ThunderRidge, Sand Creek among No. 1 teams in preseason girls basketball rankings

ThunderRidge Monarch girls basketball

ThunderRidge girls basketball opens the 2015-16 season as No. 1 in 5A. (Kai Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Three teams which finished second last season now open this season as No. 1 in their respective classification.

ThunderRidge, Sand Creek, Manitou Springs, Yuma and Idalia are the preseason No. 1 teams in CHSAANow.com's girls basketball rankings, which were released on Friday. Of those, ThunderRidge, Sand Creek and Yuma finished as runner-up in 2014-15. Idalia is the lone defending champion of the bunch.

ThunderRidge, led by new coach Matt Asik and Wyoming commit Taylor Rusk, received 13 of the 17 first-place votes to lead the Class 5A poll. The Grizzlies return four of their five leading scorers, including Rusk, a first-team all-state pick in 5A last season.

Grandview and super junior Michaela Onyenwere, also a first-team all-state pick, are No. 2 in the preseason. The Wolves received two first-place votes.

Highlands Ranch and its trio of Division I commits are third, while defending champion Broomfield is fourth. Lakewood rounds out the top-5.

Also ranked in 5A's preseason top-10 are No. 6 Cherry Creek, No. 7 Ralston Valley, No. 8 Monarch, No. 9 Fossil Ridge and No. 10 Regis Jesuit.

Sand Creek Longmont girls basketball

Sand Creek is No. 1 in Class 4A. (Kai Casey/CHSAANow.com)

In 4A, Sand Creek leads the way with 13 of the 19 first-place votes. The Scorpions, who lost to Valor Christian in last season's 4A title game, return their top five leading scorers. That includes Division I commits Liah Davis and Oliana Squires. Both girls earned all-state recognition last season, with Squires making the first team.

Defending champion Valor Christian is second, with three first-place votes, and D'Evelyn is No. 3. Longmont and Holy Family round out the top-5.

Manitou Springs was a Final 4 team a season ago. On Friday, the Mustangs received five of the 11 first-place votes to lead 3A's preseason rankings. All nine girls return from last season's varsity roster, including first-team all-state pick Shelby Megyeri.

Sterling, last season's 3A runner-up, is second, and defending champion Pagosa Springs is No. 3. Eaton and Lutheran round out the top 5.

Yuma heads the preseason 2A poll with eight of the 10 first-place votes. The team graduated just two seniors and returns more than 80 percent of its offense. Logan Hixon was a first-team all-state pick in 2014-15.

Defending champion Akron is No. 3 to begin the year, just behind No. 2 Paonia.

In 1A, the reigning champ Idalia received nine of 10 first-place votes to lead the preseason ranking. The Wolves are led by returning first-team all-state pick Reagan Shaffer. Their top three scorers are back.

Kit Carson is No. 2, and last season's runner-up, Sangre de Cristo, is No. 3.

The rankings, voted upon by coaches and select media members, are the official polls of the Association. During the regular season, they are released each Monday.

Complete rankings are below.

CHSAANow.com Girls Basketball Polls

Voted upon by coaches and media members around the state. These rankings have no bearing on postseason seeding.

First-place votes are in parentheses.

Coaches and media members looking to vote should email rcasey@chsaa.org.

Go to: 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A

Class 5A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 ThunderRidge (13) 0-0 162
2 Grandview (2) 0-0 112
3 Highlands Ranch (1) 0-0 112
4 Broomfield (1) 0-0 100
5 Lakewood 0-0 96
6 Cherry Creek 0-0 65
7 Ralston Valley 0-0 64
8 Monarch 0-0 60
9 Fossil Ridge 0-0 28
10 Regis Jesuit 0-0 26
Others receiving votes:
Horizon 22, Rampart 17, Denver East 15, Pine Creek 15, Mountain Vista 14, Rock Canyon 6, Fairview 4, Fruita Monument 4, Grand Junction 4, Loveland 3, Mullen 2, Rocky Mountain 2, Grand Junction Central 1, Gateway 1.

Class 4A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Sand Creek (13) 0-0 184
2 Valor Christian (3) 0-0 154
3 D'Evelyn (1) 0-0 113
4 Longmont 0-0 94
5 Holy Family 0-0 88
6 Pueblo East (2) 0-0 85
7 Pueblo West 0-0 64
8 Mesa Ridge 0-0 44
9 Evergreen 0-0 33
10 Montrose 0-0 31
Others receiving votes:
Pueblo South 27, Palisade 19, Air Academy 17, Silver Creek 17, Falcon 15, Green Mountain 13, Golden 10, Canon City 6, Littleton 6, Mullen 6, Thompson Valley 5, Berthoud 4, Windsor 4, Durango 2, Sierra 2, Mead 1, Thomas Jefferson 1.

Class 3A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Manitou Springs (5) 0-0 98
2 Sterling (3) 0-0 89
3 Pagosa Springs (3) 0-0 84
4 Eaton 0-0 60
5 Lutheran 0-0 59
6 St. Mary's 0-0 40
7 Centauri 0-0 35
8 Moffat County 0-0 30
9 Liberty Common 0-0 22
10 Faith Christian 0-0 18
Others receiving votes:
Trinidad 16, Kent Denver 11, Colorado Springs Christian 10, Lamar 7, Machebeuf 7, Olathe 6, Platte Valley 6, Strasburg 4, La Junta 2, Sky View Academy 1.

Class 2A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Yuma (8) 0-0 98
2 Paonia 0-0 83
3 Akron (2) 0-0 69
4 Cedaredge 0-0 64
5 Del Norte 0-0 31
6 Peyton 0-0 25
7 Hoehne 0-0 23
8 Ignacio 0-0 21
9 Ellicott 0-0 20
10 Simla 0-0 19
Others receiving votes:
Caliche 16, Soroco 14, Rye 13, Wray 12, Burlington 10, Calhan 7, Kiowa 7, Resurrection Christian 4, Haxtun 3, Sanford 3, Fowler 2, Highland 2, Sargent 2, Swink 2, Ridgway 1, Union Colony 1.

Class 1A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Idalia (9) 0-0 99
2 Kit Carson (1) 0-0 80
3 Sangre De Cristo 0-0 70
4 South Baca 0-0 51
5 Norwood 0-0 38
6 Genoa-Hugo 0-0 32
7 Eads 0-0 29
8 Flagler 0-0 27
9 Briggsdale 0-0 22
10 Fleming 0-0 18
Others receiving votes:
Prairie 15, Springfield 14, La Veta 12, Plateau Valley 10, Heritage Christian 6, Antonito 5, Cheraw 4, Dove Creek 4, Aguilar 3, McClave 3, Otis 3, Kim 2, Hanover 1, Holly 1, Walsh 1.