Ball Fever: 2018-19 boys basketball season kicks off with big matchups

Chaparral Rock Canyon boys basketball

(Ryan Casey/

Welcome back, hoop fans! We are excited to get Season 10 of Ball Fever started with the expert assistance of the "Digital Media Guru" Ryan Casey!

Our state is once again loaded with talent, stand out teams, and some sure surprises on the way in our big school 5A/4A boys hoops. Wait, we have a 5A top-10 match up to start the season?!! Let's get to it...

The Look Back

Monday, Nov. 26

CHSAA's No. 4 ranked Smoky Hill Buffaloes invaded No. 9 ranked George Washington on the Monday after Thanksgiving! Something to be thankful for, indeed. Speaking with Coach Hardin of the Buffaloes prior to game he knew the Patriots would come out strong in Game 1 for their school, community, and pride.

He was right as Kendale Johnson Jr. and Jovon Nelson helped keep the Patriots close early but it was no match for the Smoky veterans Kenny Foster (Wyoming commit) and floor leader Quentin Rock.

Foster had 16 points at the half, which was a first half battle of who could penetrate and figure out their foes zone defense. Foster and Rock penetrated, slashed the gaps. Veteran leadership was the key in this 14-point season opening road win for Smoky and it really wasn't that close!

Look for both of these squads to improve as their young players on both sides become comfortable on the varsity floor.

Other games:

  • A fourth quarter surge led to an impressive road win for Boulder at Chatfield and Dennis Pleuss was all over it.
  • Monarch also started the season off right with three players in double figures: senior Jack Ramsey with 13 and juniors Joey Covington (13), John Grigsby (11) joining him.
  • Thomas Jefferson has a junior, Darius Hornbuckle, who can flat out put the ball in the whole but on this night his 12 points was not enough to counter Sierra's Imani Grigsby and Isaish Wilburn who scored 17 and 15 respectively. The junior Grigsby added 9 rebounds on the night...that close to the double-double!
  • Our 4A No. 3 Pueblo West had an early season battle down south vs. Sand Creek. This one was close the entire way but the Cyclones never relinquished a lead in the 78-73 win.
  • Love seeing 3A DSST: Green Valley Ranch schedule a "big boy" school in Pomona early non conference play! Quite a stat line for DSST's Elias Williams who went for 11 points, 10 rebounds (Double-Double!!), and adding a crazy 6 steals. It wasn't enough to stop host Pomona who won 63-39, but way to go take on a challenge DSST. Ball Fever Crew approves!

Tuesday, Nov. 27

  • The Bulldogs come out swinging and led this one from beginning to end as Brighton defended home court 82-51 over visiting Legacy.
  • The Fever Crew has sighted our first "monsta" Double-Double of the week 1 in junior Javonte Johnson's 40 points (74% from the field) 16 rebound effort for 4A No. 7 Cheyenne Mountain in their 34 point route of Widefield. Johnson just happened to go a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line as well. Quite a coming out party for the season. Javonte Johnson will be a name to keep an eye on...

Wednesday, Nov. 28

The Fever Crew "gas'd up the pacer" and headed to Parker CO for Legend hosting Eaglecrest.

We were poised and ready to get a peek at Raptor's super soph Ty Robinson but due to "whistles a plenty," Robinson had to spend long stretches on the Raptors bench but senior Aaron Bokol stepped up well and pace the squad in Robinson's absence.

Impressions of the Titans? They have a 5-foot-10 guard (not quite 5-foot-10 but his HEART is!) in junior Cam LeVan who hit big outside shots and key drives to give the Titans a chance late but not enough as Bokol hit a late 3-point shot to give Raptors the lead and despite the foul trouble Robinson elevates and swats away the Titans last shot at a tie game. Legend always a tough place to play and the Raptors are a different beast with Robinson on the floor!

Other games:

  • The annual Fossil Ridge Tip Off Classic tips off with Vista Ridge pounding Mountain View by 31 points.
  • Not to be out done Rocky Mountain comes out and shocks Cherokee Trail 50-43 in game 1 of the Rock Canyon/Mountain Vista tourney.
  • Senior Dailin Smith poured in 24 points for Liberty but not enough to stop Chatfield from bouncing back from their first tourney loss 62-55.
  • NOT a good start for No. 5 Denver East losing in tourney play to Poudre 51-43. The Angels got 11 points from senior PJ Steed and 7 from Kwane Marble. The senior leaders will have to produce more!
  • A senior to keep an eye on, Chase Hettinger, got Castle View off to a blowout victory in tourney play over Gateway.
  • Logan Dexter scored 21 and Anthony Romero 26 for Mountain Range but not enough to hold off "the Bellos" (Far North East) who won the season opener 87-80 on the road.
  • Soph Luke Yoder led all scorers with 23 points in Fossil Ridge's season opening win over Thompson Valley.
  • Smoky Hill looking to maintain their HIGH FLYING ways in 81-50 romp over Highlands Ranch

  • Lancers make a statement almost putting up 90 points in Denver Tip Off Classic opening win over Falcon!
  • 4A No. 2 Longmont again flexed it's early season muscle 67-26 over Erie.
  • Denver South starts season with a 51-49 win at Conifer.
  • Fever Crew has a feeling Rock Canyon will play this season with a "chip" on the shoulder after not being ranked in our preseason 5A top-10. They only opened up with a 87-25 "whippin" of Rampart!
  • 5A No. 7 Regis closed out our mid-week coverage with a 69-37 thrashing of Boulder on the road. A large part of that overall 69 points was point guard Jamil Saffiedine's 16 points and running mates Daniel Carr's 16 point, 10 rebound Double-Double. Regis looks stacked with four more upperclassmen on the roster making major contributions.

The Look Ahead

One of our CHSAA Partners, Colorado Preps, has done an outstanding job of compiling the tournament brackets/action all over the state that you may want to check out this Week 1.

Other non-conference action around town!

Thursday, Nov. 29

  • Our Ball Fever guys Coaches McCoy, Gibbs, and Simental meet in Adams City at Highlands Ranch.
  • Pine Creek hosts Sand Creek 719!
  • Top 10Alert! No. 3 T-Ridge visits No. 6 Overland!

Friday, Nov. 30

  • Longmont and Mead tangle early...4A top 10 Match!
  • Monarch looks to go 2-0 vs. Standley Lake.
  • Legacy and Highlands Ranch both looking for first win.
  • Overland with 5A top 10 test number 2 as Rangeview visits!
  • Arap starts off at Arvada West.

Saturday, Dec. 1

  • GW hits the road south to Highlands Ranch!
  • Mullen gets the season started vs. Lakewood.
  • Overland visits Regis for their 3RD TOP 10 of the week!
  • Broomfield & Longmont bruise it up Saturday evening....
  • Stay tuned...and following along on twitter for updates of all the early tourney action!

Mid-Week Thoughts

Could easily say this every year, hoop fans, but the Fever Crew really feels a fun ride coming again this season. Ball Fever will follow all the big school 5A / 4A action, track our CHSAANow Top-10 ranking results, and always be on the hunt for that stand out "stat-stuffer" impressive night from our outstanding athletes!

Get out and enjoy the Ball!