Posted On: 11/23/18 3:07 AM
With the holiday season just passing and a few teams even having exhibition games and scrimmages it is finally basketball season and the 2018-19 season is finally amongst us. With that comes new players emerging and with what was shown from grassroots season, this has the makings of a very special year. While it was rather difficult as there is a plethora of teams that made an argument to be on the list here is Prep Hoops Colorado’s top ten teams in the state.
6) Denver East
East comes in at No. 6 as the loss of Daylen Kountz is a tough one. But if there is a team in the state that takes the “next man up” approach it is Denver East as they always seem to find a way to be ready come league play. All eyes are on Kwane Marble this season as he will be tasked with the job of doing it all. I fully expect some scoring eruptions from him this season as he is a Mr. Basketball favorite as well. Finding a player to also standout will be what makes East one of the best teams in the state as it could come from multiple players. Clayton Finley-ponds and Caulin Swain are who I feel it will be that steps up to the plate and makes a name for themselves as I’m sure another name will emerge from the bunch. Marble has his work cut out for him Senior season but if there is a player in the state that can do it, its him.
Chaparral will miss Ronnie DeGray this season as his skillset and leadership was one of the best in the state but they still have enough to surprise many and could easily be a top five team in the state still. Kobe Sanders is a pure point guard that can score when he wants to and also lights it up from deep and Joseph Dalton is one of the better playmakers with deep range. Tizell Lewis is one of the best perimeter defenders in the state and will be asked to do more this season and Bryce Matthews will also be a player that they can lean on as he is the big man for the team. This is a team that got out and ran last season but this year they will have to be a team that can defend. This is one of the most interesting storylines to watch for the upcoming season.
Overland is another team in that tough Centennial league. Last season they had some of the most devastating losses as they just could not find a way to close out game, they then found their groove and was one of the toughest teams to defend. This is a very young team but I expect the second part for this season. The Trailblazers will defend at a high level this year. They have Hezekiah Swanson that has jumped out as one of the better two-way players in the state, I expect him to have a career year. I also think they have the unique advantage of two big men that can dominate down low and will be used to open things up with Alexander Pena-avila and Graham Ike. Ike is coming off of an injury that sat him down last season but he is one of the best big men in the state and this year I expect him to showcase it. I am also excited to see how they implement Kaleb Chaney and Trevon Deden as well as they both have the ability to change games.
Eaglecrest is a fun bunch. They have Aaron Bokol who is a solid combo guard that is versatile. He will be a tough person to guard alongside true point guard Zion Ruckard who is one of the states better two-way players. He defends the perimeter as well as any guard in the state and will also push the pace to score or find the open man. Down low they have an emerging big man with quite the motor that will have a better opportunity this year in Thurbil Bile and the underclassmen that I think will have the biggest impact of any player in the state is Ty Robinson as I expect him to fully explode. Eaglecrest is complete and will have to show it night in and night out in one of the toughest conferences in the state.
I know, I know — Columbine is the biggest surprise here. But this team is going to be good this year. This is an interesting team and with the way that Luke O’ Brien played over the summer he looks to be one of the 5A Player of the year favorites. He just committed to the University of Colorado and will be ready to lead his team to a better year. They have underrated players in Andrew Lauritzen, Cody Ramming and Cameron Dean that are all looking to make a name for themselves and this could be a big year for the Rebels.