As if we needed more fireworks in our 2016-17 hoops season, the first week of 2017 provided just that!

How? Our Class 5A and 4A No. 1 squads both took tough losses, teams have been strengthened by mid-season additions, and eye-popping individual performances continue to rule the day.

Speaking of "eye-popping" performances, this week's Ball Fever "Chat" caught up with a young man, Daylen Kountz, of Denver East who will provide many jaw dropping plays over the next couple years.

Let's get to this first week of 2017 that offered heated league play setting the stage for what's to come!

A Look Back

Monday, Jan. 2

  • That sound you heard coming from down south? That was D'Shawn Schwartz starting the year off with a 43-point BANG! Dan Morhmann was on the spot with photos as well.
  • A different team won each quarter which was not surprising as these squads looked evenly matched in Rangeview's impressive win over Arapahoe 63-57.

Tuesday, Jan. 3

Chatfield Doherty boys basketball

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

  • Speaking of starting the year off hot: Dennis Pleuss is all over the 5A top-10 match-up where Chatfield charged to a 25-3 lead over Doherty.
  • Heritage held Fairview to seven points or fewer in three of the four quarters leading to a 52-43 defensive win.
  • 33, 7, & 5!! Jalen Sanders was straight "stat-stuffin" in Valor's 2017 debut and Matt Mathewes was on the scene.
  • Niwot senior Adam Barber was hot shooting 10-13 from the field scoring 23 points in the 63-48 victory for Niwot over Greeley Central.
  • The Action Shots from Jack Eberhard caught Sam Bannec's 27 points in Regis' home win over Lincoln.
  • Junior Tyler McGinnis scored 15 as Windsor came out the gate strong with 59-38 win over Frederick.
  • Legacy's youth looks strong as junior Caden Sehr led scoring with 18 points along with soph Jack Olson's 12-point, 10-rebound double-double in win over Horizon.
  • Fort Collins and the FNE (Montbello) Warriors are two squads who can cause fits and the Lambkins pulled of the 55-50 win in this tale of two halves. The "Bellos" were up 28-22 at the half but J. Pfaffinger's 16 points helped Fort Collins complete the comeback.
  • Corey Seng brought his hot streak right on into 2017, scoring 23 at Overland leading No. 3 ThunderRidge to a win in a week they will also visit No. 1 George Washington.
  • Sophomore Kyle Helbig's 14 points leads No. 7 Holy Family to the win over Skyline.

Wednesday, Jan. 4

Lewis-Palmer Sand Creek boys basketball

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

  • Top-10 4A ALERT! Dan Mohrmann was on the scene as Sand Creek got "three-point happy" vs. Lewis Palmer to open league play.
  • Big man Jake Belknapp came out strong 2017 scoring 23 points and pulling down 8 rebounds in Mountain Vista's 8-point win at Boulder.
  • Our first "monsta" double-double of the year didn't take long as Grandview's big man Gage Prim scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds in the Wolves first conference win over young Smoky Hill. The Wolves are hot but unfortunately their stud-point guard suffered an injury in this one.
  • "Action Shots" Jack Eberhard caught the Bruins first league win as Dimitri Stanley scored 18 for Cherry Creek in win over Cherokee Trail.
  • Eaglecrest is a senior-led squad and Colbey Ross went into Overland and scored 20 points to lead the Raptors to first league win.
  • Watch out for sophomore Connor Jones! Mountain Range putting folks on notice early 2017 as they are on a nice run and on this night upset 5A No. 2 Rock Canyon 52-50. Jones led all scorers with 17 in the upset.
  • Vista Ridge starts league play getting defensive holding Falcon to 7 total points in the second and third quarters while Hunter Maldonado led the scoring with 20.
  • The shooting duo of Connor Nelson and Tucker Cargile poured in 22 and 19 points respectively as Denver South won an overtime shootout at Castle View!

Thursday, Jan. 5

D’Evelyn Evergreen boys basketball

(Katie Pickrell/CHSAANow.com)

  • Golden enters 2017 as our No. 3 4A squad and won by 17 over Wheat Ridge.
  • Chatfield doesn't just "rip n run" offensively ... they can lock down with pressure on defense as well holding Pomona to 53 while scoring a blazing 92!
  • No. 4 Valor's two big guns Jalen Sanders and Kayle Knuckles both scored over 20 points as the Eagles took down Green Mountain leading up to their top 5 showdown vs. Golden on Saturday.
  • No. 9 D'Evelyn got 27 big ones from CJ Olson in a win over Evergreen and Katie Pickrell has the photos!

Friday, Jan. 6

George Washington ThunderRidge boys basketball

(Katie Pickrell/CHSAANow.com)

  • The Fever Crew was having a little fun on Twitter reminding folks, "You got Seng'd" when ThunderRidge's Corey Seng poured in the points. No team felt Seng's sting like No. 1 George Washington as the Grizzlies were fearless coming into the city for the upset covered by our digital guru Ryan Casey.
  • The long awaited arrival of 2018 star Daylen Kountz sporting the Angels red and white was NO DISAPPOINTMENT as the junior led Denver East to a tough road win over fiesty Chaparral scoring 31 points, pulling down 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. This lefty is for real folks! We were able to catch up with Kountz for our Ball Fever "Chat" this weekend and the junior is cool and composed off the court as he is on! Regarding his long awaited return, "It was great to be on the court with my team. Finally able to have all our weapons playing together," said Kountz. He was not the only to play his first game for the Angels and only time will tell how good this team can be with new additions. "We have high expectations for this team ... I'm also excited because we have a big team with a lot of threats so we can create a lot of issues for teams trying to match up with us," Kountz added. This Angels star will shine bright if this stellar first performance in any sign!
  • When you pick a squad as your Ball Fever 5A favorite you better see them often! The Fever Crew made it out to the Eaglecrest gym on this night as they led Mullen from beginning to end. We have stated before the belief that this Raptor squad is much deeper than folks think and the 13 players in the stat sheet on this night speaks to that. Colbey Ross and crew cruised on this night ... looking forward to seeing them against tougher Centennial competition.
  • Monarch was in search of a signature win and got just that. Fossil Ridge's Braxton Bertolette scored 22 points but not enough as the Coyotes finished strong to win by 4!
  • No. 7 Grandview came in undefeated and as hot as any squad but the Warriors are hard to beat in Sitting Eagle Gym where Arap pulled off the upset.
  • Rock Canyon couldn't suffer another loss after the surprise to Mountain Range but the young Rangeview Raiders almost pulled it off leading stretches of the game in the Jags house but steady Sam Masten paced the Jags with 30 points in the overtime win, including 16-18 from free throw line. Senior-point guard Matt Johnson Jr. scored 16 and sophomore Jodaun Dotson 12 for the Raiders in the overtime effort.
  • Many have been waiting for a Rampart "explosion" and Dan Morhmann caught it vs. Fruita Monument.
  • When you have eight contributing seniors you can do some damage in high school ball. Cherry Creek has rode their senior led crew to a 10-1 record to start the season and Jalen Meeks 23 points led them this night to 10-point win over Overland in league play.
  • We see you up there Michael Ward! The Mead senior scored 32 to lead No. 6 Mead to win over Erie on the road in league start.
  • University of Wyoming loves to see commit Hunter Maldonado's BIG TIME "stat-stuffin": 32 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals in Vista Ridge win over Lewis Palmer.
  • Twelve players hit the scoring column as No. 7 Holy Family shut down Frederich. Cameron Miller with 12 in the balanced effort!
  • Denver South gets another nice win this week by 3 over Heritage. Connor Nelson and Courtney Dean were in double figure scoring.
  • Durango is earning votes in our 4A poll and has started this season hot. K Kilpatrick led with 17 points on this night over Montezuma-Cortez.
  • Smoky Hill jumped into our top-10 but ran into a buzz saw named Gage Prim early in the week. They impressively bounce back to beat Cherokee Trail on the road who was without their star Jaizec Lottie. Even with Lottie missing this is a big win for the Buffaloes as road wins in Centennial are tough!
  • 4A No. 1 Pueblo West continues to roll with 62-57 tournament win over Fruita Monument.

Saturday, Jan. 7

Valor Christian Golden boys basketball generic

(Matt Mathewes/MVPSportsPics.com)

  • Chatfield continues its "Jeffco dominance" and Dennis Pleuss is all over it.
  • Valor is out for league "revenge" and Dennis Pleuss covers this portion of the revenge tour.
  • Rampart got 23 points, 6 rebounds from Jackson Erhlin in their convincing win over Fruita Monument by 19.
  • Monarch used a strong 11-point third quarter advantage to string a couple wins together and beat Gateway 75-67 at home.
  • Junior Garrett Martin scored 28 points but wasn't enough to help Standley Lake get the win vs. Green Mountain losing by 15 in the league game.
  • FRESHMAN ALERT: As noted earlier, this young Chaparral team was a game opponent vs. power Denver East this week and they finished with a win over Hinkley with a freshman leading the way as Kobe Sanders scored 19 points!
  • D'Evelyn finished a strong week blowing out Wheat Ridge 73-47 in the league game. Senior Jason Gardner scored 19 in this one.
  • Fossil Ridge sharp shooter Braxton Bertolette dropped 33 big ones but not enough as the Sabercats lost to Highlands Ranch by 2. Impressive win for the Falcons who are playing without stud senior-point guard McKale Williams due to injury.
  • Our 4A No. 1 Pueblo West has suffered their first loss to Rampart. The Rams have been looking for that signature win and Dawson Carper's 21 points was a big part of the Cyclones first loss.
  • Everyone got in the scoring column as No. 6 Doherty got back on track and ran away from Coronado to close the first week of 2017!

A Look Ahead

ThunderRidge George Washington boys basketball gym generic

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Monday, Jan. 9

  • Denver East continues to fine tune roster at Lakewood.
  • Rock Canyon vs. Columbine is nice as well!

Tuesday, Jan. 10

  • Monarch continues to turn the corner vs. Horizon.
  • Mountain Range impressive of late must pass Fairview test.
  • Expect Denver South to roll at A Central.
  • Mead and Frederick say "hello" again.
  • Overland and Rangeview with some A-Town Pride on the line!
  • ThunderRidge takes their roll to Palmer.
  • Chaparral's young guns will give George Washington fits!

Wednesday, Jan. 11

  • Chatfield will continue to defend and run vs. Arvada West.
  • Cherry Creek continues its streak vs. Mullen.
  • Smoky Hill looking to make Centennial step vs. Overland.
  • Pueblo South and Vista Peak in 4A!
  • Top-10 4A! D'Evelyn and Valor.
  • Will Duhart or Lottie return for Grandview/Cherokee Trail?
  • Centennial tough Arapahoe and Eaglecrest!

Thursday, Jan. 12

  • Pueblo East and Denver South! 4A renewed...
  • A. Central at Lincoln.
  • Prairie View and Northglenn.

Friday, Jan. 13

  • Mountain Range vs. Boulder.
  • Legacy, quietly 8-2, faces Monarch.
  • Rangeview vs. GW!
  • Sand Creek and Falcon down south.
  • Mountain Vista and Chap in early Continental!
  • It's big already in Eaglecrest/Grandview.
  • Valor looks to roll vs. Wheat Ridge.

Saturday, Jan. 14

  • Northridge and Vista Peak rekindle!
  • Holy Family & Denver South.
  • Longmont vs. Mead.
  • ThunderRidge and Regis!

Plenty of hoops to choose from folks ... see you at a gym soon!