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5 preps games to watch this week

Published: February 23, 2014, 8:45 pm, by Scott Kaniewski

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