Tough week drops valley teams in rankings

(VC/Jiron)

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) released the new girls basketball rankings for the week. This week was a difficult one for valley teams and multiple top ten squads played difficult games in their schedule and saw their rankings suffer for it.

3A – Intermountain League (IML)

4. Centauri (10-1) – 69

It was an up and down weekend for Centauri.  The Falcons rode a high getting a road win against Monte Vista by a score of 69-22. The Falcons followed that by suffering their first loss of the season in a 49-35 tilt with perineal 3A heavyweight Pagosa Springs (8-2, 2-0 IML).

As a result, the CHSAA coaches poll saw the Pirates leapfrog Centauri and take their No. 3 spot bumping Centauri to No. 4.

It’s back to the grind for the Falcons. The Falcons are in the heart of their league schedule and will be careful not to overlook the likes of Bayfield (3-4, 0-1 IML) and Montezuma-Cortez (3-6, 1-1 IML) this weekend for a meeting with rival Alamosa (9-1, 1-0 IML) on Jan. 31st.

5. Alamosa (9-1) – 68

The second-place finish at the Glenwood Springs Demon Invite in December still stands as Alamosa’s only loss of the season. As far as the first loss of the season goes the Moose could do worse than Montrose who was formerly top-ten ranked in the 4A class.

Since then the Moose have been handling their business with three straight wins entering Saturday’s contest with Monte Vista. Saturday night Alamosa junior Emily Lavier re-broke the girls single-game 3-point record dropping 12 shots from long distance to raise the bar from 11, set the night before by Carly Dilworth of Denver South.

That said the Moose still saw their ranking fall from the week before, going from the No. 4 team to the No. 5 largely because of Pagosa Springs’ win over Centauri. Alamosa took on Bayfield on Tuesday night in a game postponed from last Saturday and earned a 50-35 win.

This weekend the Moose will get their shot at last year’s IML Champion Pagosa Springs. Alamosa will face Montezuma-Cortez (3-6, 1-1 IML) on Friday the 24th as a precursor to their meeting with Pagosa Springs (8-2, 2-0 IML) on Saturday. Alamosa will have homecourt advantage for both games.

2A – Southern Peaks League (SPL)

5. Del Norte (8-1) – 80

The Tigers have kept their nose to the grindstone and done a good job building a 4-game winning streak.

Despite keeping their win streak alive the Tigers haven’t had much in the way of ranked teams on the schedule since their game with Centauri at La Junta. For that the Tigers didn’t see their rankings drop by their own hand, rather a shakeup at the top of the rankings is what moved the Tigers from the No. 4 spot.

Limon (8-1) upset the formerly top-ranked Holyoke Dragons (9-1) 34-31 and as a result, the Badgers went from the fifth to the second spot in the rankings, pushing everyone else out.

Del Norte’s biggest challenge through their league schedule will be rival Sanford (5-4, 1-0 SPL) who are stronger than their record shows. Del Norte and Sanford played for third place at the 2019 state tournament with the Tigers taking the trophy.  This week Del Norte will take on Sargent (5-4, 1-0 SPL) on Friday the 24th and Custer County (4-5, 0-1 SPL) Saturday the 25th

8. Sanford (5-4) – 37

Sanford has lasted through the most difficult part of their schedule and have done it with a winning record to boot. Of the 9 games that began Sanford’s schedule, they’ve played six 3A class opponents and of those, four are still ranked in the top ten. Those four games account for all of Sanford’s losses this season.

The CHSAA coaches poll seems to show the potential for Sanford as they transition into their league schedule. Sanford is the lone team with less than 6 wins in the rankings and currently sits at No. 8 with 37 points in the polls.

Now that Sanford will be playing all of their games closer to home everyone will get a better idea of what they’re capable of within the 2A class. Sanford gave a sample of that capability with a 60-6 show of force over South Park on Friday the 17th.

Look for Sanford to begin their ascent through the rankings as they work their way to a highly anticipated rivalry game with Del Norte (8-1) on Feb. 1.

1A – Southern Peaks League (SPL)

6.Sangre de Cristo (5-2) – 77

The T-Birds have played three games since Christmas break and they find themselves in a bit of a rough patch. It started Jan. 10 against the upstart Watermeloneers. Rocky Ford (11-0) has been on the warpath and currently holds the No. 1 spot in girls 2A basketball according to the CHSAA Coaches Poll. Rocky Ford dispatched Sangre de Cristo handily 40-23.

Then the Thunderbirds hosted the competitive Del Norte Tigers the following night. Del Norte followed suit, downing Sangre by a 48-44 score. Despite both losses happening up a class to top ten opponents Sangre de Cristo still took a hit in the rankings. Sangre de Cristo dropped from the No. 3 spot last week and now holds the sixth spot in 1A basketball.

Sangre de Cristo has a chance to get back on track now that they begin their league schedule. The T-Bird’s first chance to correct course will be against Cotopaxi on Jan. 24 then they’re on the road against Antonito on the 25th.

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