Ball Fever: Recapping big-time showdowns in boys basketball — and more ahead

Mountain Vista Rock Canyon boys basketball crowd

(Matt Mathewes/

No. 1 Regis and No. 2 ThunderRidge continued streaking last week, but we have a feeling No. 3 Eaglecrest and No. 4 Overland from the Centennial will have a lot to say in how things turn out.

In 4A, No. 1 Longmont faced their toughest test to date when No. 2 Holy Family paid a visit. Let's check out the rest of the action this week.

Week In Review

Monday, Feb. 2:

  • Bear Creek earned a rare road win on the quiet night with Michael Nienhaus scoring 11 points at Gateway.

Tuesday, Feb. 3:

Holy Family Roosevelt boys basketball

No. 2 Holy Family handled Roosevelt on Tuesday. (Kai Casey/

  • Defense leading to fast breaks was the theme as Kai Casey took in Holy Family racing past Roosevelt.
  • No. 2 Thunder Ridge's Clay Verk had 13 points, 5 rebounds as the Grizzlies had eleven players in the scoring column of the 25-point lopsided win over Douglas County. Matt Bierbaum scored 21 in the loss for the Huskies.
  • David Simental looks like a weekly "staple" in Ball Fever as he scored 22 points for Pueblo West as they "put it on" Pueblo South by 21 points.
  • Matt Mathewes has the action shots covered as Ray Beresford and Brady Subart both in double figure scoring again for Mountain Vista over Castle View.
  • Our 5A No. 1 Regis' balance on display again as they went on the road into No. 5 Rock Canyon earning a 58-46 win behind Kip Boryla's 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
  • Tyler Converse scored 28 but it wasn't enough as Monarch, new to our 5A top 10, held on for the 51-48 home win.
  • Braxton Bertolette had the hot hand for No. 9 Fossil Ridge scoring 22 as the Sabercats pulled away big time from Poudre. Ryan Quaid logs another double-double of 17 points, 13 rebounds.
  • The Fever crew made it out to Thomas Jefferson as the Spartans hosted Denver East in city ball. The 5A Angels depth proved to be too much as they wore TJ down late behind Brian Carey's 20 points. Jordan Willis kicked in a man-sized "monsta" double-double of 12 points, 21 rebounds as well! Jalen Rose led TJ with 18 points while Josh McNair added his usual double-double of 16 points, 10 rebounds in the loss.
  • Twitter was calling it an "overtime classic" as Denver South went into Lincoln's house and pulled off the win behind big Chuck Gavin's 22-point, 18-rebound double-double effort. Gavin had a lot of help from fellow seniors Turner Dumas who scored 25 points while Devante "Moo" Loggins contributed in every way with a 14-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist TRIPLE-DOUBLE in the 8-point win.
  • Well "HELLO" Malik Hart! We have our first "50-piece" served up by Hart as he scored 51 points on 9-13 3-point shooting vs Denver West in Montbello's easy win. Rising junior Sekou Cisse also dropped in 30 points for the Bello's in their 108-point night.
  • Defense was the theme for Rangeview only allowing 25 points to Brighton as Tyreil Randall scored 14 in the Raiders win.
  • Kevin Rovney led four Mitchell players in double figure scoring with 21 points as they earned a strong road win at Widefield.
  • Doherty got defensive holding Liberty to 9 first half points and Brevin Brimble scoring 16 helped the Spartans to the 10-point win.
  • 4A No. 1 Longmont stayed unbeaten behind Blake OGrady's 17 points vs. Northridge. Holy Family comes to town on Saturday!
  • Eric Kembel scored 19 points as Fort Morgan handed Vista Peak their first league loss 67-54.

Wednesday, Feb. 4:

Dakota Ridge junior Devante Jones (23) has his shot blocked by Arvada West junior Will Wittman (14) during the opening quarter Wednesday night. Jones scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help the Eagles put away a 62-48 victory. (Dennis Pleuss)

Dakota Ridge seized control of the 5A Jeffoc League on Wednesday. (Dennis Pleuss)

  • Smoky Hill pulled off the Centennial upset this night as Shae Wyatt's 15 points helped the Buffaloes earn the 3-point home win over Cherokee Trail.
  • 5A No. 7 Dakota Ridge grasped the lead in 5A Jeffco and Dennis Pleuss was all over it.
  • We like seeing the different players who step up for Air Academy. This time, in win over Sand Creek, it was James Sims 22 and David Louthan's 20 points that got it done!
  • We had a top-5 matchup in 5A as No. 3 Eaglecrest visited No. 4 Overland and the Ross brothers were tough but not enough for big De'Ron and the crew. Check out Danielle Ennis on the coverage.
  • In a rare February non-league tussle Rampart came north to battle Legend and the Titans Jared Small flirted with a double-double compiling 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in the 4-point home win.
  • Kolton Peterson, hot again with 5-8 3-point shots, scored 27 total leading Lakewood to 76-60 win over Pomona.
  • Dylan McCaffrey picked up a football offer this week and also scored 11 points with 5 rebounds in Valor Christians lopsided win over Littleton.
  • Grant Witherspoon scored 27 of D'Evelyn's 54 in the close 2-point victory over Standley Lake. D'Evelyn is hot and No. 8 in 4A!

Thursday, Feb. 5:

  • Triston Von Nieda's 14 points led four in double scoring as Fort Collins thumped Douglas County by 25.
  • Sam Kullberg's 11 points helped Northglenn stay in the league hunt with 8 point win over Brighton.
  • Five Thompson Valley players impressively scored in double figures as Jake Hornick's 18 point, 11 rebound double-double helped get the 12-point win over Mountain View.

Friday, Feb. 6:

Mountain Vista Rock Canyon boys basketball

Rock Canyon and Mountain Vista did battle on Friday. (Matt Mathewes/

  • The Fever crew got our first up close look at 5A No. 2 ThunderRidge on this night as they hosted Legend. The Grizzlies were extremely confident on their home floor and jumped out to 8-0 lead with big man Zach Pirog eventually scoring 17. ThunderRidge has an outstanding junior wing in Austin Mueller who scored all of his 14 points in the first half leaving no doubt in this one!
  • Smoky Hill came to play but a 21-6 third quarter put Overland in control for good as De'Ron Davis and Reggie Gibson scored 15 points each.
  • Dennis Pleuss was on hand for an exciting finish as Standley Lake's late run got it done vs. Wheat Ridge — including a late put-back. Our Pam Wagner was also on the scene with the photos.
  • Jaizec Lottie continues his steady play with 13 points, 3 assists, 2 steals as Cherokee Trail bounced back with road win at Grandview.
  • Monarch's time in the 5A top 10 may be short lived as Horizon came in and beat them by 16 behind Michael Skinner's 23 point, 12 rebound double-double.
  • Extremely impressed with what Chaparral did on the road after a long, emotional day winning 76-49 at Heritage. Jake Holtzman scored 25 points in the win. The Chap "family" attended the funeral of one of the Fever "Crew" earlier that day, our friend Ross Malone. Nothing would have made Ross happier than a Chap road win!
  • No. 5 Rock Canyon earned a strong road win handing Mountain Vista their first home loss with an explosive fourth quarter and Matt Mathewes was there!
  • Cherry Creek's 25-8 fourth quarter was a big part of the 29 point thrashing of Mullen. The Bruins remain dangerous!
  • Ryan Quaid earned another double-double for Fossil Ridge and Jackson Everhart's 20 points kept the Sabercats unbeaten in league play with 15 point win over Loveland.
  • Rangeview stayed unbeaten in league play as they pulled off a tight win on the road vs. Hinkley with Tarren Storey-Way scoring 14.
  • No. 1 Regis started the game 17-7 in first quarter and Bryan Staerkal was 5-8 from 3-point land scoring 20 points as the Raiders knocked off another tough Continental foe at Highlands Ranch.
  • Denver East remained unbeaten in league play as they shocked the DPL Friday night as they went into the Lincoln gym and won by 30 points behind Brian Carey's 19 point, 13 assist double-double. Not to be out done, Deron Harrell had a break-out 18 point, 10 rebound double-double of his own.
  • Rampart had three tough games last week and didn't fade in Friday's rivalry vs. Doherty winning 60-57. Donovan Oldham and Kole Cerjan scored 17 each in the win. Tynan Velasquez scored 23 in the loss.
  • Noah Saunders scored 13 points in a key home win for Falcon over visiting Lewis-Palmer.
  • There's a new transfer in town! Daytone Jennings is making his presence felt early and often for Aurora Central and a "monsta" 30 point, 20 rebound double-double paced the Trojans in big win over Adams City.
  • Kayden Sund led three in double figure scoring with 12 points and Ryan Thistlewood logged an 11 point, 11 rebound double-double in Golden's league win over Evergreen.
  • Mesa Ridge's Dalen Jackson's 13 was a part of Mesa Ridge's balance in their 12 point win over Widefield. Ray Ibarra with 28 in the loss.
  • Niwot is tough at home but Justinnian Jessup's 24 points set No. 1 Longmont up undefeated as they host No. 2 Holy Family the next day. Longmont shocked the gym coming out to the tune of 25-4 in the first quarter beating Niwot by 11.
  • Check out this full-court buzzer-beater from Dawson School against Dayspring Christian in 2A:

Saturday, Feb. 7:

  • Grand Junction only has one league loss out west after their 19-point win over Durango.
  • Palmer and Fountain Fort-Carson re kindled their rivalry and Palmer protected home court in the 2-point win.
  • OK folks! We had 4A No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Holy Family visiting Longmont and it was a low-scoring slug fest but No. 1 remained undefeated with Justinian Jessup and Blake O'Grady both scoring in double figures. Kevin Mitchell also had 6 points, with 11 rebounds. Chris Helbig's 15 and Luke Golter's 13 kept Holy Family right in the mix. We may see these two tangle again!

The Week Ahead

Regis Jesuit boys basketball coach Ken Shaw talks to his team before a game during the 2014 season. (Jack Eberhard/

Regis Jesuit vs. ThunderRidge is Tuesday. No. 1 vs. No. 2 in 5A. Need we say more? (Jack Eberhard/

Monday, Feb. 9:

  • Mrs. Fever (the boss) just proclaimed Monday "movie night." Everyone enjoy some time off before the action kicks back up!

Tuesday, Feb. 10:

  • Does it get any bigger than a 5A No. 1 vs No. 2 in February? Can Thunder Ridge carry the home court confidence from last week into the Raiders house? Get there early folks!
  • Mountain Vista at Chapparal has seeding and Continental implications.
  • Horizon's on a roll and their visit to Boulder is our Front Range league game of the night.
  • Let the "drum line" take center stage as Montbello and Denver South get it on in DPL play.
  • George Washington's "youngstas" get a shot to keep their DPL run going as they visit Lincoln.
  • Palmart at Rampart down south.
  • Hey Northglenn: don't think it will be easy at Westminster.
  • Cheyenne Mountain at Lewis-Palmer with both needing a win.
  • Wheat Ridge at D'Evelyn lookin' pretty good in 4A Jeffco!
  • Mitchell at Sierra should provide your southern excitement.
  • Mountain View gets their chance to blemish No. 1 Longmont's record.

Wednesday, Feb. 11:

  • Cherry Creek earned some strong wins last week and now visit Eaglecrest.
  • Chatfield and Dakota Ridge renew their rivalry.
  • Wednesday's spot to arrive early? Aurora Central visits Rangeview for league supremacy.
  • Air Academy at Vista Ridge lookin' good down south.
  • Can't lose with Sand Creek at Falcon either!

Thursday, Feb. 12:

  • Castle View would love to take down top-10 Rock Canyon.
  • Vista Ridge at Palmer Ridge.
  • D'Evelyn at Green Mountain.
  • Evergreen at Valor Christian.
  • Mitchell at Mesa Ridge.
  • Thompson Valley gets another shot at No. 1 Longmont.

Friday, Feb. 13:

  • Another "early arrival" if you want a seat in Eaglecrest at Cherokee Trail.
  • Cherry Creek at Overland will tell us a lot in Centennial.
  • We don't think Chaparral's seniors will be intimidated to visit No. 1 Regis.
  • Boulder at Monarch highlights the Front Range.
  • Fossil Ridge at Fort Collins with two of our best big men!
  • Oh boy! Our annual Highlands Ranch vs. Denver East tangle.
  • Dakota Ridge visit Kolton Peterson's Lakewood gym.
  • Arvada West at Chatfield.
  • Rangeview will be tested by Westminster.
  • Cheyenne Mountain at Sand Creek "bragging rights!"
  • Falcon at Air Academy league battle.

Saturday, Feb. 14:

  • Doherty at Heritage is a nice Saturday afternoon non-conference.
  • Valor Christian travels to Cheyenne Mountain.
  • Well, hey....George Washington and East at the Thunder Dome! We've discussed this city action, right?

This week's Ball Fever column is dedicated to a friend I've watched hoops with in Kansas, Missouri, Vegas, and Indy!

We watched our boys play on the biggest stage in Colorado and a "head nod" was all we had to give each other. Ross Malone would sit in the Chap gym and send me text messages as I would quickly reply with a text from the Arapahoe gym.

When Chap beat my beloved Warriors on the last second "tip" there was no surprise that the first phone calls my son and I received were from Ross and Brandon Malone saying, "What a game, what a memory, either team could've won." Straight up "class acts."

Every time I'm in a gym, club or HS, I will be sure to appreciate what I'm doing and think of that big Ross Malone smile. Rest in Peace, friend.