Meaningful games in the last week of the season

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Colorado

Posted On: 02/12/18 2:26 PM

This is for all the marbles, for most teams there are conference championships on the line, for others, playoff positioning and means of argument to make a case for being in or a certain seed come state tournament time, this week means a lot. For this week only, Prep Hoops Colorado is not only focusing specifically on what games we feel will be the most competitive, but which games has the most importance; this is typically the week of surprises so make sure you get to some games.

Tuesday

Valor Christian at Evergreen

Don’t look now but Evergreen is having a wonderful year as they sit at 17-4 on the season. They find themselves in third place behind both Golden and Valor Christian but are in a unique spot as they control their own destiny. They get a chance to face off against both teams this week and a win against either team increases their chances to move up and convince those that they deserve to be a higher seed come tournament time. If they happen to beat both, well, they make things even more interesting. It’ll be up to their dynamic senior trio of Chase Rogers (15.5 pts, 3.5 ast), Jack Patterson (11.1 pts, 4.3 rebs) and Bridger Tenney (16.1 pts, 7.0 rebs) to pull together another solid four quarters to put them in the position to beat last year’s 4A state champions. It won’t come easy, but they have the unit to do it.

On the opposite end, the state champions feel as if it’s still their top spot until they’re knocked off. Although they’re 14-7 on the season, they’re 11-1 in league play and have shown they’re still a VERY difficult team to go up against. Jeremy Randle and 1000 point career scorer Hunter Shkapich have been the driving force for the Eagles and they’ll be around come state tournament time, let’s see how they finish off with two meaningful basketball games to finish off the regular season. This should be fun.

Wednesday

Regis at Chaparral  

The Continental league worked itself out to have one of the most entertaining finishes out of any conference in the state. It’s tight all the way to the finish and in the final week with the division almost deadlocked the top four teams all meet for the last time before the state tournament. This one is against a Regis team that sits at 17-4 on the season and 6-2 in league play. They’re currently riding a seven game winning streak and will face another tough opponent. Regis has had one of the toughest schedules this year and still has managed to have yet another strong year. Great play by Jamil Safieddine, Sam Bannec and Elijah Martinez has kept them afloat all season; another solid outing from this trio in a win can make things mighty interesting in the already fascinating Continental league.

Chaparral is 17-4 on the season and 7-1 in league play. A loss here would be devastating in the sense that they would be forced to drop with a tie in the continental league and their loss to Thunder ridge last week didn’t make things any easier. They bounced back from that game with a 21-point win against Legend and seem on the track of showcasing that that was just a bad game and they’re still one of the best teams in the state. Ronnie DeGray III, Kobe Sanders and Bryce Matthews will head into this game knowing what it is they have to do and how important it is to finish off strong. They know what’s at stake so expect a hard fought battle between two teams that will get after it.

Friday

Denver South and Thomas Jefferson

With two teams that barely sit above .500 on the season, it’s interesting to see them in our top games of the week. But, with it being the last week of the season and the 4A title within the Denver City League up for grabs, it makes it that much more interesting. Darius Hornbuckle and Kahlil Clark have been worth watching this season. Darius leads the team in scoring and Kahlil is the leading rebounder as he’s averaging a double-double on the season. With a good game for both of these players it’ll be hard for South to counter a one-two punch like this.
For South it’s been a team of balance. They aren’t a bunch that scores a ton of points so getting it done as a unit has been their forte. They’re led by Courtney Dean and Elias Curry but have quality contributors in DoVon Sentmore, Deshon Carter and Jerrico Banks that can get it done as well when called upon. This should be a low scoring, close fought battle that may very well come down to the last shot. This is a game for state tournament positioning so it should be a good one.

Rock Canyon at Thunder Ridge

The battle of the 20-1 teams.

You know who has been the top team in the state for the whole season? Rock Canyon, that was until they fell to Chaparral two weeks ago. You know who feels as if they’re now the top team in the state? Thunder Ridge as they just knocked off Chaparral and are tied for the top record in the state at 20-1 on the season with no other than Rock Canyon. This will be for the best record in the state for the 2017-18 season, the conference champion and top overall seed for the state tournament. Saying this game means a lot is an understatement. Sam Masten, Tyson Gilbert and Blake Williams are ready to lead Rock Canyon to being No.1 but Kaison Hammond, Tyson Cruickshank and Austin Holt won’t make it easy. They’re eager to defend their home court and head into the state tournament with the overall top seed. They’re a balanced bunch that’s been proving themselves all season. This might not only be the game of the week, but game of the year in all of 5A as it means the most.

Saturday

Denver East vs. George Washington

Let’s just assume you haven’t had the opportunity to get out to any game in the Denver Metro area this year and missed the opportunity to see one of the most exciting teams in the Patriots or one of the most exciting duos in Daylen Kountz and Kwane Marble. Well, you’re in luck as they face-off for the City League championship and it’s on a Saturday. This is how you should end your week. The Patriots have finally found their groove and have had every player progress from the start of the season to now. They have chemistry and play extraordinarily tough defense and on any given night a different player could give you 20 points. They haven’t lost since January 5th and have run through the entire Denver prep league with blowout wins after another, but finally have another challenge as they battle it out for the league championship with a formidable foe. Jon’il Fugett and Xavier Cooper have been the driving force for GW, but with players such as Devon Jones, Kendale Johnson, Tre Pierce and Mo Diallo all stepping up as well, this becomes an even more impressive unit that a team will have to bring their best to knock off.