BOYS BASKETBALL: NEW RANKINGS RELEASED (FEB 3RD)

Feb 5th @ 7:35 am in News, Public Service, Sports by Scott Staley

The first weekend in February brought basketball fans several great conference matchups between top teams in each classification.  Because there were so many head-to-head matchups, the results created quite a few changes in the new Colorado Preps rankings released on this Super Bowl Sunday.  Below are the new polls which includes two new number one teams and several new members to the top five.

CLASS 5A

1.       Denver East (17-2)

2.       Mountain Vista (16-0)

3.       Chatfield (17-1)

4.       ThunderRidge (13-4)

5.       Regis (13-4)

6.       Fairview (14-3)

7.       Rangeview (14-3)

8.       Grandview (12-5)

9.       Eaglecrest (13-4)

10.   Fossil Ridge (13-4)

NEW:  Rangeview, Grandview, Fossil Ridge

DROPPED OUT:  Arapahoe (12-5), Columbine (12-4), Monarch (14-3)

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Fountain Fort Carson (10-6), Aurora Central (13-6), Cherokee Trail (10-7), Highlands Ranch (11-5), Legend (12-4), Grand Junction (12-4)

NOTES:  It was one of those crazy weeks inside 5A where five of the ranked teams from last week were beaten at least once during the week.  All of those losses occurred to teams ranked from fifth to ninth so there is quite a bit of shuffling behind the top four.  Denver East used a nice win over Montbello last Saturday to climb into sole possession of first in the City league.  Mountain Vista scored a very impressive road win at Regis to keep a share of the Continental lead.  ThunderRidge kept pace with the unbeaten Golden Eagles by downing Littleton and Highlands Ranch. Chatfield increased their lead to two games in the Jeffco with wins over Lakewood and Pomona by a combined 84 points.  Despite the loss to Mountain Vista, Regis stayed put at number five because all the teams ranked behind them except for Fairview also suffered a loss.  Fairview bumped four spots to sixth as well as they moved into a first place tie with Monarch atop the Front Range.  They were allowed to make up the one game difference starting the week because Monarch was upset by Fossil Ridge last Tuesday.  Because of that loss, Monarch was dropped from the rankings (9th last week) in favor of the Sabercats who now sit in third one game back of the co-leaders.  Eaglecrest had the most difficult week.  Last Monday they held a two game lead in the Centennial but two losses later they’re tied with Grandview and Cherokee Trail for the top spot (all 6-2).  Grandview beat the Raptors and used the win to climb back into the poll and past them in 8th.  The third newcomer is Rangeview.  Now alone atop the East Metro, the Raiders have won seven straight ahead of a big clash with Aurora Central on Tuesday.  They replaced Columbine who stumbled against Ralston Valley while missing their top scorer (Snow).

CLASS 4A

1.       D’Evelyn (16-1)

2.       Lewis Palmer (15-2)

3.       Sand Creek (16-0)

4.       Broomfield (14-3)

5.       Cheyenne Mountain (14-2)

6.       Valor Christian (15-4)

7.       Wasson (16-1)

8.       Pueblo East (14-2)

9.       Thomas Jefferson (11-7)

10.   Denver South (15-4)

NEW:  None

DROPPED OUT:  None

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Widefield (12-5), Evergreen (12-5), Golden (11-6), Thompson Valley (12-4), Windsor (12-6), Longmont (12-4), Frederick (12-6), Palisade (11-4), Delta (10-5), Durango (10-4)

NOTES:  Sand Creek and Broomfield both scored impressive wins on Saturday to climb into the top four this week.  The Scorpions remained unbeaten on the season and stayed that way thanks to a come-from-behind win over Valor Christian.  Broomfield pulled away from Pueblo East early and then held on for a six point win in another top six clash.  Sand Creek moved up one spot to third with the win and Broomfield jumped two spots to fourth.  Sand Creek has another important date on Tuesday as they challenge Lewis Palmer for first place in the Pikes Peak.  Both are 8-0 in the conference heading into the first of two meetings between the rivals.  Valor and Pueblo East both slid three spots with their losses.  Wasson also bumped three spots to seventh. With a two game lead in the CS Metro, the T-Birds have rolled past every league opponent including a 31 point win over second place Widefield.  Their schedule though does not stack up against another top ten teams and could hurt them a bit once the post-season opens.   Thomas Jefferson scored a nice 56-50 win over Denver South to avenge a non-league loss to the Rebels from earlier in the season.  The Spartans moved one position to ninth while Denver South lost three spots to tenth.  The loss also dropped them out of a first place tie with Denver East in the City League.

CLASS 3A

1.       Brush (12-1)

2.       Kent Denver (12-1)

3.       Colorado Springs Christian (12-2)

4.       Holy Family (12-2)

5.       Roaring Fork (12-2)

6.       Colorado Academy (13-1)

7.       Alamosa (12-3)

8.       Pagosa Springs (12-2)

9.       Sterling (12-3)

10.   University (11-3)

NEW:  University

DROPPED OUT:  Peak to Peak (9-5)

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Moffat County (13-1), James Irwin (12-3), La Junta (12-4), Aspen (11-3), St Mary’s (8-7), Pinnacle (8-6), Denver Science (9-5), Academy (9-5), Fort Lupton (10-4), Estes Park (8-7)

NOTES: For the first time in the ten year history of Colorado Preps, Brush holds down the top spot in the 3A basketball rankings.  The Beetdiggers took advantages of losses by Kent Denver and Pagosa Springs to vault into the top slot.  They picked up a great road win at Eaton on Tuesday and then survived hot shooting Estes Park on Saturday to remain tied with Sterling atop the Patriot.  The Beetdiggers are unbeaten against 3A teams with their lone loss at the hands of Yuma (2A) on the road.  Kent Denver fell just one spot to 2nd with an overtime loss to Shining Mountain (new #1 in 3A).  It was their first loss but they responded well by downing Jefferson Academy (51-36) three nights later to keep a share of the Metro lead with Holy Family.  Pagosa Springs meantime tumbled six spots to eighth.  Normally we would not drop a team that far with a road conference loss but we had to place them behind Alamosa because of the most recent head-to-head loss.  And since no other team behind Pagosa Springs suffered a loss, the drop was a bit larger than normal.  University is the lone newcomer in the rankings as they regained their spot thanks to a win over Highland where they rallied from 20 points down at halftime.  They edged Moffat County (13-1) for the tenth spot because of a stronger schedule which includes a win over Holy Family and a loss to top ranked Brush.  Moffat County’s only game against a top ten team came against Roaring Fork and resulted in their lone loss of the season.

CLASS 2A

1.       Limon (13-0)

2.       Yuma (13-0)

3.       Peyton (12-2)

4.       Sanford (10-2)

5.       Lutheran (9-4)

6.       Resurrection Christian (10-4)

7.       Ignacio (11-3)

8.       Hayden (12-2)

9.       Heritage Christian (12-2)

10.   Rocky Ford (11-2)

NEW:  None

DROPPED OUT:  None

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Denver Christian (10-2), Sierra Grande (11-3), Akron (10-4), Haxtun (10-3), Meeker (10-4), Sangre De Cristo (9-4), Simla(8-4), Calhan (7-4)

NOTES:  With top five members Lutheran (3rd last week) and Resurrection Christian (4th last week) both losing, the top of the poll underwent some changes this week.  Lutheran fell to Faith Christian (45-44) last Friday and it dropped the Lions two spots to fifth.  Even with the loss, the high level of schedule within the 3A Metro during the regular season will make the Lions one of the favorites to win it all once the playoff begin.  Resurrection Christian suffered a difficult overtime home loss to Denver Christian which dropped them into a first place tie with the Crusaders, Heritage Christian and Liberty Common atop the crowded Mile High league.  Despite the win, Denver Christian could not crack the top ten as the defending state champions also suffered a loss to Heritage Christian in the previous week.  Peyton and Sanford both move into the top four this week.  Peyton jumps to third and ahead of Lutheran despite a one point loss to the Lions to open the season.  Since that loss happened two months, it has less of an effect in the rankings as a more recent head-to-head loss.  Sanford also achieves their highest ranking of the season.  Limon and Yuma continue to roll along unbeaten.  The Badgers downed Simla with ease and Yuma collected a solid home win over a very good 1A club (Caliche).

CLASS 1A

1.       Shining Mountain (13-0)

2.       McClave (13-0)

3.       Fleming (10-2)

4.       Hi Plains (11-2)

5.       Caliche (10-3)

6.       Holly (10-4)

7.       Cheyenne Wells (11-2)

8.       Elbert (8-4)

9.       Otis (11-2)

10.   La Veta (13-2)

NEW:  Holly

DROPPED OUT:  Community Christian (9-4)

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Denver Jewish Day (7-2), Vail Christian (9-4), Norwood (10-4), Prairie (10-3), Pawnee (7-5), Bethune (8-5), Deer Trail (10-4)

NOTES:  It’s not often that a number one team loses their position when they fail to lose a game during the past seven days or for the entire season but Shining Mountain’s overtime win over 3A state power Kent Denver was enough to push the Lions past McClave this week.  It was their 8th win over a larger school.  McClave remained unbeaten with an easy win over Cheraw but because of location they don’t have a chance to play as many larger schools compared to the Lions.  The other big news in the 1A ranks involves Holly.  The Eagles vault into the poll at number six this week thanks to their impressive road win over Cheyenne Wells.  They won for the 7th straight time since a loss to McClave and handed the Tigers their first in-state loss.  Holly bypassed teams such as La Veta and Elbert in the rankings because of the quality road loss.  Elbert stayed put at number eight as both of their games were postponed because of illness.  La Veta won their 12th straight game downing Mountain Valley but remains in tenth this week.  Hi Plains scored a huge win over Otis (non-league) and climbed back into the top four where they opened the season.  The Patriots edged past Caliche as the Buffs slipped one spot because of a quality road loss at Yuma (2A).  They rebounded with a nice win the next night at Holyoke.