Hoops, here it is: State tournament capsules

Feb. 19—The prep basketball regular season has come to a close, and now the best 32 teams in Classes 4A, 5A and 6A will get to battle it out in their respective brackets for a chance at a state championship. Twenty teams from the BoCoPreps region — 10 girls and 10 boys — have all earned shots.

Eight schools saw both boys and girls teams make their case for the postseason. All first-round girls games will take place on Tuesday, with the boys following up on Wednesday.


Class 6A

No. 20 Broomfield at No. 13 ThunderRidge, 7 p.m.

It's no wonder that the Eagles earned the highest local seed in the state's biggest classification, with the ladies ending their regular season at 19-4. Prior to a 53-26 win at Fairview on Thursday, head coach Mike Croell praised his deep bench and strong post players, and hopes that can aid them against a 15-8 Grizzlies team that has three players averaging between 9.8 and 8.7 points per game.

No. 21 Erie at No. 12 Rock Canyon, 7 p.m.

The Tigers bounced around the Coaches and Media Poll's 6A top 10 a number of times throughout the season, eventually ending on a 16-7 note outside of the rankings. A tough schedule and strong leadership from senior Maddie Hartel (13.4 points per game) helped them get there. Rock Canyon, however, will pose a defensive challenge with three players exceeding 10 points per game.

No. 24 Monarch at No. 9 Mullen, 6 p.m.

Last year's 6A state runner-up lost a lot of talent when its senior class left, but the Coyotes (13-10) have been enjoying the emergence of 6-foot-2 freshman Sienna Williams, who led the team with 16 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. She and junior Savannah Weiss (12.3 ppg) can offset Mullen's top two scorers, both of whom are scoring 12.5 points or more, in a matchup that looks like it may come down who can defend and rebound the ball better.

Class 5A

No. 3 Mead vs. No. 30 Glenwood Springs, 6 p.m.

Mead sifted through the ever-tough Northern Colorado Athletics Conference and nearly came out on top with a 19-4 record, losing out on the league title to 4A's top-seeded Holy Family. Junior Darby Haley (11.1 ppg) led a trio of scorers averaging nine points or more, but they'll have to shut down GSHS's Taia Nykerk (12.5 ppg) and Anastasia Shea (11.8 ppg) if they hope to conquer their Demons.

No. 8 Frederick vs. No. 25 Denver North, 6 p.m.

The Golden Eagles (17-6) boasted two scorers in double digits with junior Zoe Wittler (11.6 ppg) and senior Gabby Jima (10.6 ppg), but their ability to crash the glass, share the ball and take it away gave them an added edge. If they can outmaneuver the Vikings in each of those categories — which look similar on paper — they should breeze into round two.

No. 22 Longmont at No. 11 Standley Lake, 7 p.m.

In a league as unforgiving as the NCAC, significant winning streaks were hard to come by for the Trojans. Savannah Pohl, who's just six career points away from 1,000 and already well past the 500-rebound mark (579), helped lead them to a 13-10 record. They'll have to find a way to shut down Standley Lake's Taylin Serlen (20.6 ppg) if they hope to pull off the upset.

No. 29 Silver Creek at No. 4 Northfield, 6 p.m.

The Raptors ended their NCAC and regular-season run with a 10-13 record, relying on junior Izzy Spagnoletti (16.4 ppg) to lead them along the way. The 20-3 Nighthawks, however, have been in a league of their own with 18.9 steals per game, meaning the Raptors will have to take extra care of the ball.

Class 4A

No. 1 Holy Family vs. No. 32 Eagle Ridge Academy, 6 p.m.

The reigning state champs (21-2) once again rose to the top of the NCAC as a small fish in a mostly 5A pond, and only suffered losses to 5A powerhouses Mead and Roosevelt. Their speed and toughness, highlighted by leading scorer Essynce Contreraz (11.2 ppg), has been lethal. ERA (8-15) will have its work cut out for it, with no players averaging double-digit scoring.

No. 9 Peak to Peak vs. No. 24 DSST: Cedar, 6 p.m.

Junior Alexandra Eschmeyer asserted her dominance on the court last week when, in just three years, she became the Pumas' all-time leading scorer, now at 1,315 points. Senior Megan Wagner has morphed into her backup, netting 11 points a contest, to help propel the Pumas to 19-4. DSST: Cedar (15-8) has a couple strong scorers that they'll have to watch out for.

No. 13 Jefferson Academy vs. No. 20 Berthoud, 6 p.m.

The Jaguars waded through a tough Metro League to end their regular slate with a 15-8 record, led by junior Elsa Nygren (10.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg). A 7-1 run beginning in December helped boost their stock. They'll have to keep an eye on Berthoud's Avery Pfohl (19.8 ppg).


Class 6A

No. 14 Legacy vs. No. 19 Legend, 7 p.m.

A 13-game winning streak dating back to Jan. 12 has kept the Lightning (17-6) looking sharp and lent credence to the highest local bid in the classification. With four players averaging double-digit scoring, their versatility has become their strength. They'll have to rely on their defense, with the Titans boasting three shooters of the same caliber.

No. 15 Monarch vs. No. 18 Denver South, 6 p.m.

A January victory over Legacy handed the Coyotes (18-5) the Front Range League title outright in a strong league that enjoyed nine teams with winning records. They've been a nightmare to defend against, with four boys netting over 11 points an outing and an eight-game winning streak beginning on Jan. 30. They'll have to find a way to shut down Denver South's Dominic Rhoades-Martinez (18 ppg) and Jonathan Trease (13 ppg).

No. 17 Broomfield at No. 16 Overland, 6 p.m.

Despite a 17-6 record (11-4 league), the Eagles finished fifth in the FRL to further illuminate the toughness of that conference. They settled right in the midrange of the 6A bracket and leaned on three double-digit scorers, most notably junior Andrew Effland (13.8 ppg). They'll have to keep sharp focus on Overland's Siraaj Ali, who's been dropping 16.8 points a game.

No. 31 Fairview at No. 2 Mountain Vista, 6:30 p.m.

The Knights (13-10) squeaked into the postseason, mainly thanks to their strength of schedule, and house three incredibly strong scorers with junior Spencer Brown (19.6 ppg), junior Bekkem Kritza (17.5) and senior Owen Foster (14.2). They'll face a tough road to the second round against a Golden Eagles team that averages nearly 69 points every night.

Class 5A

No. 5 Silver Creek vs. No. 28 Frederick, 6:30 p.m.

The Raptors (19-4) have proven themselves elite among squads north of Denver, thanks in large part to sophomore Luke Schmeeckle (13.3 ppg), senior Gabe Selby (13.3) and senior Ashoka Surkhang (11.5). Frederick (13-10) struggled somewhat through its schedule after losing most of its scoring corps, but has seen J.J. Strojinc surge, especially in Frederick's win over Northridge on Jan. 30 when he scored 53 points.

No. 8 Mead vs. No. 25 Pueblo West, 6 p.m.

The Mavericks (17-6) boasts three strong shooters this year, but senior Dominic Reed McLawrence has provided them with the most well-rounded game (12.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists) as they rose above most of their NCAC foes. The Cyclones (15-8), however, have a versatile starting five that will require an extra defensive look from Mead.

No. 16 Longmont vs. No. 17 Pueblo South, 6:30 p.m.

The Trojans (15-8) earned the last bid to host a first-round game, and have gained an extra spark as of late thanks to the reemergence of senior Cole Corner (12.3 ppg), who incrementally returned from injury. The once-mighty Colts (13-10) possess the best shooter in the entire state, Maurice Austin, who nets an absurd 31.7 points per game.

Class 4A

No. 12 Peak to Peak vs. No. 21 James Irwin, 7 p.m.

The Pumas (14-9) have enjoyed the offensive stylings of junior Elijah Eschmeyer (15.7 ppg), sophomore Tysen Burton (13.9) and senior Grant Boonstra (13.9). They'll welcome a Jaguars team (14-7) that recently suffered a five-game losing streak, and will have to shut down the aptly named Matthew Lebron (23.9 ppg).

No. 13 Holy Family vs. No. 20 Denver West, 6 p.m.

The Tigers (13-10) once again felt the burn of their NCAC slate, but don't hold that against them. They cruised to the Class 4A state title last year after a similar regular-season result. Senior Gabe Tafoya (14.8 ppg) took the reins this year. They'll have to concentrate on shutting down the Cowboys' (18-5) top two scorers, both of which average 15 points or more.