Posted On: 02/26/18 5:25 PM
Well, the second round of the 5A Colorado High School State Playoffs has come and went after some entertaining basketball that included some upsets, some blowouts and some very good and entertaining games and now we’re in the Sweet 16 with some interesting matchups from the teams remaining. Prep Hoops Colorado has you covered on what to expect and who stands out in each region.
Chuck Williams Region
Who is in it?
Rock Canyon, Columbine, Castle view, Eagle crest, Range view, Arapahoe, Overland, Fossil Ridge, Mullen, Regis Jesuit, Douglas County, Rocky Mountain
The team that stood out for me was Overland of course. They’re still playing good basketball and building on a really good season with a Great Eight appearance looming if they can keep up this solid play. They just won in the second round of the tournament in a 66-57 win against a pesky Mullen squad and it was a surprise blow up game from Laolu Oke who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds that got it done. Oke along with Tucson Redding (19 points) willed their way to a victory and continued their solid play that we’ve been seeing. I fully expect Daijon Smith to get back into his scoring ways and Goy Wang to continue making plays that impact the game, it won’t come easy as they face off against a team they know well, the Regis Raiders. This should be a back and forth game in which the team that commits the least amount of turnovers are the victors. Good slate of games this weekend and this is a great one out of this region.
Who will win it?
This is still the region with the NO.1 overall seed in the state in Rock Canyon and I don’t expect them to go down easy. This is still a team that can cap off the season with maybe the forerunner for Mr. Basketball in Sam Masten who is having arguably the best overall season in the state. He’s who I believe will win it this year and his 22.3 points, 8.0 rebounds a game back that up. In the team’s 75-46 blowout of Columbine the Jaguars upside was on full display as they showed, like most of the season that they’re capable of not allowing a team to do anything whatsoever if they choose. Sam finished with a game high 22 points and six rebounds and showed why he’s one of the best in the state. Tyson Gilbert finished with 20 points as the second leading scorer and Jaylen Eikenberg added 13. With this team I’m really waiting for the return of Blake Williams. Yes, he affects the game in multiple ways, but adding to the scoring column and opening up the defense made this team that much more difficult to beat. He’s the X-factor and maybe the difference in a state championship alongside players such as Gilbert and Masten and maybe this is the week he returns against a very good Eagle crest unit led by Branden Bunn.
Most likely upset:
Regis versus Overland
This wouldn’t even really be an upset as these two teams are as evenly matched as you get. Both of these teams have shown consistency over the second half of the season and this will be the second time that these two teams faced off against each other as it was the Regis Raiders that won, granted, it was the first game of the year. Since then, we’ve seen resurgence from the Trailblazers and a completely different team since then. Daijon and Tucson have found their groove and have this team playing their best basketball as of late, they’ll both need to show up if they want to beat a Regis Raiders team that’s won 9 of the last 10 games and their lone loss was an overtime loss to Chaparral, the No.3 seeded team in the state. Jamil Safieddine and Elijah Martinez have been playing great and we all know a Ken Shaw led team is going to know what it has to do to give themselves a chance come playoffs. This is a sound unit that plays the right way and they’re well coached and that gives them a slight advantage. Regis is technically the underdogs but this game can go either way and might just have to be the game of the tournament thus far.
Key players to watch for out of the region:
Sam Masten, Tyson Gilbert, Daijon Smith, Tucson Redding, XaiV’ion Jackson, Branden Bunn, Jamil Safieddine, Elijah Martinez, Blake Williams