ALAMOSA — District tournaments are fast approaching, but there is still plenty of time for teams to jostle for position before then. Some teams from the valley have nestled in nicely and will likely be coasting into March. Others have some work to do and will be making a mad dash to the post-season.
CHSAA’s RPI rankings are accurate as of press time and are unofficial until the end of the regular season. To check in on rankings be sure to visit CHSAANow.com.
6. Centauri (9-2)
A four game winning streak to start the season has done wonders to boost the Falcons in the rankings. Though the first winning streak for the Falcons was derailed at the La Junta Holiday Shootout by Del Norte, the Falcons began the streak anew that same weekend easily beating Fowler (3-7) to claim third place and knocking off their next four opponents including Delta who currently occupies third place.
A new obstacle has been laid at Centauri’s feet. In Monday’s Intermountain (IML) game against Pagosa Springs (8-2) the Falcons fell behind early and were unable to close the distance. Now the Pirates hold the head to head advantage and to even things up Centauri will need to take one from the Pirates in Pagosa Springs. Alamosa also presents a set of challenges for the Falcons as games between the two are always competitive. Compound that by the fact that the Moose are looking sharp this year and that’s another two games Centauri will need to be focused for.
Despite stresses from the Moose and Pirates, Centauri can expect positive results from their league schedule. With two games remaining against Bayfield, two against Montezuma-Cortez and one against Monte Vista that means five of the eight games on the slate are against opponents who have a combined record of 20-32.
13. Alamosa (7-3)
Dipping their toe into the league schedule Alamosa is already ahead of where they were last year. The win against Lamar (5-5) at the beginning of December has been a boost to their rankings. But Alamosa hasn’t stopped.
Right now the Mean Moose have put together a solid three game winning streak. Their road trip continues with a game at Montezuma-Cortez (3-5) that will likely have the Moose as the favorite.
After that Alamosa will be thrown in the deep end. Over the course of a week Alamosa will get a good chance to test themselves. Alamosa will face highly ranked Pagosa Springs and Centauri both games in hostile territory. Then to close the season the Moose will get rematches against both at home.
2. Del Norte (9-0)
The Tigers have been on a tear all season long. And the expectation is for the striped reign of terror to continue. Fueled by an incredibly potent offense Del Norte has gone up a class and taken down 3A teams like Centauri, Lamar and Salida. They’ve gone down a class to knock off contender Sangre de Cristo and they’ve already gotten a taste of what district play may look like with a 51-33 victory to claim first place at the La Junta Holiday Shootout over district rival Sanford.
Del Norte is fueled by junior, Kendra Parra. Parra is the number one scorer in the state posting an average 25.4 points per game and is ranked 14th in the state with 5.6 steals per game. But even when the Tigers don’t have the ball they’re equally dominant. Senior Lacie Jones posts an average of 12.4 rebounds per game, which has her ranked ninth in the state.
Entering the district portion of the schedule Del Norte has already dispatched their closest district competition, Sanford, by double digits. Aside from Sanford the rest of the league combines for a record of 15-33.
16. Sanford (6-3).
Sanford opened the season with a big win over 3A opponent Alamosa. But since then Sanford has been looking to come up big in a statement game. After the Alamosa win Sanford is 0-3 against winning teams but boasts a 6-0 record against losing teams.
However, even that stat is semi misleading being that those three losses were to the No. 1 ranked 3A team Pagosa Springs, the No. 4 ranked 3A team Centauri and the No. 2 ranked 2A team Del Norte.
Looking forward Sanford has two games slated against Del Norte. They will also meet a slew of opponents ranked no higher than 44th place according to RPI. Meaning aside from their meetings with the Tigers, the lone remaining meeting against a team that doesn’t currently sport a losing record will be with No. 26 South Park on Feb. 2nd.
5. Sangre de Cristo (7-1)
The Thunderbirds opened the season highly ranked according to CHSAA’s pre-season polls. Since then Sangre de Cristo has not disappointed.
Led by the scoring pair of Kylie Christensen and Jessica Slane the T-birds opened the season with a five game streak. On Dec. 15th Sangre de Cristo met Del Norte in a battle of undefeated teams. While they relented the game to the higher class home team, Sangre has since continued their winning ways knocking off 2A Rocky Ford and district rival Creede.
Sangre de Cristo won’t have to wait long for a quality opponent as they’re scheduled to visit Cotopaxi (9-1) this Friday then next week they’ll host La Veta (7-3) and Swink (8-1) on Friday and Saturday respectively.
25. Mountain Valley-Moffat (4-2)
The combined team of Mountain Valley and Moffat have made good on their schedule thus far to hold the number three spot in District 6. That puts them in esteemed company along with district leaders Sangre de Cristo and Cotopaxi.
Now the Cowboys and Indians will begin to face district opponents. The loss to Antonito (3-4) is no doubt concerning but Mountain Valley-Moffat will get a chance to redeem themselves when they face Cripple Creek-Victor (3-5) on Friday night in Cripple Creek. The Pioneers offer a similar challenge as the Trojans as their record and RPI ranking are both pretty close to Antonito.
That and Mountain Valley-Moffat will need all the momentum they can get heading into their road game against Cotopaxi Jan. 24th.