Here’s a list of notable performances in Class 5A and Class 4A boys/girls basketball for the week culminating on Saturday, Dec. 23.
Class 5A Boys
Legend 67, Cherry Creek 63 on Friday: The Titans (6-3) got their biggest win of the season thus far over the Bruins in the semifinals of the Cherry Creek Holiday Classic, as junior guard Sufyan Elkannan and senior shooting guard Brody McCord led an all-around team effort. Cherry Creek (5-3) was coming off a blowout win over Pine Creek to open the tournament, but Legend upended them on their own floor to earn a showdown against Mountain Vista in Saturday’s championship.
No. 2 Denver East, No. 8 Grandview shine at Tarkanian Classic: Both squads repped the Centennial State well in Las Vegas, as the Angels (Select bracket) and the Wolves (Orleans bracket) made it to their respective semifinals on Friday night. There, Denver East (9-0) outlasted Desert Vista (Ariz.) in a back-and-forth battle, while Grandview (7-0) won in overtime over Sheldon (Calif.) by way of junior Davon Walker’s buzzer beater. Both play in the finals on Saturday afternoon at Bishop Gorman.
Class 4A Boys
Ponderosa 64, Centaurus 47 on Thursday: First-year coach Max Schuman’s squad, whose lone setback this season came to No. 3 Pueblo South, continues to roll. The Mustangs (8-1), behind the play of senior power forward Connor Hawk and senior center Brennan Hicks, are abusing teams in the paint while also proving effective outside thanks to the likes of senior shooting guard Matt Krage. Meanwhile the Warriors (3-6) look to rebound in January following five straight losses to close the month.
No. 3 Pueblo South 70, Windsor 62 on Friday: The Colts (9-2) jumped out to a 10-point lead after one quarter, and that fast start proved to be the difference in the victory over the upstart Wizards (5-4). Senior Tyler McGinnis had 19 points for Windsor, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Pueblo South scoring combination of senior forward Marcell Barbee, senior shooting guard David Caporicci and senior guard Lawrence Ramos — all of whom finished in double digits.
Class 5A Girls
No. 4 Ralston Valley 74, Broomfield 36 on Tuesday: The Mustangs (6-1) head into the winter break with a gust of momentum, as with the blowout of the Eagles (3-6) the team has reeled off six straight victories after losing to No. 2 Grandview to open the season. Ralston Valley senior Delaynie Byrne — a former Broomfield standout — led all scorers with 21 points, while junior Shelby Nichols tacked on 16 and junior Steph Peterson led the Eagles with 10.
No. 5 Lakewood 63, Fossil Ridge 46 on Wednesday: Even with one of their stars sidelined for the season by a knee injury, the Tigers (7-2) continue to prove their place among the classification’s elite, as they did again in a trouncing of the Sabercats (6-3). Lakewood’s usual suspects, senior forward Camilla Emsbo and senior point guard Hannah Renstrom, each balled out with 15 and 13 points respectively. But sophomore Nadia Trevizo led all scorers with 16 points, a sign of the Tigers’ depth.
Class 4A Girls
Standley Lake 59, Chatfield 47 on Wednesday: The Gators (8-1) put the classification on notice with the defeat of the 5A Chargers (6-3), who with junior Emma Talbot are a respectable squad in their own right. Standley Lake senior Savannah Martin recorded a double-double with 31 points and a dozen rebounds, while sophomore Lexi Stout contributed 16 points as well in a balanced effort from the Gators that indicates they just may have what it takes to contend for the 4A Jeffco title.
No. 1 Pueblo West 49, No. 10 Holy Family 38 on Friday: Following a narrow win over Windsor on Thursday, the top-ranked Cyclones (8-0) passed another early-season litmus test with their defeat of the talented Tigers (7-2), who had won seven games in a row coming in. Pueblo West’s victory is sure to propel them into the second half of the season, when the Cyclones take on another undefeated team, 3A Colorado Springs Christian, on Jan. 4 in the first round of the Rampart Tournament at the Broadmoor World Arena.