Ball Fever: Looking at this week's top games in 5A and 4A boys basketball

Legend Ponderosa boys basketball

(Kevin Keyser/

It was tough writing about hoops thinking of the tragic helicopter crash involving one of the greats Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the others who passed in this accident.

A world wide superstar but we get the feeling that Kobe wouldn't want the spotlight on him right now. I keep thinking about pushing forward with the "Mamba Mentality" ... and move forward we shall! Love hard daily and attack every day with passion!

Just the way Kobe would want it...

The Look Back

Wednesday, Jan. 22

Quite a point guard treat we were treated to live as the Fever Crew joined Blake Olson and the team for Arapahoe visiting Smoky Hill. Senior guard Bryson Stephens was on fire dropping 30 points for the Warriors but not to be outdone Smoky senior PG Quinten Rock scored in every imaginable way dropping a game high 37 points! Very entertaining game and the Centennial League is tough every night out!

Full game here.

Friday, Jan. 24

Found ourselves back at Smoky Hill for 9News Facebook Live #TGOTN action for a massive Top 5 match with Eaglecrest visiting Smoky Hill. Two of our state's best floor generals in Zion Ruckard and Quinten Rock along with juniors Jalen Weaver and Ty Robinson who are top players regardless of classification in the region!

They didn't disappoint folks.

Ruckard finished with 21 points, 8 assists but not enough as Weaver's 27 points with with Rock's 32 point, 6 assist effort lifted the Buffaloes to a 82-78 overtime win. If there was one game you want to watch if you missed it — this is the one!

Full game here.

The Look Ahead

Tuesday, Jan. 28

  • No. 6 Fairview, now 13-3, will travel to Fort Collins. Greyson Carter continues to pace the Knights with almost 19 points per game.
  • Longmont remains No. 3 in 4A after another 2-0 week. They'll look to run away from Greeley Central who averages 40 points per game vs the Trojans 60 point pace.
  • Speaking of scoring! The No. 2 Mead Mavericks are at a frantic 77 point-per-game pace and one of the most exciting "above the rim" teams to watch. They have a tough conference opponent in Windsor who Mead beat by 12 in their first match.
  • Pueblo West, now up to No. 6 4A, is paced by Taylor Harris' 15 points, 6 assists per game and face rival Pueblo County down south.
  • Harrison had a 2-1 week and lost to new No. 10 Thomas Jefferson last week and they'll look to bounce back vs. Mitchell.
  • Joining Thomas Jefferson from the Denver Prep is Northfield who is now up to No. 4 in 4A and they have a league game vs. Denver West.
  • Quietly rolling along is 5A No. 1 Rangeview at 15-0 and scoring a fierce 73 points per game and the show takes on Thornton Tuesday!
  • Lincoln has dropped from the 4A rankings but believe they can compete any night and this will be a fun one for the City as the Lancers try to prove themselves again vs new No. 10 Thomas Jefferson. 
  • Sheesh! "Monsta" season double-double average for Javonte Johnson (30 points 10 rebounds per game!) of No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain who will look to silence defending champ Lewis-Palmer, who started the season No. 1.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

  • 5A Top-10 action gets Wednesday started in previously not ranked Valor Christian coming in this week at No. 8 tangling with 13-2 and fifth-ranked Ralston Valley. The Eagles recently notched an impressive 18-point win over Denver Eastm who was undefeated at the time. Can they take down another Top-5 squad?
  • Speaking of Top-10 action we have another that will be worth the price of admission! Smoky Hill has moved up to No. 2 after last week's electric performances. And don't look now but Cherry Creek is finding their groove, to down Eaglecrest last week, and join the 5A Top 10 at No. 7. High level guard play here on both sides ... young men who are great friends and teammates in club ball but rest assured they will attack each other like strangers! Smoky won two tremendous games at home last week, anxious to see what happens at Creek.
  • Highlands Ranch is traveling to Parker to face Legend in some Continental League fun!
  • After an 0-2 week Eaglecrest only fell one spot in 5A poll to No. 4. The Fever Crew thinks that's deservedly so ... a loss at Creek and at Smoky could happen to any team in the state and the Raptors are very good. They look to get back on track vs. league foe Cherokee Trail who won't be easy either.
  • Golden split games last week and fell two notches in our recent poll to No. 9. They'll play the first of two games vs D'Evelyn this season. Keep an eye on Kevin Mullingan who leads Golden in EVERY statistical category.
  • Mullen still looking for it's first "CentennialTough" league win and it won't be easy vs. No. 3 Grandview who was 2-0 last week and up two notches in our poll. Nice match up inside with Caleb McGill and Brayden Carter both leading their teams in scoring. The pace of Grandview will likely keep this game close but the Wolves execute well late.

Thursday, Jan. 30

  • Some early 5:30 p.m. action in the city. Denver South vs. No. 10 Thomas Jefferson!
  • Oooooohhhhhh we feel some "" action here! Vista Peak is 13-2 on the season and have a huge league game in their place as No. 1 Rangeview is coming over for a visit! Someone must get their first league loss...the Bison will lean heavily on leading scorer AJ LaCabe vs the Raiders DEEP roster of athletes we've discussed many times.
  • Some nice late-January non league play here Luke O'Brien leading the Columbine Rebels down south to face Doherty.

Friday, Jan. 31

  • We have a new squad out west in the 4A Top 10. Glenwood Springs was not ranked but now 12-3 and have jumped in as No. 6 this week. A team to keep an eye on as we creep towards the post-season.
  • No. 4 in 4A Northfield has a fun one against DPL perennial top team George Washington. An opportunity for Northfield to show, again, that they belong in the conversation of top city teams.
  • Boulder was 3-0 last week, 12-3 overall, and caught the attention of our voters to grab the No. 9 ranking in 5A. They travel to Poudre for league play.
  • No. 3 Longmont faces tough Thompson Valley.
  • Skyline is playing solid ball with overall record of 11-4 and they play a bit of a slower pace than lights out No. 2 Mead. We'll see how the contrasting styles play out!
  • Friday nights in the Continental league always seem to be special. Chaparral and Highlands Ranch have dropped from 5A rankings but this is a solid match up. 
  • Cheyenne Mountain, No. 1 and King of the Hill in 4A, travel over to Vista Ridge.

Saturday, Feb. 1

  • A few too many Saturday 2:30 p.m. options, folks. Top Spot is No. 2 Smoky Hill visiting No. 3 Grandview ... this will be EPIC — just take our word for it and we'll have a full report on this one!
  • #SaturdayCentennialTough Stuff baby! Don't think Coach Danny Fisher is going to quit coaching his squad HARD because of the loss of big Graham Ike to injury. The Trailblazers shocked us all with a win over hot Smoky Hill recently and now look to protect home court vs. No. 3 Eaglecrest and the "firm" of Robinson, Ruckard, and Wilson coming for a 230 p.m. Saturday visit!
  • Continuing the Centennial league Saturday Cherry Creek gets it on with Cherokee Trail!
  • Need some 5 p.m. action? Arapahoe travels to Mullen! 
  • Haven't seen this Valor squad that's kicking in gear? They play 7 p.m. at Lakewood!
  • More 7 p.m. rivalry action brings Columbine and Pomona! Pomona is no stranger to "upsets" after taking down Denver East by 2!

Final Thought

"Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise." — Kobe Bryant