Posted On: 02/23/18 5:24 PM
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.
Mark Randall Region:
Who is in it:
Lewis-Palmer, Kennedy, Sierra, Palmer Ridge, Holy Family, Wheat Ridge, Silver Creek, Thomas Jefferson, Erie, Widefield, The Classical Academy, Skyview
Who will win it?
Lewis Palmer is the best team in this region and this is a tough , tough field. They went 21-2 on the season and got them the No.2 overall seed in the playoffs. The team is blistering hot as they’re in the midst of an eight game winning streak and they won all of those convincingly in route to a league title. Joel Scott is leading the charge at 18.3 points and seven boards a game and he’ll likely make the tournament team with strong play as they attempt to bring back a championship. Him, Matthew Ragsdale, Salim Nehme, Carter Kreischer and Ethan Forrester have placed themselves in the position to go all the way and with that kind of momentum it’s going to be hard to knock off this unit deep in the playoffs. This is a well-coached and disciplined bunch that plays the right way and I expect them to come out of the region.
There are multiple teams as a team that can jump in and surprise a team or two such as a stout Silver Creek squad or a good Palmer Ridge team, but the team I believe can make some noise is Widefield. The Gladiators are 19-4 and went 14-2 in their league. They’re currently on a 13-game winning streak as their last loss was at the beginning of January and that’s due to some very good play by Tre Pierre. Tre’s averaging 19.7 points, 8.3 rebounds a game. TJ Davis and Randall Days has contributed tremendously as well and their play has led them to the No.10 seed out of the region and they wont go down without a fight so expect close battles the rest of the way. If you’re going to beat this team you going to have to put your best foot forward.
Upset in the 1st round: No. 42 seeded Skyview beat No. 23 seeded Classical Academy 42-47.
Key Game in the Second Round with a prediction:
Holy Family at Palmer Ridge
No. 15 Palmer Ridge takes on No. 18 Holy Family for one of the closer battles in 4A and sets up for a great matchup in the second round. Holy Family guard Tanner Baird is leading the team at 16.6 points, but juniors Kyle Helbig and Adam Jolly have been two-way forces for this unit that has been finding ways to get it done. They escaped a close one 48-45 in the first round to Wheat Ridge and now are up against Palmer Ridge. The bears are a team of all around balance and sharing the ball as not a single player on the team averages over 10 points a game. Zach Hester, Cory McLellan, Nick Boldvich, Maccee Reed and Nathan Kugler are all capable of getting it going but with a unit this deep its hard game planning as you don’t know which player it’ll be that wins the game. Expect to see a close game and for Palmer Ridge to edge them out on the backs of the starting five and a surprise explosion from the bench.
Key players to watch for out of this region: Joel Scott, Matthew Ragsdale, Derrian Reed, Imani Grigsby, Tanner Baird, Kyle Helbig, Adam Jolly, Zach Hester, Cory McLellan, Trent Dykema, Jeffrey Farineau, Tre Pierre, Darius Hornbuckle