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  • Area teams put girls’ golf, girls’ tennis matches on hold

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Due to shivering weather and a lack of facilities around the area, girls’ golf and girls’ tennis fans won’t see any matches in Colorado Springs during the opening weekend of the high school season.  

    In fact, it’ll be awhile before most tennis and golf teams from around the area take part in their first matches.

    “We don’t have our first tournament until March 17th, and that’s actually earlier than normal for most teams out here,” The Classical Academy girls’ golf coach Bob Gravelle said, referring to the Titans’ first competition at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference’s opening invitational. “Besides that, we don’t really get tournaments and competitions going until April — so we have some time yet.”

    The girls’ tennis and golf seasons, however, are already on countdown to their respective state tournaments in mid-May. According the Colorado High School Activities Association bulletin, tennis and golf practices started Monday and competitions began Thursday. Yet no Pikes Peak region teams took part in matches.

    Realistically though, the sports’ competitions won’t begin for more than two weeks.

    “These girls aren’t coming out of the summer like the boys do. They don’t have the practice leading up to the season, so you want to get the most during the season,” Gravelle said.

    Snow jacket kind of weather, for one, makes that a challenge.  Take tennis — Liberty coach Ernest Zamora said the unpredictable weather causes headaches and crammed schedules for most area teams.

    “Most schools don’t have an indoor facility they can get into, so like us, our first dual isn’t until mid-March,” the second-year Lancers coach said. “That’s tough, because it makes the season so condensed with spring break in there. And then, all of a sudden, you have regionals in early May.”

    Tennis doesn’t have it as rough as golf, however. Gravelle, who also coaches boys’ golf for the Titans, admits girls’ golf isn’t a popular spot for most schools like boys’ golf is around the area.

    And while he believes a fall start could somewhat help the popularity of the girls’ sport, he said he doesn’t believe there will be any upcoming switches to the start dates or end dates anytime soon.

    “I think everyone would love it if these girls could play during the fall, but it’s unrealistic. You couldn’t have the boys’ and girls’ season at the same time. There isn’t nearly enough room on the courses,” said Gravelle, who has seven girls on the team (the most he’s had since he took over three years ago). “I think maybe the sport would be a little more popular if it was during a different season and it didn’t have to compete against girls’ soccer and track. But that’s not going to happen.”

    CHSAA did not immediately return phone messages on the matter.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • 5 preps games to watch this week

    Sun, February 23, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Every week, the Colorado Springs Gazette staff will choose the five most intriguing events to keep an eye on. Here’s a glance at this week’s events.

    Game of the Week

    Boys’ Basketball: No.8 Palmer Ridge (13-10 overall, 6-8 Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) vs. No. 9 Mitchell (12-11, 9-3 4A Metro League)

    Where: Palmer Ridge High School

    When: Wednesday, TBA

    Outlook: Palmer Ridge and Mitchell will feel right at home when the two face each other at Palmer Ridge High School in the first round of the 4A boys’ basketball tournament. The Bears were 7-3 on their home court, while the Marauders were 6-3 on somebody else’s floor this season. … For Palmer Ridge, it starts and ends with Matt Cameron. Cameron, a 6-foot-5 junior, averages 19.4 points and 6.6 rebounds — but he’s more than just a nice stat line. He’s essential. When he’s scored fewer than 15 points, the Bears have gone just 1-4. … Mitchell, meanwhile, has come a long way since its 95-25 loss to Doherty at the start of the season, and finished second in the 4A Metro League. Wednesday, if the game stays close, the Marauders should be three exits down the road past ready. They’ve had 11 games this season decided by five points or less, going 7-4 in those.

    Boys’ Basketball: No. 5 Air Academy (17-6 overall, 10-4 Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) vs. No. 12 Coronado (9-14, 6-6)

    Where: Air Academy High School

    When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

    Outlook: The first opponent they faced this season will also be the last opponent for one of these teams. Nearly three months after Air Academy beat Coronado 64-45 in season opener, the two teams will square off in the opening round of the 4A boys’ basketball tournament. … First, there’s the Kadets. You know what you’re going to get from them. You’re going to get a lot of offense (1,455 points this season) and a lot of David Louthan, who averages a team-high 16.3 points. … The Cougars are a different story. Sometimes, it feels like you never know what you’re going to get with them. Trust senior Lyndon Lewis to do his fair share of the work though, as he averages 21.1 points for a Coronado team that has scored as many as 78 and as low as 37 in wins this season. … Air Academy is 10-2 at home this season.

     

    Boys’ Basketball: No. 10 Fountain-Fort Carson (10-13 overall, 6-4 5A Metro League) vs. No. 7 Lakewood  (14-9)

    Where: Lakewood High School

    When: Wednesday, TBA 

    Outlook: The good news for Fountain-Fort Carson is the fact it rebounded from a tough nonconference schedule and finished 6-4 in league. The bad news is that the Trojans lost three consecutive games at the end of the regular season to get there. … As far as stats go, Lakewood and F-FC are a mirror’s view apart. The game could go either way, and could be decided by either of the team’s leading scorers. Jordan Rhodes of the Trojans (14.4 points per game) and Evan O’Dorisio (14.8) have the potential to take over a game or drift into the background. … Both teams went 0-1 to similar opponents this season; Highlands Ranch beat F-FC by 14 and Lakewood by three earlier in the season.

    Girls’ Basketball: No. 10 Widefield (11-12 overall, 7-5 4A Metro League) vs. No. 7 Air Academy (12-10, 8-6 Pikes Peak Athletic Conference)

     Where: Air Academy High School

     When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

     Outlook: This isn’t one of those games where the team that shoots the most 3-pointers will win the game. (Might be the defense that forces the other team to shoot more 3s will win the game, maybe). Instead, it’ll come down to the post game between Air Academy and Widefield in the first round of the 4A girls’ basketball tournament. Delia Brekken of the Gladiators averages 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds, while Air Academy’s Kassady Huffman tallies 15.3 points and 11.9 rebounds. It’s unfair to say the girl who plays better will win, but it’s hard to think it won’t be a key factor as both offenses run through their dominating 6-footers.

     

    Girls’ Basketball: No. 10 Mountain Range (8-15) vs. Doherty (10-12 overall, 4-6 5A Metro League)

     Where: Doherty High School

     When: Tuesday, TBA

    Outlook: The committee looked kindly on the 5A Metro League this season, and Doherty was no exception. Below Rampart and Pine Creek in the standings, the Spartans had enough solid nonconference-schedule wins to land them host duties in the first round of the 5A girls’ basketball tournament. … Frankly, Doherty can play with anyone. Earlier in the season it beat Denver East, a fourth seed, and more recently, rattled off three consecutive victories to end the regular season. To keep it going, however, the Spartans will have to use a lot of Meagan Kramer (averages 9.9 points and 11.2 rebounds). Like her team, the senior center has heated up as of late, averaging nearly 15 points and 15 rebounds in her past six games.

    What first-round match interests you the most? Tell us on Facebook.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • Top seeds? Cheyenne Mountain boys, Sand Creek girls make a strong case in 4A

    Sun, February 23, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Will tough schedules help, or hurt, the prospects of top seeds for the boys’ team Cheyenne Mountain and Sand Creek’s girls’ team when it comes down to selection Sunday for high school basketball playoffs in Colorado?

    Neither finished the regular season with the best record in their class. They finished strong, though.

    And if you’re looking at anything resembling RPI for both schools, it would have to be right up there, rivaling anyone not playing an out-of-state schedule.

    Let’s look at Cheyenne Mountain. With an 18-5 record, the Indians finished on fire, reeling off nine straight PPAC victories after a 1-2 start. And the only games they lost after Jan. 14 came at home to Thompson Valley (22-1) and Valor Christian (19-4), both games the Indians led at some point.

    When it comes down to awarding No. 1 seeds in the 4A boys, Thompson Valley and Pueblo South (21-2) appear to be locks. Valor Christian did lose this week, but shouldn’t be docked for a close home loss to 5A Rangeview.

    For the fourth and final No. 1 seed, it looks to be a tossup between Cheyenne Mountain, the PPAC co-champ, and D’Evelyn, which won the Jeffco League title with a 13-1 mark. At 19-4, Golden has a better record but was swept by D’Evelyn in league play. Pueblo East finished strong but fell to Pueblo South to finish second in the South Central League.

    The only thing that might hamper Cheyenne Mountain is a bad loss to Mountain View, a team that finished the regular season 11-12, in an early-season tournament.

    Speaking of scheduling tough, Sand Creek’s Jamie Carey will play anyone, anywhere.

    The Scorpions finished the regular season 20-3 and ran their PPAC winning streak to 24 games, falling early to defending 4A state champion Pueblo South (21-2), Broomfield (23-0) and later to 5A Highlands Ranch (19-4).

    Certainly, Broomfield, Mesa Ridge (23-0) and Pueblo South deserve top billing.

    For the final No. 1, it looks to be between Glenwood Springs (22-1), Elizabeth (21-2), Sand Creek and Valor Christian (20-3).

    Glenwood didn’t have nearly the schedule of Sand Creek. Elizabeth is a strong contender for the last No. 1 with losses only to Mesa Ridge and Pueblo South and also scoring quality wins over D’Evelyn (19-4) and Palmer Ridge (20-3).

    If there’s a tiebreaker, consider Sand Creek’s 67-34 waxing of Valor Christian on Jan. 3 and undefeated run through its league.

    Last year, Sand Creek received a No. 2 seed, swept past Erie and Sierra at home but fell to D’Evelyn for the second straight year in the quarterfinals.

    Kevin Carmody, The Gazette

  • Another call for split in hockey classes

    Sat, February 22, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    The divide between the haves and have-nots in state high school hockey was extremely evident in the first round of the state playoff tournament, prompting another call for the Colorado High School Activities Association to split the state hockey classification in two.

    On Friday, two first-round playoff games were decided by 10 goals or more, another two were decided by six or more, three others by three or more. Only one first-round game was decided by one goal. The winners advanced by a combined score of 57-9.

    And that disparity was among playoff teams, not the rest who missed out on the postseason.

    Pine Creek put forth a decent showing against three-loss Cherry Creek, falling to the Bruins 6-2 at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument in the first round. 

    Eagles coach Ken Martel was pleased with his team’s effort, but echoed what numerous hockey coaches around the state have said the last couple seasons.

    “We’re a high school team,” Pine Creek coach Ken Martel said after the Eagles’ loss. “They’re (Cherry Creek) a district team. Until CHSAA makes changes, the district teams are the ones that win. That’s just the way it is. They’re just deeper. Our kids are very good for a single-school program.”

    Among the blowouts, Cheyenne Mountain lost 13-1 to Monarch, Ralston Valley blasted Pueblo County 10-0 and Doherty was outscored 8-1 after taking the lead eight seconds in, falling to Regis 8-2.

    Earlier in the week, CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann told The Gazette that the organization was not looking at splitting the 29-team, unified classification anytime soon.

    “Hockey is showing growth, but I would say in the foreseeable future, we’d probably not see adding another class,” Borgmann said.

  • TCA’s Register not defined by semifinals loss

    Sat, February 22, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Denver • Buried in the tunnels of the Pepsi Center, The Classical Academy senior Andrew Register sat perfectly still outside the home locker room with tears running down his face.

    This was it, he said. Moments after his semifinals loss in the 145-pound weight class, Register closed the door not only on his high school wrestling days, but wrestling in general.

    “I’m done with it. I knew coming into this season I’d be done after the season was over — just too many injuries,” said Register, who’s suffered multiple concussions, a torn shoulder muscle, a broken elbow, a torn MCL and multiple dislocated knee caps as the stalwart in the Titans wrestling program. “And this loss, well, I think this will haunt me for a couple years.”

    It was decided by one move on Friday.

    The TCA senior lost 3-1 only 16 seconds into sudden-victory overtime after he was spun to the ground and taken down by Valley’s Macoy Flanagan.

    “I thought I could get him there and then I screwed it up,” said Register, who was looking for his second consecutive title after winning at 138 pounds last season. “I screwed it up.”

    At that moment, Register couldn’t think of the remarkable journey that made him the face of the Titans program. He wasn’t thinking of the blood, sweat and tears he put into his craft over the years. And no, his spirits didn’t seem lifted by the idea he’d come back from a torn MCL last football season to get into the state wrestling semifinals just 3½ months later.

    Instead, he was thinking about his memories with TCA coach Sean Collins, who helped the young wrestler conquer obstacles in wrestling, and in life.

    “He’s a multisport athlete, so this wasn’t his year-round sport,” Collins said. “But whatever he did, he did with his whole heart and every ounce of his being. No matter what he went through, he kept his head up.

    “When he leaves here, kids won’t remember if he won or not at this tournament — they’ll know his legacy by his work ethic he gave this program every practice. They’ll know his name by the good person he is on and off the mat.”

    Johns falls in semis too

    TCA’s Zach Johns (160) also lost in the semifinals after he bowed out midway through the third period in a 15-0 technical fall loss.  

    Despite the lopsided score, Collins said it’s astounding how far Johns has come as a wrestler.

    “He just got beat by a better wrestler today, but that doesn’t take anything away from what he’s done,” Collins said. “He’s not the most athletic kid, but he doesn’t care. He’s out there playing soccer at a high level for our great program and coming here and wrestling at this level. He’s incredible.”

    TCA qualified a school record nine wrestlers for the state tournament.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • 5 preps games to watch this week

    Sun, February 16, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Every week, the Colorado Springs Gazette staff will choose the five most intriguing events to keep an eye on. Here’s a glance at this week’s events.

    Event of the Week

    Wrestling: 2014 Colorado High School Wrestling Championships

    Where: Pepsi Center, Denver

    When: Friday-Saturday

    Outlook: The best 2A-5A wrestlers from the area will meet up with the other best wrestlers in the state in this year’s version of the Colorado High School Wrestling Championships. … This weekend, No. 5 Pine Creek and No. 5 Discovery Canyon have the best chances at making runs at their respective class titles in 5A and 4A. At the outset, both schools have a handful of wrestlers who could place in the top five or six in the tournament, and are led by state runner-ups Tyler Oberg (145) and David Traynor (195) of the Thunder and Juan Rodriguez (120) and Jordan Martinez (106) of the Eagles. “It’s always a fun time, and a chance for your best to measure up” Pine Creek coach Billy Gabel said of the state meet. … Elsewhere, Justin Petrash of Air Academy, Jess Hankin (126) of Coronado and Fabian Hermosillo (145) of Ellicott will also be going for top individual honors. … Arvada West and Broomfield are the top ranked teams in 5A and 4A … for now. Look back here for features on some of the area’s best wrestlers later in the week.

     

    Boys’ Basketball: Fountain-Fort Carson (10-11 overall, 6-2 5A Metro League) vs. Doherty (14-7, 7-1)

    Where: Fountain-Fort Carson High School

    When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

    Outlook: Doherty coach James Lane knew it would take a while before his team fully meshed and played its best basketball of the season. It’s been tedious at times, but it’s definitely  been worth the wait. The Spartans will look to make it six consecutive wins when they face Fountain-Fort Carson for the top spot in the 5A Metro League in both team’s second-to-last game of the year. … The Trojans won the first meeting 46-43. … On the court, Shane Fox is averaging 15 points for Doherty while Jordan Rhodes is averaging 14.4 for F-FC. The better game between the two might decide the outcome of the game and perhaps the league too.

     

    Hockey: Steamboat Springs (10-6-1) vs. Lewis-Palmer (17-2)

    Where: Colorado Sports Center, Monument

    When: Friday at 8:15 p.m. 

    Outlook: Lewis-Palmer coach Hal Jordan said the Foothills Conference was the much stronger than the Peak Conference this season. “They are pretty solid from top to bottom,” he said. On Friday, his Rangers will see as much when they face the Foothills’ seventh seed in the first round of the state playoffs. L-P shouldn’t be fazed — it scored 126 goals while only allowing 30 this season. Jordan, however, admits it all would have looked a little different if the Rangers were in the other conference. … Dustin Jones (19 goals and 16 assists) remains one of the best players in the state, and will have to come up big to beat a defensive Steamboat Springs. … The Rangers will be without defenseman Taylor Hill and forward Brayden Yatsu, who have both been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering season-ending injuries in games over the past two weeks. … Steamboat Springs is 4-0 against the Peak Conference this season.

     

    Hockey: Doherty (10-8) vs. Regis Jesuit (15-3-1)

     Where: TBA

     When: Friday at TBA

     Outlook: Doherty has looked leaps-and-bounds better in the final two weeks of the season and has won three consecutive games. If that is enough to beat powerhouse Regis Jesuit, however, remains to be seen. On the offensive end, the two teams look similar. The Spartans have scored four less goals (84-80) and have 14 fewer assists (124-110). On the defensive end, however, Regis has the nod — and then some. Regis goalie Sam Gartner has given up less than two goals a game, while Doherty gives up nearly four goals a game.

     

    Hockey: Pine Creek (10-7-1) vs. Cherry Creek (15-3-1)

     Where: Colorado Sports Center

     When: Friday at 4:45 p.m.

    Outlook: No, an upset against Cherry Creek wouldn’t quite have the same weight as the Miracle on Ice did for USA hockey’s Ken Martel and his Pine Creek Eagles. But it sure would be nice. … The battle between Zach Zimmerman of Pine Creek and Cody Oakes of Cherry Creek might be the key. Both players scored 17 goals this season for teams that average more than four goals a game. … The Eagles’ season has had its share of up and downs – Martel just hopes it will be on the upswing for the postseason.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • Sydney Buckley rediscovers her love of swimming at state

    Fri, February 14, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    FORT COLLINS – Months away from becoming a Division-I athlete at North Texas, it’s no surprise the waterfall amount of pressure Cheyenne Mountain senior Sydney Buckley dumps on herself.

    Realistically, that’s usually the kind of commitment and desire it takes to get to that level.

    “I get pretty nervous, and sometimes I can get down on myself,” Buckley said.

    It is days like Friday, however, the two-time state-winner in the 100 butterfly tries to take a deep breath, hone in on her craft and forget the rest. On the first day of preliminaries at the Class 4A state championships, Buckley (56.55 seconds) inched out D’Evelyn’s Brenna Bushey (56.66) in the final heat of the butterfly to secure herself the top time headed into Saturday’s finals at the Edora Pool Ice Center.

    Buckley – who had the fourth fastest time in the 4A butterfly coming into the state meet – kicked it up a notch in the final 50 yards of Friday’s event and caught Bushey with only strides to go. It was dead even until Buckley stretched her fingertips just ahead of Bushey, who ended a fraction slower than her fastest time of the season (56.37).

    Yes, it was a joyous moment for Buckley, a swimmer who feels like she has struggled for must of her senior season. And although she knows she can’t win her third consecutive state title in the 100 butterfly until Saturday, the preliminary race may always be remembered as her best race of the year.

    “I was really nervous coming into state this season. I don’t feel like I’ve been racing my best, and I thought I had no shot to win the butterfly this year,” said Buckley, who only started swimming the butterfly when she was a sophomore. “And then today out there, I just told myself to have fun, and I felt the best I ever had. It got back to being the thing I loved today, so that was really important for me.”

     Buckley also qualified for the finals in the 100 breaststroke, as well as the 200-medley relay and 200-freestyle relay.

    “It was just good to see Sydney happy,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Kate Doane said. “That’s what mattered most.” 

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • Banged-up Lewis-Palmer faces offensive Mountain Vista for title

    Thu, February 13, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Lewis-Palmer (17-1) already might be playing with its back against the wall when it faces Mountain Vista (17-1) and its explosive offense for the Peak Conference title on Friday.

    The Golden Eagles from Highlands Ranch are that good.

    But now, the Rangers will have to do it without two of their six senior leaders, as defenseman Taylor Hill and forward Brayden Yatsu have both been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering season-ending injuries in games over the past two weeks.

    Yatsu, who had 15 points in 14 games, tore his ACL two weeks ago, and Hill broke his ankle Saturday against Cheyenne Mountain.

    “It would be tough to lose one guy like that, but two is really tough for us,” first-year Lewis-Palmer coach Hal Jordan said on Thursday. “Brayden has been one of our top four or so forwards, and Hill really became our No. 2 defender. They’ll be missed the rest of the season, especially tomorrow. I mean Mountain Vista is a very tough game even at full strength.”

    Very tough? Probably an understatement. Led by Brandon Tangney (third in the state with 23 goals) and Ryan Daughtery (No. 4 with 22), the Golden Eagles have scored a state-leading 171 times to their 15 goals allowed.

    (Lewis-Palmer is second in the state with 125 goals to 25 allowed.)

    Jordan — who knows most of the Mountain Vista team from club play — said there’s no question about it, the Golden Eagles have the best offense in the league. 

    The only way the Rangers can stop their assault, he said,  is with a good offense of their own.

    “We will need to have the puck in our zone a lot. Lots of shots and lots pressure on them down there. The best way to keep them off the board is to keep the puck away from them, and stay out of the penalty box,” said Jordan, whose team had the third-fewest penalty minutes in the league this season. “I mean, if not, here’s a team that wasn’t beating everyone 5-2 or 6-2 like we were. They were winning 17-0, 18-0 regularly. We’ll have to play our best to have a shot.”

    The winner of Friday’s game will face the eighth seed in the Foothills Conference, while the loser will face the seventh seed.

    “If we can play the lower-seeded teams in the Foothills Conference, that would benefit us,” Jordan said. “They are the much deeper conference over there, so we’ll need to get set up the best we can before we meet them, and that starts tomorrow. … Tomorrow is a big game.”

    Puck drops at 8:15 p.m. at CSC East.

    Note: Mountain Vista has outscored Colorado Springs schools 76-2 this season.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • Discovery Canyon will have to travel far to keep title hopes alive

    Sun, February 9, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Discovery Canyon coach Ron Sukle is proud of what his team has accomplished in the first two months of the high school wrestling season.

    The only coach of the Thunder’s wrestling program, of course, knows it means nothing if they fall flat in these next two weeks.

    “Your wrestling legacy is defined by how you do in the final two weeks of the season,” Sukle said. “That’s a fact. Nobody is going to remember that you went undefeated before the regional meet. Nobody is going to remember you at all if you lose twice at the regional meet and don’t make state.”

    Led by three state runner-ups from last year’s second-place team, the Thunder (ranked fifth in 4A by On the Mat) will take part in Region 4 against Palisade (sixth), Pueblo County (eighth) and Montrose (ninth) at Montrose High School.

    After winning it all in 4A last season, top-ranked Broomfield will host Region 1, which includes Palmer Ridge, Air Academy and Lewis-Palmer; No. 2 Thompson Valley and No. 3 Windsor will square off in Region 3 at Greeley Central High School; and No. 4 Pueblo South will host the rest of the 4A wrestling teams from the area in Region 2.

    “I think the setup for regionals is fair,” Sukle said.  “The team dominance is spread out, so I think that is fair for everyone.”

    Fair doesn’t mean easy, however. Discovery Canyon will have to travel five hours west just to get to Montrose — and that’s if the weather is forgiving — all in the hopes of continuing its quest for a state championship.

    Despite the travel, though, Ron Sukle’s team should be the favorite to win Region 4.

    Again, it won’t be easy. It’ll hinge on the dominance of Tyler Oberg (145-pound weight class) and Adrian Mack (170), who are ranked first in their respective weight classes in 4A, and rest on the quick moves of Sam Turner (120) and David Traynor (195), who have wrestled lights out after finishing second in the 106 and 195 class, respectively, last season.

    Sukle told them, and the rest of the team, the journey to the top spot in 4A starts this weekend.

    “I tell the guys ‘This is where we have to wrestle our best, starting now.’ We would love to get everybody to state, but we at least need as many as possible,” said Sukle, whose team won its regional last season. “If you look at 4A state the past couple years, it has been coming down to just a few points between first, second and third place. We need every wrestler possible at state to get those extra few points.”

    Discovery Canyon was 11 points behind Broomfield and only one-half point ahead of Windsor in last season’s wrestling finale.

    Region 4 will start on Feb. 15, and the finals and consolation finals will follow on Feb. 16.

    Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps

  • 5 preps games to watch this week

    Sun, February 9, 2014 by Scott Kaniewski with no comments

    Every week, the Colorado Springs Gazette staff will choose the five most intriguing events to keep an eye on. Here’s a glance at this week’s events.

    Event of the Week

    Girls’ swimming: 4A State Swimming Championships

    Where: Edora Pool Ice Center

    Prelims: Friday at 4 p.m. Finals: Saturday at 2 p.m.

    Outlook: In all likelihood, there are two area teams that could take home the 4A girls’ swimming title – and one’s a 3A school. Class 4A Cheyenne Mountain (second in Rob Nasser’s latest girls’ swimming rankings) and 3A Manitou Springs (fourth) should provide a hefty punch at this season’s finale in Fort Collins. … In the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference championships, the Indians lassoed titles in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, as well as individual titles from Rhyann Lowrey (200 and 500 free) and Sydney Buckley (100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke). Buckley, the North Texas commit, could win her third consecutive state title in the 100 butterfly. … Manitou Springs broke six league records and four school records on its way to its second consecutive Independent School League championship. The Mustangs grabbed titles in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, as well as individual titles from Veronica Morin (50 and 100 free), Kethrys Buffa (100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly) and Emily Dolloff-Holt (100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley). Morin has fastest 50-freestyle time in 4A (23.78 seconds) and is second fastest in the 100 freestyle (52.46).

     

    Girls’ swimming: 5A State Swimming Championships

    Where: Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center, Thornton

    Prelims: Friday at 4 p.m. Finals: Saturday at 2 p.m.

    Outlook: Despite taking first, Alan Arata was taken back with Lewis-Palmer’s performance at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference championships. He didn’t see much energy with his girls’ team, which had just one individual champion. Afterward, however, he said that’s fine with him as long as they were saving their energy for the state meet. … Julie Day, who won the 200 IM over the weekend, should place at state, as should Andie Turner, who will look to repeat in the 100 backstroke at state. … Retiring at season’s end, Rampart coach Pat Burch said he would love nothing more than to go out with a top-15 finish at the state meet. Led by possible state-placers Julie Henninger, Jessica Chen and Lindsay Horning, the Rams could make some noise in Burch’s final meet as head coach.

     

    Wrestling: 5A Region 2 meet

    Where: Coronado High School

    When: Friday and Saturday, times TBD

    Outlook: If you’re scrambling to watch gritty wrestling with technique you can set your watch to (and can’t make it up to Denver in two weeks for the state wrestling championships), then head over to Coronado High School this weekend. Pine Creek (ranked third in 5A by On the Mat) leads a top-tier region that includes Coronado, No. 9 Fruita Monument and No. 10 Grand Junction. … Doherty, Liberty, Palmer and Rampart will also take part in the 16-team region, which has more state-ranked wrestlers than any of the four regions in 5A. …  And if you like sequels, there could be two rematches from the Colorado Springs Metro League Championships finals. Jess Hankin of the Cougars could face Nathan Gonzalez of the Spartans after beating him 2-1 in the 126-pound weight class, and Doherty’s Brandon Supernaw could face Coronado’s Jimmy Weaver once again, after his 5-1 win.

     

    Girls’ basketball: Colorado Springs School (8-4 overall, 3-0 2A Black Forest) vs. Peyton (14-1, 4-0)

    Where: Colorado Springs School

    When: Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

    Outlook: Just because two teams are succeeding doesn’t mean they are doing it in the same manner. Peyton and its high-flying offense average 71.9 points, while CSS plays a much slower game and averages 37.5 points. So, yeah, the pace of the game will probably dictate who comes out on top and takes sole possession of first place in the league standings. … Kendra Baucom — who leads the Kodiaks in points (13.8), rebounds (13.6) and steals (5.2) — will have to be extra special if the Kodiaks want to keep up with the Panthers.  … Shelby Patterson averages 19.7 points and Victoria Goodman averages 11.7 points for Peyton, which has only one blemish this season … a one-point blemish really (lost to Lutheran 64-63 on Jan. 4).

     

    Hockey: Lewis-Palmer (16-1), Mountain Vista (16-1)

     Where: CSC East

     When: Friday at 8:15 p.m.

     Outlook: Saving the best for last, Lewis-Palmer and Mountain Vista will go head-to-head in a game that will likely decide who is on top of Peak Conference at the regular season’s end. The Rangers are balanced, talented and relentless from all around the ice. They have 12 players with double-digit points this season, a starting goalie who has 154 saves this season and a backup netminder who has given up just one goal in 255 minutes. … The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, have outscored area teams 76-2 this season. Lewis-Palmer could grab some of the area’s respect back with a win Friday.

    Tell us what game you’ll be watching this week!  

     Brent W. New, The Gazette

    Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps