Posted On: 03/7/18 1:41 PM
We have finally reached the Final Four in the CHSAA 4A State Tournament. While many may not have expected this quartet, the 4A region features some of the best talent in the state heading into this final week of basketball. Here we will take an individual look at each team, from its star players, keys to winning, and overall outlook.
Pueblo South No. 1 Seed
About Pueblo South:
Pueblo South is the No.1 overall seed and was maybe the only team you surely knew would make it to this point as they had some blowouts along the way and a convincing 59-50 win over last year’s state champs in Valor Christian. The Colts feature 6’2 Marcell Barbee, a do it all senior wing, with a high basketball IQ that also has the ability to knock it down if needed or attack straight at the rim. Marcell has been consistent for the Colts as he’s putting up 17.7 points, 6.9 rebounds a game and when he fouled out with 6:54 remaining in the game it was up to others to contribute. 6-foot-6 forward Jeremy Cody stepped up and took on those duties as he poured in 18 points including seven in the fourth quarter. Tonay Aragon has also been a key contributor for the team and has shown the ability to take over at times. The Colts are a tough unit that has many players that can get it done, they’re a veteran unit with great leadership and if you want to knock them off it’s going to take almost a perfect game, Longmont has a lot to prepare for.
Longmont No. 5 Seed
Longmont enters the Final Four with a huge upset over No.4 Falcon in a game where Luke Johnson went on a tear. The senior guard who averages 19.3 points on the season erupted for 27 points including three 3-pointers and was a force on both ends of the court as he also recorded four steals. He ensured the win for the team and helped them advance to the Final Four. Alongside him was Brady Renck who joined him in scoring double digits and also had two steals of his own. If the Trojans plan on upsetting the No.1 overall team in the state they’ll have to had Dallas Dye, Beck Page and Calvin Seamons step up as well by providing additional scoring threats. They go in as heavy underdogs but are a deep enough team that they could get it done with the right game plan and an all-in effort.
Lewis-Palmer No. 2 Seed
Pueblo South was the NO.1 overall seed and they’ve reached the Final Four, but Lewis-Palmer was No.2 and while the road hasn’t been as easy with two ten point wins and an 70-67 escape against Widefield, the Rangers find themselves at a place the school is starting to get comfortable getting to. Junior, Joel Scott, who has been one of the best players in the state is a 6’6 player whose size is always an advantage for him. He has a high basketball IQ and can create for others but what he really excels in is taking over in games. He finished with 33 points as he went an efficient 11/13 from the field and also had two blocks and two steals to show he can get it done from anywhere and there might not be a player in 4A that can stop him. Matthew Ragsdale shows signs of leadership as well and the makings of a player with a high ceiling that can also take over. He helped his junior counterpart as he had 19 points to help ensure a victory as well. As long as these two are on they’ll have a chance to knock off Pueblo South and get themselves into the championship game. They should get there and on the backs of Ragsdale and Scott we’ll see them back at the Coliseum.
Pueblo West No. 6 Seed
About Pueblo West:
Pueblo West is the lowest seeded team remaining and they’re still here and taking a look at their side of the bracket its due to a few upsets and strong play from this unit. The team defeated No.14 Ponderosa that seemed destined for a Cinderella run after an upset against No.3 Golden, the highest seed in the Guy Gibbs region, but the Cyclones stopped that in a 57-48 victory. Just like most games they were led by Nieyeme Smeyer-Williams who finished with a game high 25 points and showed he’s one of the best guards in the state. He’s scored in double figures in seven straight games including 32 points against Mesa Ridge in the second round of the playoffs and has provided the leadership the team has needed. Pierre Taylor has become the perfect tandem as well alongside Nieyeme as he’s up to 13.8 points a game and scored 14 in their victory. This is a team that pushes the pace but is ultra-efficient and truly believes they can beat any team in the state. They won’t be an easy out and you’ll have to have four complete quarters as this is a team that goes on massive runs and doesn’t look back, this’ll be a fun one out of them and Lewis-Palmer as the guards will dominate for Pueblo West, but the bigs for Lewis-Palmer might prove to be too much. There’s sure to be fireworks.