Ball Fever: Recapping the early rounds of the boys hoops tourneys; previewing the Sweet 16

Lewis-Palmer Sierra boys basketball

(Jeff Tucker/

Dare we say, TOO MUCH action to keep up with in our 5A/4A big-school early rounds?

Our CHSAANow staff couldn't get everywhere so our Ball Fever Crew took a look at some of the games not covered in the early rounds. Here's your early playoff recap and preview of the Sweet 16!

Let's get to it.

The Look Back

Round 1

  • Steamboat Springs got the 4A winning started behind 21 points from Mac Rinicker and held Skyline to single digit scoring in three separate quarters!
  • Speaking of DEFENSE, Mead held Littleton to single digit scoring in two quarters leading to an 8-point win. Derek Edwards led three in double digit scoring with 15.
  • Centaurus, with Owen Koonce averaging 16 per game, pull off the win over Elizabeth by 3!
  • Mark Struder's 16 points lifts Conifer over Pueblo County.
  • Luke O'Brien is a future CO star for Columbine and was "stat-stuffin" 28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals in the win over Castle View.
  • Jackson Hayslip scored 21 for Greeley Central who raced away from Battle Mountian.
  • Mike Polson scored a "30-piece" for Mountain Range who held off Fountain Fort Carson by 4.
  • Fruita Monument is on a mission to prove they belong in the 5A mix and Trey Morrill and Darren Davison combined for 30 points in blow out of Prairie View.
  • Vista Peak started strong at home 20-8 over Standley Lake and held on for an 8-point round one win.
  • Young soph Darius Hornbuckle scored 13 for Thomas Jefferson but only scored 16 second half points as a team and that wasn't enough vs. visiting Erie who stormed back winning by 4.
  • A Warrior will always battle to the end and Arapahoe forced Rangeview to overtime on the road but the Raiders exploded for 15 OT points to advance!
  • If you like the "3-ball" you would have loved Bear Creek hitting 23 of them and running up 90 points on Lincoln...on the road! Manuel Perez dropped 33 points and hit TEN of those 3'balls!
  • CJ Schmanski led FIVE Coyotes in double figure scoring in the tight 70-67 win on the road at Legend.
  • Montbello (FNE) got the home win by 22 points and Malik Fofana may have had the dunk of the year with this WINDMILL

Round 2

  • Our Fever Crew was intrigued to check out this Fruita Monument squad from the western slope we rarely get to see. It was WELL WORTH the drive to Broomfield where the host Eagles battled back from down 8 with less than two minutes left to send the game to overtime but "tough as nails" 5'9 Blake Anderson nailed this three pointer with .5 left to give Fruita the win. Reilly Flinn scored 27 as well...this is a balanced and tough squad!

  • Slow start for the host Buffaloes finding themselves down 20-9 in the first quarter to Fairview but they stormed back with a vengeance winning by 27!
  • Windsor flexed their tough 4A muscle shutting out Steamboat Springs in the 4th quarter winning 46-31.
  • Dawson Carper and Xavier Johnson combined for 28 points sending our beloved "Bellos" FNE home 64-40.
  • Bryce Matthews scored 18 and soph point guard Kobe Sanders was "stat-stuffin" 12 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals for Chap!
  • Top 4A seed Pueblo South dismantled Conifer by more than 30 showing they are serious about this Coliseum return!
  • OK, Mr. Kountz! Daylen enters the playoffs with a 32 point performance for East in 12 point win over Dakota Ridge.
  • Palmer Ridge had just enough to advance past Holy Family.
  • The Grizzlies have many who can step up and on this day it was senior Justin McCaw's 23 points which help T-Ridge pull away from Greeley West easily.
  • Columbine hung tough early but Rock Canyon pulled away heading to the Sweet 16 with a 29-point drubbing of Columbine.
  • Whoa! Connor Staib with a huge 32 points for Mountain Vista in the win over Chatfield and the Eagles will need that next round vs. Chap!
  • D'evelyn with the "thrilling" 1-point win over Mead.
  • Longmont continues hot streak with 30-point win over Cheyenne Mountain.
  • Tucson Redding with 19 for Overland vs. familiar foe Mullen in the Trailblazer win.
  • Grandview beats C-Trail behind Dayne Prim's 25
  • Centennial squads are battle tested come tourney time and Eaglecrest showed that to Rangeview in 13-point win.
  • George Washington continues the winning streak and cooled off Bear Creek in 76-54 home win.
  • Jamil and Elijah "backcourt" combine for 28 for Regis
  • Silver Creek put an end to Erie's run by 10.
  • Junior star Joel Scott continues to make a claim for 4A Player of the Year scoring 33 points in Lewis-Palmer's home win over Sierra
  • Big man Alijah Bates scored 12 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and had an impressive 8 assists for Doherty who took down Poudre by 12.
  • Reece Warren poured in 21 points for Falcon in win over Fort Morgan.
  • Football stud Dimitri Stanley controlled the game for Cherry Creek and scored 20 points as the Bruins went into Highlands Ranch for the light upset.

The Look Ahead: Sweet 16 Preview

5A Sweet 16

Regis Jesuit Douglas County boys basketball

(Jack Eberhard/

Chuck Williams Region:

  • Rock Canyon earned a tough road win at Eaglecrest by 6 back on Dec. 5. This is a much more mature Raptors squad this time around but the game is in the comfy Jags Den this time! Advantage RC!
  • Two more teams in for a rematch as Regis won round one back on Dec. 1 at home vs. Overland. As we have documented this is a very different and "confident" Trailblazers squad this time around. This will come down to the wire, again.

Richard Tate Region:

  • ThunderRidge absolutely rolled Greeley West and Fruita Monument had a tough overtime battle at Broomfield. Who does that benefit? After seeing Fruita Monument for first time they are balanced inside and out and actually similar to T-Ridge. A star will make the difference in this one!
  • We can't really call Cherry Creek beating Highlands Ranch an "upset" but the Bruins were impressive in controlling the game most of the way. Won't be quite as easy as the Bruins head to Doherty and a team playing with extreme confidence and possibly peeking at the right time. Do the Bruins have an inside answer to match Doherty?

Chauncey Billups Region:

  • Familiar foes, again. Mountain Vista let Chaparral jump out to a 24-6 first quarter lead in their house in round one. They will have no chance if they let Chap get off to that type of hot start at home. Don't see Chap not advancing here, but Staib did just score 32!
  • Another rematch? Yep! Grandview beat Rampart in their house by 9 in mid-December. We know Grandview is a more well oiled machine at this point and it's yet to be seen if we can say the same about Rampart. And this time it's in the Wolves' den!

Maceo Broadnax Region:

  • We were here this time a year ago. We felt like the Sweet 16 was a little too soon for two teams with the athletes of Smoky Hill and East to be playing. Well, forget that, it's just time to get it on. There will be above-the-rim play, star players, seniors giving it their all ... the best Sweet 16 match we have!
  • Can George and East be in for a "city showdown" at the Coliseum? Well, obviously there's a lot of work to be done before that but our Fever Crew feels it is just too tall of a task for Liberty to keep GW from getting there.

4A Sweet 16

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Larry Brunson Region:

  • Strong win for Montrose over Centaurus but top seed Pueblo South is a whole other story and they are on a mission!
  • We LOVE a "rubber match" and Evergreen/Valor have split games so far by a total margin of 9 points...this will be an epic trilogy.

Mark Randall Region:

  • Another? Another "rubber match"? Lewis-Palmer and Palmer Ridge have also split games this year but this one is for all the marbles, and it's a rivalry matchup.
  • Silver Creek and Widefield both 20-4 and averaging 68 points per game. Very similar! Do the stars Trent Dykema and Tre Pierre make the difference?

Guy Gibbs Region:

  • Ponderosa has their Continental League vs. top 5A squads to lean on but now face hot, senior led Golden and 4A Player of Year Candidate Adam Thistlewood.
  • This is a Ball Fever "upset alert." Watch for Devin Nelson and Mesa Ridge in this one. Pueblo West has the experience but have struggled in the biggest games this year.

Ron Vlasin Region:

  • Not many teams as hot as Longmont and Luke Johnson at this point of the season. Windsor is tough and also stakes the claim of "blue collar." If you like a slug fest, this is your spot!
  • Falcon has the big names in Reece Warren and Brendan LaRose but D'Evelyn is battled-tested through league play and finding ways to stay alive ... something will have to give.

Undoubtedly, the best time of year! And there's nothing like the Great 8 at the Coliseum but we have some awesome Sweet 16 action before that arrives.

Get out and enjoy, folks!