Posted On: 02/27/18 1:51 PM
The second round of the 4A state playoffs went pretty much exactly how we expected it to go as the higher seeds cruised out to victories. But, the sweet 16 holds good and even matchups as we can even expect an upset or two with the way that these teams have been playing. Let’s take a look at each region and who we expect to see keep going.
Larry Brunson Region:
Who is in it:
Pueblo South, Conifer, Pueblo County, Montrose, Elizabeth, Centaurus, Evergreen, Battle Mountain, Greeley Central, Valor Christian, Vista PEAK Prep, and Standley Lake
Who will win it?
Pueblo South is going to win this region and the way they’ve been playing is why I’m so comfortable saying that. They’re now 22-2 on the season and don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. They’re coming off of a 67-32 drubbing of Conifer. This is a deep team that has been seeing strong play from Marcell Barbee. He’s been leading the team and they’re on the path to destruction as they have what it takes to win the whole thing. They’re the favorites this year and as long as they’re playing the type of defense that they’ve been playing, they’ll win against anybody. Tonay Aragon and Jeremy Cody have also been the help when Barbee is going through it and this team rebounds better than anybody in the state. This is a team that will bring it throughout the entirety of the game and there will have to be a colossal mistake to prevent them from making it all the way into the championship.
Valor Christian just looks comfortable. This is a team that won it all last year and something about the playoffs gets these guys going and playing their best basketball. They overcame an offensive explosion by Te’Rae Johnson who finished with an efficient 29 points and it was due to their depth. Hunter Shkapich, Roger Rosengarten and Jack Foley all scored in double-digits and ensured another playoff win. I was shocked that They’ll get Jeremy Randle going in the next game I’m assuming and they’ll be another tough out for the team as the have the championship pedigree. With the win, they moved to 16-8 on the year, but, their overall record doesn’t matter because as soon as you get into the playoffs, it’s go time. I expect this team to compete hard and maybe even get a slight upset in this week.
Most likely upset:
It’ll be a tough task to ask No. 16 Montrose to beat Pueblo South, especially after just a nail biting finish against Centaurus. To not play at your best and barely get by that team and then be placed against the No. 1 team in the state and it just clicks, unlikely. But, we’ve seen crazier things happen. So, for my most likely upset, I’m going with Valor Christian over Evergreen. Evergreen is a team that plays hard and finds a way to win, but going up against the state champs from a season ago and a great head coach, this could be one that they drop. Evergreen is the No.8 seed in the state and sit at 19-5 on the year. The third times the charm for both of these teams as they’ve already played each other twice and have split. Have to expect it to be another back and forth affair that comes down to the final quarter as the other two games and one that many fans should be excited to watch. Valor will have to continue their strong play if they want to beat an Evergreen unit that’s competed with just about anybody. Bridger Tenney, Chase Rogers and the bunch will have to give it their all, yet again.
Key players to watch for out of this region: Marcell Barbee, Tonay Aragon, Jeremy Cody, Hunter Shkapich, Jeremy Randle, Chase Rogers, Bridger Tenney, Jack Patterson, Kade Terrell