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
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)
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