CLASS 5A BOYS
No. 19 Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans
Game data: No. 46 Prairie View (11-12) vs. No. 19 Fountain-Fort Carson (16-7) … At Fountain-Fort Carson on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Winner goes on to plat No. 14 Arvada West.
Scouting the Trojans: Fountain-Fort Carson enters the postseason leading Class 5A in blocks, averaging 5.6 per game, and are third in the class in steals, averaging nearly 12 per game.
But the Trojans didn’t just rely on its defense to win the 5A/4A CSML title. The Trojans average 65.7 points per game - good for 11th in 5A, thanks in part to the 17.3 points-per game average by junior Keyshawn Maltiba. Senior Rashon Barron follows with 11.8 per game, and James Sanders and Keiton Beck are not far behind, both averaging more than nine points per game. Barron, measuring in at 6-foot-6, leads the team with 64, averaging just over three per game. Sanders leads the team in steals with 62.
Scouting the Thunderhawks: Prairie View enters the state tournament coming off a big 47-point 5A/4A East Metro league victory over Adams City, and will hope to continue that momentum in the first round against Fountain-Fort Carson if they hope to upset the No. 19 seed.
The Thunderhawks are led by 5A’s No. 4-ranked shooter Dalton Knecht, who averages 21.4 points pre game. Knecht, a six-foot-4 senior also leads the team with two blocks per game. Prairie View also has a promising freshman who averages 10.8 points per game, but has not played since January 29. Senior James Barnes averages 9.3 points per game. The Thunderhawks average 9.7 steals per game led by Zavier DeHoff with 67.
No. 25 Palmer Terrors
Game data: No. 40 Broomfield (11-12) vs. No. 25 Palmer (14-9) … At Palmer on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Winner will play No. 8 Fairview in the second round.
Scouting the Terrors: Palmer rebounded after a short three-game skid to claim victory in the final three games of the regular season, including an overtime rivalry win over No. 41 Doherty and a nine-point victory over No. 33 Pine Creek.
Shooting guard Isaiah Robinson leads his team with 19.5 points per game, followed by senior Darien Meyers with 18.1. The two combine for 60 percent of the team’s total offense, on average.
Meyers has scored in double figures in all but two games this season and has posted a staggering 18 double-doubles this season.
Scouting the Eagles: Although Broomfield enters the postseason just under .500, the Eagles boasted a 8.4 strength of schedule rating through the regular season, compared to Palmer’s 7.9 rating. The Eagles average 58.8 points per game compared to the Terrors’ 62.5. Palmer, however, lead in nearly every other statistical category.
The Eagles are led by Steven Croell and Grant Swenson who average 15.7 and 12.6 points per game, respectively. The pair also lead the team in steals with 32 and 31, respectively as the Eagles average 7.8 takeaways a game.
No. 31 Liberty Lancers
Game data: No. 34 Rocky Mountain (13-10) vs. No. 31 Liberty (13-10) … At Liberty on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Winner will move on the play No. 2 Mountain Vista on Saturday.
Scouting the Lancers: Liberty will have its chance to find redemption from a two-point loss to the Lobos in January when the Lancers fell in a nonconference game on the road. In the loss senior Sean Bohuslavsky scored a game-high 23 points, and Dailin Smith scored 12. Bohuslavsky and Smith lead the team averaging 17.6 and 14.5 points per game, respectively. Smith, a 6-foot-4 senior also leads with 4.7 rebounds per game and Bohuslavsky averages 2.7 steals.
The Lancers enter the postseason riding a six-game winning streak - their last loss was a two-point defeat by No. 25 Palmer, which capped off a three-game skid. Since Liberty has outscored opponents by 9.8 points per game, on average.
Scouting the Lobos: Rocky Mountain has won eight of their nine contests with its only loss being a two-point defeat by No. 8 Fairview. Last time against Liberty the Lobos clinched the win behind a 22-point performance by senior Tyler Fisher, and 17 points added by Joseph Urynnowicz. Rocky Mountain outscored Liberty 13-10 in the fourth quarter to clinch the win.
Through the regular season Urynnowicz led the team averaging 18.2 points per game, followed by Fisher with 12.9. The two combined for 56 percent of the team’s total offense. The Lobos average six steals per game, led by Fisher with 36. He also leads the team in blocks with seven - half of the team’s total blocks in the regular season.
No. 33 Pine Creek Eagles
Game data: No. 33 Pine Creek (13-10) vs. No. 32 Fossil Ridge (13-10) … At Fossil Ridge on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Winner will move on to the second round to face No. 1 Chaparral.
Scouting the Eagles: Midway through the regular season Pine Creek looked to be the team to beat as the Eagles won 10 of their first 11 games, but the team hit a number of speedbumps to close out the season. Pine Creek enters the postseason on a four-game skid, and has lost seven of its last eight games.
The Eagles’ biggest loss came on Feb. 2 in an overtime defeat by Doherty, which also knocked out the team’s leading scorer, Grant Wilkinson through the remainder of the season. Wilkinson, who averaged 15.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game, left just before overtime against Doherty with an apparent dislocation, although coach Joe Rausch could not confirm the extent of the injury. Wilkinson has not played since.
Without Wilkinson in the lineup the team looks to Peyton Westfall who averages 11.1 points per game, and Max Lofy, who has 9.1 through 20 games. Lofy, however, also hasn’t played since the Doherty game.
Scouting the Sabercats: Fossil Ridge has lost two straight to two ranked 5A teams and will lok to get back on the winning end Wednesday. The Sabercats are led by sophomore Luke Yoder who averages 12.3 points per game, followed by senior Zack Crane with 10.8. Sophomore Tyce Baldwin is flirting with a double-figure average with 9.9 points per game.
No. 41 Doherty Spartans
Game data: No. 41 Doherty (10-13) vs. No. 24 Cherry Creek (11-12) … At Cherry Creek on Wednesday Feb. 20. The winner will take on No. 9 Columbine in the second round.
Scouting the Spartans: After a five-game skid early in the season Doherty chugged through a tough schedule with a 12.2 strength of schedule rating. The Spartans’ first round opponent Cherry Creek enters the postseason with a 18.1 rating - but fortunately for Doherty, the team has already beaten the Bruins once this year.
In the final month of the regular season Doherty earned quality wins over No. 19 Fountain-Fort Carson, amd No. 41 Pine Creek. The Spartans are led by junior Lucas Moerman with 12.8 points per game. Moerman has had 11 double-doubles and two triple-doubles this season as one of just four players in the state to register more than one triple-double. Moerman’s efforts are aided by junor Trey Carter who avers 9.4 points per game, and sophomore Brody Gish with 7.9.
Sophomore Schafer Reichart, who has not played since January 18 due to a life-threatening illness, still ranks among the top three team scorers, as he average 9.1 points per game before falling ill. Reichart scored a team-high 16 points against Cherry Creek earlier this year.
Scouting the Bruins: Last time out against Doherty, Cherry Creek fell in a 24-9 hole after the first quarter, and despite outscoring the Spartans 21-11 in the fourth, the Bruins could not overcome the deficit.
Julian Hammond III led the team with 20 points against Doherty and averages 20.2 points per game. Myles Purchase (12.7) and Sebastian Cole (11.5) follow as the team’s double-figure scorers.
No. 43 Vista Ridge Wolves
Game data: No. 43 Vista Ridge (10-13) vs. No. 22 Brighton (18-5) … At Brighton on Wednesday, February 20. The winner will play No. 11 Rock Canyon on Saturday in the second round.
Scouting the Wolves: Vista Ridge enters a tough postseason matchup with momentum swinging in the Wolves’ direction, winning the final three games of the regular season, including a big overtime 5A/4A CSML win over Discovery Canyon.
Three of the Wolves’ five starters average double figures, led by Payton Kaiser with 14.6 points per game. He’s chased by Micah Hilts (10.8) and Tyler Edwards (10.3). Senior Julius Dowell also averages 10.3 points per game in nine appearances.
Hilts, a 6-foot-5 center, leads the team in blocks with 37, and averages 6.9 rebounds per game. Kaiser has 36 steals and 103 assists.
Scouting the Bulldogs: Brighton has won 11 of its last 12 games led by a brigade of seniors ready for a run in the postseason. Brayden Schlitt leads the team with 16.6 points per game, followed by Mason Beauman with 10.3. Drake Cortez is nearly at a double-figure average with 9.1 points pre game.
Averaging 67.4 points per game the team is ranked No. 9 in 5A in scoring, and No. 5 averaging 10.6 steals, led by Schlitt averages 2.4 per game.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
No. 21 Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans
Game data: No. 44 Fairview (6-17) vs. No. 21 Fountain-Fort Carson (18-5) … At Fountain-Fort Carson on Tuesday, February 19. The winner will take on No. 12 Mountain Vista in the second round on Friday.
Scouting the Trojans: Fountain-Fort Carson has won seven of its last eight contests and is ranked in the top 11 in 5A averaging 56.6 points per game. The Trojans also lead the classification in field goal attempts with 1,435.
Senior and program all-time leading scorer Sami Worrell leads the teal with 19.3 points per game, ranked fifth in 5A. She is followed by Danae Christensen with 10.8 points per game.
Worrell also averages three steals per game, followed by sophomore Torie Bass and senior Teandra Omans with 3.1 and 2 steals per game, on average. The Trojans are ranked fifth in 5A average 14.1 steals per game.
Scouting the Knights: Fairview fell in two deflating 30-point losses before clinching a five-point win over Boulder to end the regular season.
The Knights are led by Izzy Munson with 14.3 points per game, and Kate Lampert with 10.3. The two combine for 61 percent of the team’s total offense as Fairview averages just 40 points per game.
The Knights average 3.1 blocks per game led by Lampert with 41. She also has team-leading 49 steals.
No. 23 Doherty Spartans
Game data: No. 42 Adams City (12-11) vs. No. 23 Doherty (15-8) … At Doherty on Tuesday, February 19. The winner will move on to the second round to face No. 10 Ralston Valley.
Scouting the Spartans: A nine-game winning streak highlighted Doherty’s middle portion of the season, but a seven-point loss to Liberty which cost the Spartans an outright league title will surely motivate the team heading into the playoffs.
Despite the season-finale loss, Doherty won 12 of its last 14 games of the regular season averaging 52.3 points per game.
The Spartans are led by senior Brionna Mcbride with 14.2 points per game, who is also ranked seventh in 5A with 4.2 steals per game.
Freshman Payton Sterk is second on the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game.Caylee Dewitt leds the team with 41 blocks as the Spartans average four blocks per game. Sujanna Latimer follows with 25.
Scouting the Eagles: Adams City suffered tough back-to-back losses to end the regular season and will look for an upset to rebound in the first round. The Eagles have just one player with a double-figure average, sophomore Valeria Salinas-Vargas who averages 10.4 per game.
While Mcbride and the Spartans are good at takeways, the Eagles have an edge, averaging 13.9 steals per game compared to Doherty’s 10.7. Senior Jennessy Aragon leads the team with 4.1 steals per game, coming in ranked at No. 9 in 5A.
No. 32 Liberty Lancers
Game data: No. 33 Lakewood (9-14) vs. No. 32 Liberty (15-8) … At Liberty on Tuesday, February 19. The winner will move on to face No. 1 Highlands Ranch in the second round.
Scouting the Lancers: Liberty has won six of its last seven contests, including big back-to-back wins over No. 21 Fountain-Fort Carson and No. 23 Doherty to cap off the regular season.
The Lancers are surely surging heading into the postseason, led by Lydia Marshall who averages 13.8 points per game. Marshall is the lone Lancer with a double-figure average. The next highest scorer is Jenna Smith with 6.8 points per game. Marshall and Smith are also defensive leaders as the two average 2.7 and 2,5 steals per game, respectively. As a team the Lancers average 11.3 steals per game.
Scouting the Tigers: Lakewood started the season 0-5 but rebounded to end the year on a 4-2 run in February, including a three-point win over No. 23 Doherty.
The Tigers feature two double-figure scorers both averaging 10.6 points per game - junior Nadia Trevizo-Medina and senior Maddy Hubych. Junior Aaliyah Sabala is close to a double-figure average with 9.9 points per game. Hubych has had seven double-doubles this season.
CLASS 4A BOYS
No. 1 Lewis-Palmer Rangers
Game data: After completing an undefeated regular season the Rangers earned a first-round bye and will begin their journey to a state title on Saturday at home against the winner of No. 32 Silver Creek vs. No. 33 Ponderosa.
Scouting the Rangers: Lewis-Palmer has sat comfortably on top of the Class 4A rankings all year. Last week the Rangers completed the program’s first undefeated regular season since 2003 and don’t show any signs of stopping.
Led by seniors Joel Scott (18.4 ppg), Matthew Ragsdale (17.3 ppg), Ethan Forrester (10.9 ppg), Noah Baca (8.8 ppg) and Tre Mccullough (7.5 ppg) , the Rangers are the highest scoring team in class 4A, averaging 71.5 points per game.