the title in the 1A Black Forest and is seeded second. The Eagles broke a three-game slide with a 72-32 win over Hanover in the regular season finale. They host #7 Cripple Creek-Victor in the quarters, with the Pioneers having lost their last two games. The Pioneers opened the season with 18 straight losses, including a 68-41 decision to Pikes Peak Christian.
The remaining quarterfinal contest has #3 Hanover hosting #6 Deer Trail. The Hornets had their share of late season struggles, losing three straight and five of seven at one point. However, they closed the season with a lopsided win to get back on track. After starting the season 2-1, Deer Trail has seen 15 straight games go in the loss column. The Eagles only scored 30 or more points three times during that streak. Hanover owns a 44-11 victory over Deer Trail early in January. Ben Kyne scored 18 points for the Hornets in that win.