Posted On: 01/3/18 11:36 AM
While many love the holiday break, there’s some of us that feel as if there wasn’t enough basketball and its finally over—YES!!
2017 was a great year for Colorado High School basketball, some teams dominated like many assumed before the season and some made some pleasant surprises to finish up the year, but 2018 shall be even more entertaining, for now, we have the games of the week to begin the 2018 portion of the season and its maybe the best week of basketball that we’ve seen so far.
Wednesday, January 3rd
Regis (8-1) vs. Cherokee Trail (6-2)
This is a matchup of two very balanced teams that get it done in opposite ways. Regis gets it done with their high scoring attack and pace. They’re led by Jamil Safieddine (13.3 pts, 3.4 ast), Sam Bannec (12.3 pts, 3.6 rbs) and Matt Wheelock (9.2 pts, 3.9 rbs). On any given night, these guys could have a big game and they play basketball the right way so making the extra pass to the open man isn’t an issue. CT will have their hands full with this unit and will attempt to counter it with their slower and more efficient play. Seniors Deon Barfield (11.4 pts, 5.8 rbs), Tyson Rodgers (11.8 pts, 3.3 ast) and Octavion Hymer are looking to end their senior year with a bang. This is an older unit that knows what it has to do to get it done, even if it isn’t always pretty. The majority of the team is made up of seniors so they come in battle tested. This should be a close one until the final whistle.
Thursday, January 4th
Smoky Hill (7-2) vs. Grandview
Smoky Hill is one of if not the most athletic teams in the state, they’re big inside with John Harge (15.6 pts, 7.3 rbs) and William Becker (9.0 pts, 9.1 rbs) holding down the paint, Quinten Rock (13.8 pts, 3.6 ast) at the guard spot and Kenny Foster (10.3 pts, 5.2 rbs) on the wing. This is an in-conference rival type game that’ll be sure to pack out as the Buffaloes go on the road to face a pesky Grandview Wolves squad that’s found success in and out of state. The Wolves are led by Davon Walker (11.1 pts, 3.3 ast) Dayne Prim (12.4 pts, 6.0 rbs) and Ben Boone (10.5 pts, 2.6 rbs) which leads to a solid inside/out attack. While in Vegas they got wins over Durango (NV) and Sheldon (CA) before their OT loss to Southwind (TN) in which Tyler Unger, Levi Dombro and Gunner Gentry also stepped up and rattled teams with brute force. This will be a battle of the bigs matchup that’ll easily be the best game on Thursday.
–Friday, January 5th-
Denver East vs. Chaparral
The East Angels vs. Chaparral will be the game of the week. This will be a high scoring affair where one team dominates in the paint and the other from elite guard play. If you want to see probably Mr. Basketball for the state of Colorado and University of Colorado commit Daylen Kountz (21.9 pts, 5.4 ast) and one of the top Juniors in the state Kwane Marble (16.5 pts, 5.6 ast) play at their best, this is the game for you. They’ve had additional when they went and competed and took their sole loss on the season in the Tarkanian Classic in Vegas from Clayton Finley-ponds and Chase Neagle, so East is at their best right now and are looking to win it all. On the flip side, they’re facing a very talented and inside the paint oriented team that puts up points in bunches in Chaparral. Ronnie DeGray III is quietly having one of the best seasons in the state. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. Alongside him, Kobe Sanders (11.2 pts, 4.3 ast) and Joseph Dalton (12.3 pts. 5.7 rbs) are putting together some good games. They haven’t loss in state and loss some close ones in Vegas. They’ll look to continue their in-state dominance and this will be a statement game as whichever team wins the game will rise in the top 10 rankings.
Thunder Ridge (10-1) vs. George Washington (7-4)
GW is coming off of a pretty good showing in the Tarkanian Classic in Vegas. They loss to Pasadena (CA) and also Chino Hills (CA) but also beat Overland high school, a team they barely escaped with a win just weeks prior. While they had two losses, a positive was the emergence of players like Xavier Cooper (9.8 pts, 3.8 rbs), JoVon Nelson (6.3 pts, 3.6 ast) and Mohammed Diallo (6.6 pts, 4.8 rbs) to assist with the load that Tre Pierce and Jon’il Fugett have been having to carry. Before the Vegas trip, GW looked like they were only a few games removed from being a complete team that look comfortable with one another, maybe the new year will turn it around and it starts with a stingy opponent in Thunder Ridge. Thunder Ridge is a top 5 team in the state and have gone a perfect 4-0 against out of state teams. Despite their loss to Chaparral they’ve been as good as any team in the state. Through 11 games they’re averaging a whopping 70 points a game and Senior Kaison Hammonds (16.4 pts, 4.5 rbs) is leading the charge. Alongside him is Justin McCaw (11.2 pts) and Tyson Cruickshank (11.0 pts, 3.4 ast) who have been as good as advertised. Austin Holt, Kevin Sax and Bailey Verk have been handling the inside duties and being aggressive on the boards, so not many teams match up with this unit, this will be a great challenge for both teams, speed versus size.
Rock Canyon (9-0) vs. Rangeview (6-3)
Sitting at a perfect 9-0 on the season, Rock Canyon is the top team in the state of Colorado. They also took their show on the road in the 15th Annual Clash on the Coast Tournament in California and won that tournament; easily. They’re head and shoulders above the rest and somebody will have to play their best to stop them. Sam Masten (21.9 pts, 6.3 rbs) and Tyson Gilbert (13.4 pts, 3.8 rbs) have remained one of the top guard duos in the state and Blake Williams (10.4 pts, 6.2 rbs) has also put himself in the conversation as one of the best under the radar type players in the state. This is a tough team to beat and they don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Rangeview definitely have their hands full, but, this is a resilient team who rebound and defend. They’re led by Ryan Ongala (9.4 pts, 7.3 rbs), Jodaun Dotson (11.2 ppg) but Senior Devin Collins (10.6 pts, 7.6 rbs) is also a player whose stock should rise at the halfway point through the year. Rangeview will have to be flawless in their efforts, but with the type of energy they play with, they have a chance to keep it close and whatever happens from there, happens.
This is a good week of basketball, get out and check out some games.