With the start of the prep basketball playoffs just around the corner, Cheyenne Mountain area teams could give their fans plenty to cheer about.
All 10 of the area’s boys and girls’ teams will make the postseason and play in various classifications: Cheyenne Mountain boys and girls (4A); Harrison boys and girls (4A); Sierra boys and girls (4A); Vanguard boys and girls (3A), Colorado Springs School boys and girls (2A).
“We’re continuing to prep for the playoffs,” said Cheyenne Mountain senior guard Jaedn Harrison. “It will be nice playing at home. Our crowd really brings us together.”
The Indians have ranked among the top teams in the state all season. They are 19-3 heading into Thursday’s regular-season finale against Lewis-Palmer. The last time the teams met, Jan. 23 at Lewis-Palmer, the Rangers rolled to a 96-61 victory.
“We’ve got L-P at our house this time, and we got to beat ’em,” Harrison said. “It’s going to be a tough game. We have to hustle back on defense, and we have to be ready to play.”
Lewis-Palmer (22-0) has already claimed the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference championship for the fourth consecutive season. The Rangers are ranked No. 1 in the RPI standings.
Both Lewis-Palmer and Cheyenne Mountain will have first-round byes when the playoffs begin next week.
The Cheyenne Mountain girls will play a first-round game. The top 48 teams in 4A qualify for the playoffs, with the top 16 receiving first-round byes.
Harrison’s boys will also receive a first-round bye in the 4A playoffs. The Panthers won the Metro League under first-year coach Eric Kaiser. The Panthers’ top scorer is Donta Dawson (17.1 points per game).
Harrison’s girls will play a first-round game on the road.
The Sierra boys will host a first-round game. The Stallions last won a state title in 2010. They also won in 2009.
Sierra’s girls earned a first-round bye. Junior D’nae Wilson leads the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game.
The Vanguard boys are hoping to win the school’s first state basketball championship. The Coursers are led by senior guard Seth Fuqua (he scored 41 points against Peyton on Feb. 2) and junior point guard Dominique Clifford.
Vanguard (17-2) is riding a 14-game winning streak. The 3A playoffs begin with district play. Vanguard is hoping to improve upon last year when it lost in the state quarterfinals.
The Vanguard girls also qualified for the district playoffs.
Both Colorado Springs School teams will be in the district playoffs. The boys’ top two scorers are senior Matt Chavez (12.6 points per game) and junior Luke Taylor (11.6).
The Kodiak girls also have two players in double figures in scoring: Sarina Mansour (11.5) and Whitney Richardi (10.5).