SAN LUIS VALLEY— Based on votes by coaches and select media members CHSAA ranks the top ten teams for each classification.
The Boys basketball rankings have been released and while many have earned votes for placing, Sangre de Cristo and Sanford are the only two teams to crack the top ten in their respective classes.
ALAMOSA -3 pts.
2017-18 was an up and down season for the Mean Moose. The boys entered the post season with a 17-2 record. In the district tournament Alamosa defeated Montezuma-Cortez to set up Alamosa-Bayfield 3. The Moose owned the record 2-0 heading into their third meeting with their league rival, but Bayfield took the district rematch 57-53.
In the State tournament Alamosa knocked off Cedaredge and Grand Valley to set up a fourth meeting with the Wolverines in the Great 8 portion of the State Tournament at Denver University. Bayfield eliminated Alamosa 42-38 en route to winning the state title.
Alamosa will look to christen new leaders this year as they graduated some key pieces from last year. Departing after the 2017-18 season were Alamosa’s top three scorers and top three rebounders. Looking forward Alamosa will likely lean on brothers Chad and Ian Jackson. With Angelo Ramirez, Ry Adams and Noah Romero gone.
According to 2017’s numbers Chad and Ian’s are Alamosa’s next top two scorers. Senior Chad put up 184 points while junior Ian put up 117 points both brothers hit at 43 percent. The Moose collected 3 points from votes and missed entering the rankings’ top ten.
6. Sanford- 31
Though Sanford is a couple of years removed from the three-championship dynasty from 2014-2017 the boys still enjoyed a reasonable amount of success this last year.
After starting 3-3 Sanford corrected course and finished the regular season 14-5. Sanford claimed the district title knocking off Del Norte in a 52-42 affair. With the district title in hand Sanford claimed the number eight seed, which granted them home court entering regional play. At regionals Sanford claimed a thrilling win over Sedgwick County to punch their ticket to the state tournament. Sanford would take eighth place at the State tournament in March.
Sanford is another team that will be ushering in a new era, having graduated their top scorers. Despite that Sanford will most likely adjust accordingly as they routinely distribute the wealth. Last year’s team registered 10 double-doubles by 10 different players and eight triple-doubles by eight different players meaning winning is a team effort.
Seniors Jakob Peterson and Thad Jackson will look to inherit the scoring title with the graduation of seniors. Peterson finished with 114 points and Jackson with 101 last season. Both boys share fifth place on last year’s team with 56 rebounds. Peterson will continue his role as three-point ace from last year when he finished with a 48 percent average from behind the stripe. Sanford’s first action will be against Alamosa in Sanford on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
Del Norte -17
The Tigers earned votes but were a couple of points shy of entering the top ten rankings. High expectations for Del Norte were dashed with an early exit from the post season in the regional tournaments.
The Tigers forced overtime with 2A’s eventual fourth place finisher - Highland, but still fell by a score of 81-76. With the departure of state ranked scorer Carlos Parra, those duties will go to seniors Izeah Peterson and Kade Glover.
Behind Parra last year, Peterson was Del Norte’s next highest scorer with 324 points, Glover placed third with 179. Glover had a penchant for finding windows to feed his teammates and was state ranked for assists garnering 139 in the 17-18 season.
In addition to being the Tiger’s second leading scorer Peterson also placed second on the team in rebounds and will likely look to lead in both categories this season. Del Norte goes to Monte Vista to start the season on November 29 at 8 p.m.
1. Sangre de Cristo -88
In the preseason poll the Thunderbirds earned seven first place votes and 88 points to place first in the preseason poll.
Last year the T-birds made it all the way to the State Tournament but were unable to register a win in the double elimination bracket. Despite that the same team that went 16-3 en route to post-seasonal tournaments will be returning all five starters.
Meaning the return of leading scorer Cole Christensen, the return of sniper Manuel Lopez, and the return of rebound leader Jake Smith.
Sangre de Cristo will host the Thunderbird Shootout to start the season with their first game against Dove Creek on Nov. 29 at 7:40 p.m.
In 17-18 the boys in blue had a great season taking a 16-3 record into the post-season. Of all the Valley teams that qualified for the post season last year, Creede went the furthest.
The Miners made it to the state tournament and took fourth place. While Creede lost their jack-of-all-trades in Isaac Borchers they will keep some other instrumental pieces. Senior Casper Freedle will look to return for one final ride. Freedle was a reliable perimeter shooter hitting 36 percent of his three-point attempts and placed second on the team with 348 points.
Fellow senior Colter Simon will look to step into Borchers’ old role. Simon posted a team best two-point shooting percentage of 53 percent and was second on the team in rebounds with 225 points.
Both Freedle and Simon tied for second on the team with 5 double-doubles each. Creede will be at the Thunderbird Shootout on Thursday morning Nov. 29 at 9:40 a.m. There they’ll be facing Custer County.