Posted On: 01/22/18 11:44 AM
Last week was a great slate of games that had conference teams battling it out and playing some of their best basketball of the season. There were a few dominant performances, but also a few upsets that people missed out on. Here is what we have pegged as the games of the day for each day of the week.
Denver East vs. Eaglecrest
East is a top team in the state that for some reason we just don’t hear enough about, maybe in part because a majority of their games has been played out of state. But here they are at 11-2 on the season and it’s a strong team that’s just now getting into conference play so we’ll be hearing a lot about them from this point on. They have two of the best duos in the state in Daylen Kountz (22.8 pts, 5.0 rbs) and Kwane Marble (16.6 pts, 5.2 ast) who appear ready to run the table. On any given night one of these two can get it going and a team will have to play at their best if they want to beat this unit.
Eaglecrest on the other side is a battle tested unit that started out slow but have certainly hit their stride. They’re currently riding a four-game winning streak with wins over Grandview and rival Smoky Hill which came down to the final shot. They’re led by Seniors Branden Bunn, XaiV’ion Jackson and Morgan Brown. They’re a team that plays with high intensity, specifically on the defensive end and can turn it on at any time. This will be a fun game to watch.
Chaparral vs. Highlands Ranch
Chap is one of the top teams in the state that has been on a tear as of late. They’ve won their last three games by 14+ and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. This is a fast paced squad with guys that are all bought in and know their roles. They’re led by Ronnie DeGray III (18.4 pts, 6.3 rebs) and Joseph Dalton (11.6 pts, 5.6 rebs) but have great additional pieces in Bryce Matthews, Tanner Giles and Kobe Sanders.
Quiet as kept, Highlands Ranch is one of the the hottest team in all of 5A. They’re currently riding an eleven-game winning streak and find themselves at 13-2 on the season. They’re a team that’s big in size and get on the boards heavy. Basketball is a team sport and one player doesn’t make the team, but, Brendan Sullivan is averaging an impressive 22.5 points and 8.6 rebounds on the season and this will be a great test against DeGray to see where he ranks amongst top bigs in the state. A big game from him, Thomas Hammond, Konor Lathrop and Jaden Courage could give the Falcons a punchers chance against one of the top teams in the state. Expect it to be a packed house full of energy and one many should get out to.
Grandview vs. Mullen
The Mullen and Grandview game will be one of two teams looking to bounce back from a week in which they both fell to the blazing Overland Trailblazers. Grandview has been steady all year long and has recently started to tumble. Ben Boone, Dayne Prim and Davon Walker will all be ready to get it going again. This will be a game they look to start a winning streak and get back on the right track. For Mullen, it’s been Nick Cito and Christian Davis that have been playing well as of late. They’ll both have to step it up if they want to win this game. This will be a good old fashioned slow pace type of game where shots will just have to be made. Whoever wins the perimeter battle wins the game.
Liberty vs. Doherty
If you’ve seen Liberty play this year you know a player that can light up the scoreboard is Senior Moz Doria. He’s averaging 16.9 points and 7.1 rebounds on the year and has strung along some big games as of recently that have the Lancers sitting at 12-4 on the year. Alongside him is Jacob Burns and the Bohuslavsky brothers. This is a team that’s finally started getting comfortable with each other and finding their own.
Doherty on the other side is a team that’s been as hot as any team in the state. Before their OT thrilling loss to Regis they were on a nine game winning streak. They’ll look to get back on the right track and it starts with their two bigs Kyrele Benford and Joe Golden. Golden is averaging a double-double on the season and Benford is leading the team in scoring. Together they make one of the best frontcourts in the state and the Spartans will go as they go. Expect Doherty to feed the big men early and often and Liberty to try and combat that with an in and out game that gets it going from deep.
Eaglecrest vs. Overland
Defending champ Eaglecrest has quite the week, but if there is a team that’s ready for it, it’s this unit. This is a team that plays with a lot of energy and gets it going with their energy and defense. They have great perimeter defenders and also a rim protector to balance it out; this will be a great battle of the guards with players that are very familiar with each others game. Excited to see how this one plays out as they face off against the streaking Overland Trailblazers. The team that started out the year 0-5 is now on a seven-game winning streak with wins over some of the best teams in the state. They haven’t lost since returning to Colorado from Vegas and it’s because of some big games from Tucson Redding and Daijon Smith. Redding is averaging 14.7 points, 4.2 rebs and has scored in double figures in nine straight games. He’s a consistent scorer who also defends at a high level and gives his team a chance to win each night. Smith has ice in his veins and has multiple buzzer beaters on the year including one against Grandview with no time remaining on the clock to win it. Trailblazers have strung along some strong games and are making a strong case for one of the top playoff teams. At 6-0 in conference they’re showing it’s not how you start, but how you finish and this will be another close battle and game of the night.