Posted On: 02/13/17 9:31 PM
We finish this season’s regular-season rankings where last season’s ended. With Valor Christian and Pueblo West stacked Nos. 1 and 2.
Last March it was P-West that emerged with the 4A title. This time, the Eagles will enter the playoffs as our No. 1 team, but all that matters is what comes next.
And there is still plenty to come this week with league titles and perfect league records on the line, all of sprinkled among teams in our top 10.
Let’s take a closer look at how the final 4A regular-season rankings play out and what’s on the line this week:
1. Valor Christian (17-4; LW: 2)
The Eagles are on a roll, winning their last nine games dating back to Jan. 11. After a thrilling 54-53 over Evergreen last week — in which Kayle Knuckles narrowly missed a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds and Dylan McCaffrey counted a g0-ahead 3-pointer among his 13 points — Valor Christian can sew up the 4A JeffCo League title this week with victories over Standley Lake and Littleton.
2. Pueblo West (19-2; LW: 1)
Last week, for the second straight season, the Cyclones had their hopes of a perfect run through the 4A South Central League spoiled by rival Pueblo South. Still, David Simental and company can capture the league title for a second straight season if they beat Pueblo East (Tuesday) and Pueblo Central (Friday) this week.
3. Holy Family (17-4; LW: 3)
Senior Michael Zeman scored a career-high 23 points in a win over Windsor that has helped set the Tigers up with a chance to win the Tri-Valley League on Tuesday. At 12-0, Holy Family can win the league if it beats 11-0 Mead on Tuesday in the biggest game of the season for both teams.
4. Lewis-Palmer (17-4; LW: 4)
A pair of well-balanced victories over Cheyenne Mountain and Discovery Canyon have left the Rangers with hope in the race for the 5A/4A Pikes Peak League title. A pair of wins over Air Academy and Palmer Ridge and a loss by Vista Ridge to either Discovery Canyon or rival Sand Creek would give L-P, which has been led by sophomore big man Joel Scott, a share of the title.
5. Sierra (19-3; LW: 5)
A victory over Mesa Ridge on Thursday would give Sierra a perfect 16-0 mark and the championship in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League. The Stallions have won 16 straight games, undefeated since a 61-59 loss to Sand Creek two months ago. CJ Jennings continues to make a strong case for player of the year honors. He enters Sierra’s regular-season finale averaging 20.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
6. Sand Creek (16-5; LW: 6)
The Scorpions edged Falcon and then routed Cheyenne Mountain last week. They’ll get Palmer Ridge on Wednesday before a season-finale rivalry game against Vista Ridge — a matchup of two of the state’s best players in Ridge’s Hunter Maldonado and Creek’s D’Shawn Schwartz.
7. D’Evelyn (17-4; LW: 7)
The Jaguars bounced back from a tough loss to Valor Christian by cruising to victories over Standley Lake and Littleton. D’Evelyn finishes against Green Mountain and Golden this week, aiming to climb as high as it can in the 4A playoff pecking order.
8. Vista Peak (16-4; LW: 9)
The Bison can still claim a share of the 5A/4A East Metro Athletic Conference title with league wins this week over Hinkley and Westminster if Rangeview drops one of its final two games. Vista Peak also has a non-league game against Centaurus in a busy final week.
9. Mead (18-3; LW: 10)
The Mavericks have rolled to six straight victories behind senior player-of-the-year candidate Michael Ward. The 6-1 guard is averaging 22 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Mead starts a monster final week on Tuesday when it plays Holy Family with first place in the 4A Tri-Valley League on the line.
10. Silver Creek (18-3; LW: 8)
The Raptors bounced back from the setback of a 76-68 loss to Thompson Valley by beating Longmont and Niwot to move to within one victory of the school record for wins. Silver Creek can reach the unprecedented 20-win plateau with victories this week over Mountain View and Centaurus.