Ball Fever: Week 1 sets up a wide open year in boys basketball

Golden Vista PEAK boys basketball

What does this season hold for boys basketball? "Wide open" comes to mind. (Kai Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Welcome back Colorado prep hoops fans!

The two words tossed around the b'ball community this preseason were overwhelmingly "wide open" when it comes to our boys Class 5A and 4A divisions. Week 1 did nothing to prove that theory wrong. We have a ton of parity and any number of teams who are capable of carrying that Gold Ball in March 2015!

No need to delay — let's take a look back at some of the standout performances and top teams in a busy week 1.

Week in review

Monday (Dec. 1):

  • Arapahoe had eleven players contribute to the stat sheet in Warrior fashion. There is a new regime at Arapahoe and Max Whitehead's 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists helped bring home coach Brad Jansen's first win as the Warriors head man. This will be one of many to come for coach Jansen and his experienced staff!
  • Arapahoe's Centennial league partner Cherry Creek also got the season off to a convincing start with a 62-37 win over Mountain Range. Not a lot of early talk about the Bruins but they have a balanced squad who will make a lot of noise.
  • Senior Trey Vann poured in 20 points leading Douglas County to first-year coach Earl Boykin's first win as the Huskies' head man. Benji Williams with a 22 point, 11 rebound double-double in the loss for Rocky Mountain.
  • Landon Taliaferro's 17 and Garrett Turner's 16 points powered Boulder to a big 74-35 blowout of Ralston Valley in their opener.
  • Fort Collins had three players in double figures led by senior Brydon Campanella's 15 points in their 60-46 win over Westminster. Jacob Pfaffinger was a perfect 5-5 from the field. Have to keep an eye on this sophomore!
  • Castle View traveled north to Northglenn and Jontrell Hermann's 17 point, 7 rebound, 6 assist performance was not enough to top Jonah Radebaugh's 25 point, 11 rebound double-double. Jalyn Johnson also poured in 21 points for Northglenn.
  • Skyline got defensive and didn't allow Greeley Central a single quarter in double digits, winning 49-28.
  • The Fever crew made it out to South High on opening night as the Rebels hit the century mark rolling over Discovery Canyon 100-74. The Rebels will be a force to be reckoned with in 4A as they have size, veteran leadership, and fearless youth ready to make their mark on the hoop scene. Devante Loggins led on this night with a rare 18 point, 10 assist double-double.
  • Oscar Morales scored 17 as Arvada used a 20-13 fourth quarter advantage to hold off John F. Kennedy.
  • Senior guard Michael Sparks putting his bid in early as the state's leading scorer dropping 34 points (14-14 from the free-throw line) and a perfect 6-6 from 3-point land in Lincoln's 73-66 win at Wheat Ridge.
  • Our 4A preseason No. 2-ranked squad Pueblo South put the score keeper to work as they ran up 97 points in a landslide win over Mesa Ridge.

Overland Regis Jesuit boys basketball

Regis Jesuit beat Overland in an early No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. (Tim Visser/TimVisserPhotography.com)


Tuesday (Dec. 2):

  • The most anticipated game of opening night was easily the preseason 5A No. 1 Overland hosting No. 2 Regis in an Aurora backyard battle. Check out Zach Marburger's story on how the Raiders showed no fear in this goliath early tilt.
  • When the Eaglecrest/Rock Canyon game popped up on night two of the season you had to think "GUARD PLAY." Only half of the Rock Canyon Garcia/Lombard guard attack was available on this night and the Ross brothers from Eaglecrest stole the show with Colbey scoring 20 points and UCCS commit Elijah 13. We also had a double-double on the night as the "utility knife" Blend Advili added 18 points, 11 rebounds for the Raptors. Senior Isaac Hirsh led the Jaguars with 15 points in the loss.
  • There was a lot of off-season talk of how defending champ Denver East Angels would fare after losing four senior starters all playing college hoops right now. Well, rest assured Coach Carey's crew is going to be just fine if Tuesday's performance at the tough road environment of Legend HS was any sign of what's to come. The Angels floor general Brian Carey led with 22 points, 6 assists while fellow senior Jordan Willis had a monster double-double of 13 points, 16 rebounds in a break out performance for him. The Angels defense held the Titans to 11 first half points en route to an impressive 53-42 win for the preseason No. 3-ranked squad.
  •  Junior Jack Peck dropped 20 points as Heritage got their season off to a nice start with a 55-41 win over rival Littleton.
  • Guard Michael Skinner led with 20 points and an impressive 9 steals as Horizon poured it on Thornton 72-43. Stud senior Daeziontae Henderson amazingly had 28 of 43 points and added 9 rebounds in the loss.
  • Legacy had five players score in double figures led by Tyler Converse's 21 (gotta get the Converse name in there!) as they ran away from Pomona 74-38.
  • The Columbine Rebels with a solid start for their program in a tight 60-59 win over Lincoln led by Keaton Matthies 19 points.
  • University of Denver commit Thomas Neff is primed for a stellar senior season and starting off with a monster 35 point, 10 rebound double-double in Arvada West's 64-48 win over Smoky Hill showed why the Wildcats are excited! Senior Dalontae Kelly did his part for the Buffaloes pouring in 23 points in the loss.
  • Mullen hoops is in a time of transition with first-year coach Pete Spiessbach taking the helm but one constant the Mustangs will be able to count on is Nate Davis who scored 27 points and added 7 rebounds in their road win 54-48 at Brighton.
  • Paid a visit to a spirited Aurora Central gym where the Trojans got off to a 53-50 win in this battle that went back and forth throughout. A. Central was settling for the perimeter at 4-of-22 3-point shooting but when they attacked Ladarius Thomas scored 18 and Elijah Coleman finished with a 15-point, 11 rebound double-double. The Spartans senior tandem of Jalen Rose and Josh McNair scored 15 and 14 points respectively looking impressive as well.
  • Down south a hot 20-6 first quarter propelled Sand Creek over rival Palmer 71-53. Sand Creek had five players who scored in double figures led by Garrett Bingham's 17.
  • The shocker on Tuesday in 4A was unranked Pueblo Central beating preseason 4A No. 3 Lewis Palmer 56-51. Junior guard Michael Ranson had the hot hand scoring 25 points in the win. Then entire city of Pueblo will be well represented in 4A this year.
  • Valor Christian's youth was on display with sophomore's Kalye Knuckles and Jalen Sanders scoring in double figures along with Khameron Davis who had 20 in the 66-53 win over Liberty. Valor coming in as preseason No. 5 in 4A.
  • Faclon's offense impressive with an 81-64 win over Elizabeth that boasted four double digit scorers led by Kwe'Shaan Thomas' 20. Senior Jake Gavitt caught fire for Elizabeth in the loss scoring 34 of their total 64.
  • Another high scorer filling up the stat sheet in Fort Morgan's Eric Kembal who tallied 36 points in the 71-67 win over Standley Lake.

Wednesday (Dec. 3):

  • This young man Andrew Joiner earned the nickname of "Drew Buckets" from teammates during a hot-shooting summer and he continued that with 22 points to help first-year Grandview coach Mike Rogers notch his first win for the Wolves.
  • Well hello 6-foot-4 junior Nate Lehnerz! His 27 points helped Broomfield to a 25-point victory over Westminster to start the season.
  • A lot of positive talk in the city regarding George Washington's youth and the Fugett brothers (sophomore Calvin and Freshman Jon'il) combined for 25 points, 8 assists, 3 steals in the Patriots 68-49 win over Doherty. Not to overlook the Patriots leading scorer freshman Daylen Kountz who scored 16.
  • Down south Pine Creek used Jared Savage's 17 points to top Cheyenne Mountain 74-62. Isaiah led with 26 points in the loss. Here's Dan Mohrmann's full story.
  • The duo of Jalyn Johnson (23 points) and Jonah Radebaugh (16 points) has folks taking notice in Week 1 and Northglenn upset preseason 5A No. 8 Arvada West 65-56.
  • Speaking of "duos," Cherokee Trail has one of their own in juniors David Thornton and Ronnie Barfield. Thornton led the 75-64 road win over Denver South with a 20 point, 12 rebound double-double while Barfield added 17 points with 5 steals. Senior Devante "Moo" Loggins with 18 points and 7 assists in the loss.
  • Junior Austin Fritts came out strong scoring 22 points as Green Mountain took down Thompson Valley 54-47.
  • Our 4A defending champ Pueblo East came in preseason No. 9 this season and beat Englewood 58-32 behind Nick Fesmire's 14 points.

Golden Vista PEAK boys basketball

Golden's Ryan Blodget (33) shoots over Vista PEAK's TeRae Johnson (23) on Thursday. (Kai Casey/CHSAANow.com)


Thursday (Dec. 4):

  • The Fever crew made it out to Thomas Jefferson for this 4A/5A match-up looking forward to top seniors Jalen Davis, Tim Wyatt, Jalen Rose, and Josh McNair battling it out. They did not disappoint but check out Danielle Ennis' story on how sophomore Ravel Moody stole the show.
  • Likely to be the new No. 1 this week, Regis continued their strong start beating Columbine 80-44. Check out the photos here. Looks like we should get familiar with the name Tony Caseria for the Raiders. The Regis senior led all with 18 points.
  • Cherry Creek basketball started things off on the road with tourney action in Las Vegas and posted a strong 72-51 win over Durango HS Las Vegas.
  • Mountain Vista boasts two seniors who already have committed to play college hoops, and Ray Beresford's 27 along with Brady Subart's 23 points displayed their high level talent in the Eagles 82-62 win over Loveland.
  • Northglenn continues to impress early as it must have been a thrilling double overtime 71-67 win at Horizon with Jacob Mountor leading four in double figures behind a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double.
  • Elijah Coleman's 21 point, 9 rebound effort led Aurora Central to a 70-42 win over Grand Junction Central out west.
  • Arapahoe picks up win number two on the season behind Ryan King's 18 points in the 61-58 win over Rampart.
  • Prairie View has a veteran back court and Luke Schwindaman's 20 points along with Alonzo Ramirez's 17 led to the 57-41 win over Littleton.
  • Pueblo South and Lewis Palmer came in ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in preseason rankings and South took the early match up 62-49.
  • Check out our guy Kai Casey's photo report of Golden taking down Vista Peak in early tournament play. Ryan Blodget with 20 points while Ryan Thistlewood and Cole Greff both added points/rebound double-doubles.

Mountain Range Arvada West boys basketball

Mountain Range upset Arvada West on Friday. (Pam Wagner/CHSAANow.com)


Friday (Dec. 5):

  • Grandview advanced to 2-0 battling back from eleven points down winning 63-61 in overtime. Eleven points and 8 rebounds for senior Andrew Joiner in the win.
  • Seniors led the way for Chaparral in semifinal tournament action as DU commit Jake Holtzman scored 26 points and Chris Moody added 22 for the 68-54 victory over Cherokee Trail. Holtzman added 14 rebounds to reel in the double-double on the night.
  • The young, talented George Washington bunch challenged ThunderRidge in tournament play but big Zach Pirog (committed to Nebraska-Omaha) scored 19 points to lead the Grizzlies to an 11 point win.
  • Monarch is off to a nice start early this season but Mitch Lombard's 15 points along with only allowing 1 second quarter point helped Rock Canyon win 47-37.
  • Mountain Vista used a 22-8 second quarter to pull away from Arapahoe winning big 73-48 behind Ray Beresford's 18 points.
  • Doesn't look like there was much of an answer for senior Andrew Romero as he scored 34 points leading Mountain Range to the 79-71 upset of Arvada West. Check out Pam Wagner's photo report here.
  • The Fever crew loaded up the "Pacer" and headed north to one of our favorite venues and programs where Matt Johannsen is the head man for the Fossil Ridge "family." The Sabercats were hosting another Fever friend on this night, coach Ron Bush and the Montbello Warriors whose veteran roster was able to survive the fierce environment and pull off a last second win when smooth Malik Hart hit fellow senior CJ Whittington under the hoop for walk-off game winning lay up 56-55. Hart finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds while Whittington added 15 points, 7 rebounds. Fossil Ridge made it to the final game in Boulder last year and Coach Johannsen has more weapons, inside and out, to make another March run 2015.
  • The Velasquez name is well known for guard play down south and Tynan's 19 points, 5 steals, 5 assists, continue that tradition in Doherty's 64-62 win over Chatfield.
  • Watch out for those Cherry Creek Bruins who are taking full advantage of their Las Vegas trip with a 47-32 win over Cheyenne in tournament play.
  • Ponderosa had four players in double figures led by senior Sam Boone's 20 points in their 10 point win over Gateway.
  • Rangeview lost a tough one on the road but returned home in a major way putting up 97 points in lopsided 26 point victory over Castle View. Senior Tarren Storey-Way earned a 21 point, 12 rebound double-double. Fellow Raiders senior Jalen Davis led all scorers with 23 points. We had the pleasure of watching Davis compete in Chicago and Las Vegas this summer and great to see him coming into the form he showed vs. some of the nation's best.
  • Senior J.T. Johnson rained down 6-of-7 three pointers leading to 22 points as Vista Peak won 79-57 over Frederick. First year coach at Vista Gary Childress has inherited a talented team.
  • Whoa — a 31-13 fourth-quarter comeback helped Fairview get on the winning track with a 71-62 win over Denver South behind Johnny Feauto's 21 points. Senior Chuck Gavin did his part for the Rebels with a 13 point, 17 rebound double-double in the loss.
  • Golden's duo of Ryan Blodget and Cole Greff both scored in the 20s leading their squad past Pueblo Central 78-76 while Kobi Betts and Michael Ranson combined for 51 total points in the loss.
  • Aurora Central closed out a busy week one 5-0 with a 65-43 win over Palisade led by Ladarius Thomas' 25 point, 6 rebound, 6 assist effort.
  • Holy Family, after winning a title last year, has moved up to 4A this season but didn't get a warm welcome from Niwot, who held court with the 48-42 win. Luke Golter scored 19 for Holy Family in the loss.
  • Cole Robinson's 26 points helped Thompson Valley top Cheyenne Mountain 81-70. Nathan Resty piled up 30 points in the loss.
  • Take a look at this Air Academy duo as Paul Ambuul scored 26 points and David Louthan added a 27 point, 12 rebound double-double hand Valor a 66-58 loss. Air Academy used a 25-12 fourth quarter on the road to pull this one off.

Saturday (Dec. 6):

  • Highlands Ranch evened its record at 1-1 behind 27 points from Riley Stewart routing Bear Creek 72-48.
  • Our annual private school Mullen vs Regis battle was a tad one-sided this year as sharp shooting Brian Staerkel's 15 points finished off an excellent week for the Raiders winning 70-41. Here are photos from the game.
  • Rock Canyon finished a solid week one with an impressive tournament win 64-61 over Mountain Vista. Their back court duo of Lombard and Garcia combined for 35 points, 7 assists in the win.
  • Dalvin Brushier's 17 points along with Kayden Washington's 12 point, 12 rebound double-double led Doherty to a 65-42 win over Fairview to finish the week. A lot look forward to for this Spartan squad.
  • Monarch finished a solid 3-1 week with a 58-47 over Arapahoe.
  • Tons of talent and speed on the floor as George Washington finished the week 2-1 with impressive 12 point win over Cherokee Trail.
  • Aurora Central used a first quarter shut out and 19 points from Marquise Johnson in the low scoring 40-28 win over Fruita Monument.
  • Fountain-Fort Carson was off to a 2-0 start but it was Grand Junction who ended week one undefeated at 3-0 with a 69-57 win.
  • Eaglecrest continues to look "scary" early and Colbey Ross' 30 points in the 19 point win over Palmer will add to opponents fear!
  • Lewis-Palmer took two losses in Week 1 but we have our first "oh my!" as junior Jonathon Scott went for 46 points in the Rangers 91-65 thrashing of Frederick.
  • Golden finished the week and tournament 3-0 with a 72-58 win over D'evelyn as Ryan Thistlewood's 31 points (21-24 free-throws) was enough to top our Fever favorite Grant Witherspoon's 28 points in the loss.
  • Mesa Ridge squeezed out a one point win behind Tevin Still's 17 points to top Coronado.
  • To close out our coverage for Week 1, Vista Peak's five players in double figure scoring led by Dylan Holt's 17 caught our eye! Vista took down No. 2 preseason-ranked Pueblo South 74-68 with this balanced team effort.

Throw some of the preseason rankings right out the window as week one proved that, yes, this year may just be "wide open" in our big school prep hoops!

A look ahead

Golden Vista PEAK boys basketball

(Kai Casey/CHSAANow.com)


Here's some of the nice match ups to keep an eye on this week:

Monday (Dec. 8):

  • Boulder at George Washington
  • Greeley West at Aurora Central
  • Broomfield at Denver South
  • Monarch at Sierra

Tuesday (Dec. 9):

  • If you are into speed check out Denver East at Cherokee Trail, a lot of friendly rivalries here!
  • Smoky Hill at ThunderRidge
  • D'Evelyn visits Rock Canyon
  • Highlands Ranch will be tested at Fossil Ridge
  • Grandview at Montbello
  • Pueblo East at Lewis-Palmer
  • Falcon at Pueblo Central down south

Wednesday (Dec. 10):

  • Chatfield at Chaparral.
  • Cherry Creek returns undefeated from Las Vegas and heads to Denver East!
  • George Washington at Valor Christian

Thursday (Dec. 11):

  • Horizon at Legend
  • Dakota Ridge at Doherty
  • Regis out-of-State at Westwood
  • Fossil Ridge heads south to Lewis-Palmer
  • Air Academy at Evergreen
  • Vista Peak at Pueblo Central (two teams looking to break into 4A top 10!)

Friday (Dec. 12):

  • Will be a packed house when Chaparral visits Eaglecrest
  • Cherokee Trail at Highlands Ranch
  • Denver East travels to Utah for tourney play!
  • Overland looks to bounce back as they begin travel and tourney play as well

Saturday (Dec. 13):

  • Chatfield at Lincoln
  • Lewis-Palmer at Liberty
  • Doherty at Sand Creek
  • Faith Christian traveling to Pueblo West

Enjoy the Ball folks, easy to catch the Fever now that the season is here!