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