Posted On: 02/23/18 9:53 AM

Heading into the season it was known that the 4A class was going to be a fun class full of exciting games, close competition and surprises and it hasn’t let us down yet. Heading into the second round of the playoffs, there are still many questions that’ll have to be answered before we crown a team state champs. As a result, we’ll be taking a look at each region as who we believe will win it and who else might surprise us.

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?

Out of all the teams in this stacked region, the team that stands out is Pueblo South.  At 21-2, they’re the top dogs in the region and they haven’t lost since December 14th and they don’t look like they’ll be stopping anytime soon. This is a strong team that really wants to bring home a gold trophy and whoever stands in their way will have to bring their A game. Marcell Barbee is averaging 18.3 points and 6.9 rebounds a game and will try and continue that play in the state tourney. Alongside him are Tonay Aragon and Jeremy Cody that’s been playing well also. This is a team that passes the ball, rebounds and defends at an elite level and it’ll be hard to stop their momentum.

Surprise team?

I really like state runner ups Valor Christian as they’re still the champs until proven otherwise, but, Evergreen is the team that really stands out to me as a team that can surprise any team in the state. They’re 18-5 including a league record of 11-3 and are playing some of their best basketball as of late. They’re led by Bridger Tenney and Chase Rogers and they’re one of the best duos in all of 4A. This is a balanced team that can get it done in many ways and you’ll have to knock down shots on the perimeter if you want to beat this team as they’re stout up front.

Upset that happened in the 1st round: 48th seeded Centaurus beat No. 17 Elizabeth 53-50.

Key Game in the Second Round with a prediction:

Centaurus at Montrose

Centaurus is a fun bunch that battle until the final whistle and then some. They don’t have any quit in them and that translates throughout the entirety of the game as teams are forced to play hard to beat such a tough interior. They’re led by Owen Koonce who averages 16.4 points a game and Nate Totel that puts up 4.2 rebounds a game. They have one of the best distributors in the state in Quinn Rubin who also is an elite defender; this is a tough out for any team and Elizabeth got to see how good a team this really is, record doesn’t mean anything once you get to the playoffs. Montrose is coming off of a stellar year in which they went 17-6 and went 6-2 in league play. They aren’t a team that scores a ton, but boy can they rebound and defend. They’re led by Kade Terrell on the offensive end at 12.3 points per game and Connor Imus distributes the ball and is an above average perimeter defender that averages two steals a game. I think that Centaurus keeps this one close as I expect it to be low scoring but the defensive play of Montrose squeezes them by at the end.

Key players to watch for out of this region: Owen Koonce, Gage Smith, Garrett Hawkins, Bridger Tenney, Chase Rogers, Marcell Barbee, Tonay Aragon, Hunter Shkapich, Jeremy Randle, Te’Rae Johnson, Garrett Martin, Chris Bowerman, Kade Terrell, Connor Imus