February 16, 2022
Girls swimming and diving crowned its Class 3A and 4A State champions last weekend and all four classes of boys wrestling, along with the lone classification of girls wrestling, will do the same this weekend. Basketball will see its regular season come to a close, setting the State for the postseason to begin next week.
Fort Morgan's Courtney Smith helped Greeley West to a 14th place finish in Class 4A, as the junior placed fifth in the 200 free and seventh in the 100 back. She was also a member on the eighth place 200 free relay.
Holyoke took 19th place in the 3A team standings, with La Junta claiming 24th. The top individual finish from those two programs was turned in by Aurora Baiardi from the La Junta/Ark Valley squad. She took sixth in the 100 free. Holyoke's Tayla Martin earned eighth in the 50 free.
Wray won the team title in Class 2A Region 3 wrestling over the weekend, outpacing runner-up Cedaredge 282.5-235.5. The Eagles had 12 wrestlers qualify for State, with Brady Collins (132), Samuel Meisner (145), Caeden Bauer (182) and Tell Wade (285) all earning regional titles. Sedgwick County/Fleming's Hayden Burr took the crown at 160 pounds and the senior is the favorite at that weight this weekend. Akron's Xavier Livesay won the title at 220 pounds and figures to be one of the top contenders at State.
Holly freshman Tripp DuVall upset the top-ranked Dominic Gauna from Rocky Ford to claim the 106 title in the 2A Region 4 in La Junta. Duvall took the championship in a 4-1 decision, and was named the most outstanding wrestler in the region. Rocky Ford still won the team title, 205.5-175.0 over Highland. County Line, Fowler and Holly rounded out the top five. Wiggins, who finished sixth in the region saw Pepper Rusher (182) and Laith Ibrahim (285) advance to State after winning their classes. County Line's Taite Weeks-Johnson will join Livesay as one of the favorites at 220.
Crowley County finished third in Region 2, trailing Centauri and Meeker in the tournament. Aidan Halloran won the title at 145, while Trinidad's Jake Armijo won the championship at 285.
Brush hosted the 3A Region 2 event and the Beetdiggers finished second to Patriot rival Eaton in the team chase. The Beetdiggers had nine wrestlers qualify for State, including Dominick Ontiveros, who won the title at 220. Nick Dardanes will also be making the trip after finishing second to Sterling's Aden Young at 113. Young claimed a tough 5-4 decision in the finals. Casteus Combs also won a title for Sterling, as he stood tall at 152.
After finishing 11 points behind Mullen in Region 3, Fort Morgan is primed to make a push for the team title at State. The Mustangs had eight members of the team finish in the top four, with Ethan Schingle (138) and Timmy Paxton (195) earning championships.
Yuma will be sending six girls to State this week, including Mia Dischner, who won the Region 2 championship at 185. Crystalyn Felan from Lamar is headed back to state for one final go. The senior, who has been in the field every year of her high school career, finished third at 127 in Region 3 over the weekend.
Flipping to basketball, the Class 1A district brackets are to be set by RPI, making every game in this final week of the regular season carry a bit of extra stress . McClave is in line to be the top seed in the District 2 field, as the Lady Cards have a sizable lead over Cheyenne Wells in the metric as the week begins.
Despite a head to head loss last week, Kim/Branson still owns a narrow lead over South Baca for the top spot in District 3. South Baca took that meeting last week by a 37-28 tally.
Top-ranked Briggsdale holds the edge over Fleming in District 4 and the Lady Falcons also own a win over Fleming during the regular season. Merino isn't very far behind, as that district had three of the top five teams in the RPI on Monday.
The final week of the regular season is very important in District 5, where Lone Star has a small lead over Stratton, who isn't very far in front of Idalia. Stratton hosts Idalia on Thursday and the winner is not only likely to be the #2 seed, but could potentially climb all the way to #1.
In 1A boys, District 2 is currently led by Granada, who most likely holds onto the #1 seed regardless of how their games go this week. However, the Bobcats see Wiley and McClave this week, and both are in the top 10. Granada beat both teams in the Lamar Holiday Tournament, 62-59 over McClave and 39-29 over Wiley for the title.
Springfield and Kim/Branson will meet on Friday to decide the championship in the Ark Valley. Springfield currently holds a small edge over the Mustangs in the RPI, so the winner should be the top seed for District 3.
The top spot in District 4 comes down to Briggsdale and Haxtun. Haxtun handed the Falcons their only loss of the regular season, but the Fightin' Bulldogs trail the Falcons in the RPI. Merino lurks not far behind.
Genoa-Hugo/Karval had a large lead in the race for the top seed in District 5, but the Pirates stubbed their toe last week in a loss to Kit Carson. That tightened things up considerably. As is the case with their girls game on Thursday, Idalia and Stratton will square off with the #2 seed on the line and the top spot isn't necessarily out of reach.
According to the CHSAA bulletin, Class 2A districts are to use head to head first and then RPI. The six LPAA teams left after Haxtun, Merino and Caliche drop into the 1A field, will be joined by Burlington in District 2. By the end of the regular season, Burlington will have played all of the other teams in the bracket, so the first criteria should be enough to set the field. The Lady Cougars created some shock waves by upsetting Sedgwick County 58-53 last Friday. Sedgwick County still sits #2, behind Holyoke and Burlington as the #7 would make a second trip to Julesburg, but another win over Wiggins on Friday could have everyone scrambling.
Rye is the hands-down favorite in District 6, as the Thunderbolts have outscored opponents by close to 800 points this season. They have two wins over their closest challenger in the Santa Fe, Hoehne, by 32 and 27 points this month. Swink and Fowler currently sit third and fourth in the league and district.
Limon and Byers join teams from three other leagues to create District 4. Using RPI to set the field, Limon has the edge, as the Lady Badgers were third to begin the week. The next closest team from the district is Denver Christian, who was 15th. Limon also beat the Thunder during the regular season.
Yuma all but has the top spot locked up for District 2, with Wray sitting #2. It gets messy after those two, and the bracket will need every game on the schedule to be completed before the final seeding can take place.
Holly is attempting to run away with the top seed in District 6, as the Wildcats are tops in the Santa Fe and top five in the RPI. They got a good scare from Rocky Ford, the last place team in the league, last week. Holly escaped, 47-45.
Denver Christian, who owns a head to head tiebreaker over Limon, also has a slim lead over the Badgers in the RPI. Those two should be on opposite sides of the bracket in District 4 and will be favored to meet in the finals.
Brush and Sterling girls will have to navigate their way through the Patriot League tournament, as will Lamar and La Junta in the Tri-Peaks. All but Sterling are currently in the top 32 of the 3A RPI, but deep runs in their respective tournaments could make next Sunday a little less stressful.
Sterling's boys are a lock to make the field of 32, as the Tigers are top five in the classification in the RPI. Brush is also in the top 32, but the Beetdiggers, who upset Eaton by one point in overtime last week, could use a couple of wins in the league tourney to solidify their hopes. La Junta's boys are 37th to begin the week, so the Tigers have a lot of work to do.