Posted On: 02/15/16 1:06 PM

The last week of the regular season means there are a load of league races coming down to the wire.

Today, we are taking a closer look at the title chase in the Continental League, where three teams (ThunderRidge, Rock Canyon and Regis Jesuit) are tied for first at 7-1 and Legend is one game back at 6-2.

Here’s what to watch for this week as that chase hits a fever pitch:

Contenders

Regis Jesuit

Record: (18-3, 7-1 Continental)

Leading Scorers: Geoffrey Kelly (13.5 points per game); Michael Wambsganss (11.6); Elijah Martinez (8.4)

Streak: Won two

The Scoop: The Raiders had won eight straight games before falling to league rival ThunderRidge 74-64 last Tuesday, but they rebounded in a big way with a victory on Friday over rising Chaparral, then handed Rock Canyon its first league loss on Saturday.

That response to adversity is no surprise in a Ken Shaw-coached group, and this is a veteran unit that has the ability to beat opponents in multiple ways. Geoff Kelly, a 6-6 forward who is one of the state’s top unsigned seniors, has been a force in the middle, but the Raiders also have seven players who average at least 5.8 points per game.

They are tough to scout and even tougher to defend, and it’s clear they will be a handful for any opponent this postseason.

Rock Canyon

Record: (18-3, 7-1)

Leading Scorers: Sam Masten (17.0); Isaac Hirsch (11.9); Noah Beck (8.9)

Streak: Lost one

The Scoop: Before falling to Regis Jesuit on Saturday, the Jaguars hadn’t dropped a game to an in-state opponent since losing their season-opener to Eaglecrest way back on Dec. 1.

Still, the loss knocked Rock Canyon out of sole possession of first place in the Continental, and so they will need to rebound — and quickly — in order to stay in the chase.

Like Regis, Rock Canyon is a veteran team. Though they are led by a sophomore in Masten, he’s one wise beyond his years, and he’s surrounded by a strong corps of experienced, bought-in upperclassmen.

The Jaguars face another senior-laden squad Tuesday in Legend, and not much more could be on the line. The last time Rock Canyon lost, it ripped off a massive winning streak. We’ll see if they can respond the same way this time around.

ThunderRidge

Record: 18-3, 7-1

Leading Scorers: Clay Verk (16.9); Troy Brady (12.1); Austin Mueller (10.8)

Streak: Won four

The Scoop: The Grizzlies are on a roll. Their rout of Ponderosa on Friday was preceded by big victories over Legend and Regis Jesuit, which has put ThunderRidge into strong position headed into the final week of the regular season.

When this team is clicking, it may be as difficult to stop as anyone. It have two Division I signees in Verk and Mueller, who are versatile, long and tough are tough defenders. It has athletic perimeter defenders in Cory Seng and Kaison Hammonds.

Few players on the Grizzlies, though, have been hotter than Troy Brady. The 6-0 unsigned senior guard has averaged 16.3 points during ThunderRidge’s last four games. He’s hit 15 3-pointers in that stretch and for the season is shooting an eye-popping 54 percent from 3-point range.

Brady’s potent long-range ability can cause serious problems for opponents attempting to match up with the skilled, long players elsewhere on the court.

Legend

Record: 15-5, 6-2

Leading Scorers: Danny Garrick (12.9); Monroe Porter (12.8); Riley Matticks (11.6)

Streak: Won two

The Scoop: The Titans have to be playing the what-if game a little bit. Their two league losses came by a combined five points — to Regis Jesuit 53-50 on Jan. 22 and to ThunderRidge 43-41 on Feb. 5.

A few bounces the other way and Legend could be entering the final week of league play undefeated in control of their own destiny. As it sits, the Titans need a win Tuesday over Rock Canyon coupled with a victory at Chaparral on Friday, plus at least one loss each by Regis and ThunderRidge this week (each have two games left, including a matchup for each with Mountain Vista) to have a chance at a share of the league title.

But even if the Titans can’t pull out the league title, they have to like how they are playing as we sit here on Monday morning. They have ramped up the defensive intensity and are playing well as the unit, sharing the ball and depending on each other to carry the load.

Tuesday against a hungry Rock Canyon team will be a great test of whether this team is truly beginning to peak at the right time.

View the full Continental League schedule for week here.

And The League Champ Is …

We see Legend pulling off a narrow victory at home over Rock Canyon on Tuesday night.

We also predict ThunderRidge and Regis Jesuit will take care of their final two games, with each squeezing out narrow victories over a game Mountain Vista team.

That would leave the Grizzlies and Raiders crowned the co-champions of the Continental with 9-1 league records, each reaching 20 regular-season wins overall.

Let’s see how it all plays out.