Boys hoops 1.jpg

BOYS

Class 5A

Colorado Springs Metro League

Doherty Spartans

Coach: Eric Steinert, third year

Last year: 10-14 (6-6 in CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Trey Carter, sr., G; AJ Guiao, jr., G; Michael Hall, sr., G/F; Lucas Moerman, sr., F; Schafer Reichart, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Brody Gish, jr., G; David Kelley, sr., F.

Outlook: “We return every player in our program except our one senior last year,” Steinert wrote. “We have a lot of experience that will hopefully pay off.”

Notes: Moerman, a 6-foot-10 post player, recently signed to play at Air Force.

So far (all through Tuesday): 0-1, lost to Grandview

Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans

Coach: Paul Mileto, third year

Last year: 18-8 (10-2 CSML), lost in third round of state

Returning starters: Keyshawn Maltbia, sr., SG; George Michael Shannon, sr., PG

Other top athletes: Isaac Berrier, sr., SG; Divante Lynch, jr., PG; Kaleb Mitchell, so., F/C Braydon Smith, so., SG; Treyshawn Tayler, sr., F; Isaiah Thompson, jr., F

Outlook: “We return six players from last year's CSML league championship team,” Mileto said. “Their 5A playoff experience is pushing the young players to compete daily. Competition breeds success!”

Notes: The Trojan coach shared that James Sanders, a 2019 F-FC graduate, made Denver's team as a walk-on. Maltbia is also 178 points away from 1,000 for his career, according to the F-FC coach.

Liberty Lancers

Coach: Roy Vieux, first year

Last year: 13-11 (8-4 CSML) lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Gus Rivas, sr., G/F

Other top athletes: Landon Dvorsky, so., PG; Jordan McKay, so., G/F

Outlook: “We have a young but energetic, hardworking team,” Vieux said. “Our team expectations and team goals are set high and it will be fun working to obtain them.”

Palmer Terrors

Coach: James Grantz, 31st year

Last year: 14-10 (8-4 CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Kolben Barney, jr., F

Other top athletes: Brett Downs, sr., F; Jaiden Flowers, so., G; Clayton Myers, sr., F; Matt Sims, sr., G

Outlook: “While we are replacing three all-league players (including last year's player of the year), I love our youth and hunger,” Grantz said. “We are probably the youngest team in the league (seven of our 11 varsity players are juniors or younger with five sophomores) and we are not afraid to play hard and compete.”

Pine Creek Eagles

Coach: Joe Rausch, 10th year

Last year: 13-11 (4-8 CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Kedarian Maul, sr., C; Kenny Pham, sr., PG; Peyton Westfall, sr., SG.

Other top athletes: Jake Blunt, sr., PG; Adrian Dominguez, sr., G; Perry Guidry, sr., F; Blake Hatchell, sr., SF; Cameron Horton, sr., F; Colton Yaeger, sr., C.

Outlook: “Coaching a big group of seniors who want to sacrifice for each other to make this journey (the season) together,” Rausch wrote. “They are a fun group to be around.”

Rampart Rams

Coach: J’on St. Clair, 11th year

Last year: 4-19 (2-10 CSML)

Returning starters: Cole Bowen, jr., PG; Cale Cormaney, jr., SF; Jaiden Sanders, sr., SG; Colby Shepherd, jr., SF

Outlook: “I'm excited to get back to playing Rampart basketball,” St. Clair said. “Playing hard, playing together and having fun! (Our) goal is to make it back to the playoffs.”

Pikes Peak Athletic Conference

Vista Ridge Wolves

Coach: Joe Hites, 35th year

Last year: 10-14 (7-7 PPAC), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Trey Fowler, sr., C; Jabez Hasberry, sr., G.

Other top athletes: Xavier Cisneros, so., G; Andrew Johnson, so., G; Kayon Lacy, sr., F; Kobey Matarazzo, jr., G; Caden Monson, so., F; Alex Rasmusen, so., F.

Outlook: “Love these kids,” Hites wrote. “Looking forward to the journey!”

Class 4A

Colorado Springs Metro League

Canon City Tigers

Coach: Adam Pierce, 10th year

Last year: 15-10 (10-6 CSML), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Ranger Bolton, sr., G; Seth Newton, jr., G; Josh Rall, jr., PG.

Outlook: “We are excited about this upcoming season to build off of last season,” Pierce said. “We are looking to be a top-three team in our league.”

So far: 1-0, beat Pueblo Centennial

Coronado Cougars

Coach: David Thomas, fifth year

Last year: 9-17 (4-8 CSML), lost in third round of state

Returning starters: Jalen Austin, jr., F; Ladarius Mays, sr., G; Brycen Scherr, sr., F; William White, jr., F.

Outlook: “We are coming off the third-best playoff finish in school history and want to continue to build,” Thomas wrote. “The majority of our core played together all summer, and we saw real growth in that group. We will play an up-tempo style of basketball that should be fun to watch.”

Notes: The Cougars are the only 4A team competing in the 5A CSML.

Elizabeth Cardinals

Coach: Aaron Hedman, fourth year

Last year: 3-20 (2-14 CSML)

Returning starters: Nate Lipka, sr.; Vincent Weber, sr.

Other top athletes: Tyson Griffen, sr.; Tristan Smith, jr.; Sam Speicher, jr.

Outlook: “The soul of our team,” excites Hedman, who noted SOUL is an acronym for the program’s four pillars.

So far: 0-1, lost to Mitchell

Harrison Panthers

Coach: Eric Kaiser, second year

Last year: 21-5 (15-1 CSML), lost in state quarterfinals

Returning athletes: Tayzhean Archuleta, jr., SG; Donta Dawson, jr., G; Xavier Sterling, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Jaylean Frank, sr., PG; CJ Harris, sr., G; Jaseim Mitchell, jr., F; Makeah Scippio, sr., F.

Outlook: “(I’m) grateful for an opportunity to build relationships and grow with life experiences on and off the basketball court,” Kaiser submitted. “The upcoming memories the student-athletes will create! Facing adversity or as we say "Always Something" and attacking it head on with a positive outlook.”

Mesa Ridge Grizzlies

Coach: Yantz Robinson, 13th year

Last year: 6-17 (5-11 CSML)

Returning starters: Dillon Campos, sr., G; Andres Esquivel, sr., G; Keion White, sr., F.

Other top athletes: JJ Dickerson, jr., G; Nate Richardson, jr., G; Bryan Shaw, jr., G; Elijah Warren, sr., F.

Outlook: “We have a good core of players that are up for the challenge of the season and are determined to make the best of this season,” Robinson said. “They play for each other and not for self and that will go a long way for us.”

The Classical Academy Titans

Coach: Leo Swiontek, second year

Last year: 17-7 (13-3 CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Kobe Katayama, jr., PG; Micah Lamberth, sr., G; Tyler Trogstad, sr., F; Kade Walker, sr., F.

Other top athletes: Jack Carpenter, sr., G/F; Travis Kautz, jr., PF; Cade Palmer, so., SG; Grayson Tanton, sr., F; Cade Weidey, so., SG.

Outlook: “After going 17-7 last season and only losing one senior, this TCA team has the opportunity to really shine with four returning starters,” Swiontek said. “Over the summer the team displayed a sense of urgency and selflessness with each knowing/learning their roles, going 21-5.”

Notes: Lamberth and Kade Walker return as three-year varsity starters.

Widefield Gladiators

Coach: Alex Johnson Jr., second year

Last year: 15-10 (11-5 CSML), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Randall Days, sr., G/F; Tim Mewborn, Sr., G; Donte Scott, sr., F/C.

Other top athletes: Quavaun Johnson, jr., F/C; Anthony Roberts, jr., G/F.

Outlook: The group of seniors leaders that I have this year have worked hard during the offseason in preparation for the upcoming season,” Johnson said. "They want their Legacy to be one of hard work, commitment, and family. They have bought into my program’s core values of respect, integrity, commitment, honesty both on and off the basketball court.”

So far: 0-1

Woodland Park Panthers

Coach: John Paul Geniesse, 15th year

Last year: 6-17 (5-11 CSML)

Returning starters: Joey Babin, sr., G; Bryson Cox, jr., F; Markus Esielein, sr., G; Chris Riley, sr., F.

Other top athletes: Tyger Ciccarelli, jr., G; Hunter Peel, sr., G; Vaughn Rea, sr., G; Nick Warren, sr., F.

Outlook: “We are a senior-heavy team with seven seniors, we return the core group of players from last year’s team and are excited to play in a great conference with amazing talent,” Geniesse said.

So far: 0-1, lost to Pueblo County

Pikes Peak Athletic Conference

Air Academy Kadets

Coach: Barry Clark, 12th year

Last year: 12-12 (7-7 PPAC), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Tim Marshall, sr., G.

Other top athletes: Jared Clark, sr., G; Thad Dewing, sr., G; Gavin Gallegos, so., G; Adin Schwenke, sr., G.

Outlook: “New look, need to build,” Clark said.

Cheyenne Mountain Indians

Coach: Elgin Fitzgerald, fifth season

Last year: 20-6 (10-4 PPAC), lost in state quarterfinals

Returning starters: Jaedn Harrison, sr., G/F; Brad Helton, jr., G; Javonte Johnson, sr., G/F.

Other top athletes: Xavey Bzdek, sr., F; Wade Jones, jr., SG; Blake Lewis, jr., PG.

Outlook: “Coaching a group of hard-working players with a high level of talent and willingness to improve,” excited Fitzgerald heading into the season.

Notes: Johnson recently signed to play college basketball at New Mexico.

So far: 1-0, beat Widefield

Discovery Canyon Thunder

Coach: Paul Campbell, fourth year

Last year: 11-14 (6-8 PPAC), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Ethan Hall, sr., G; Jaxon Smith, sr., G; Daryn Whisman, sr., G

Other top athletes: Brandon Clawson, sr., C; Gage Clawson, sr., F; Jack Lattanzi, sr., G; Trent Pasvogel, so., F; Justin Pruitt, so., G; Zach Surface, sr., F

Outlook: “We have a senior team with a lot of leadership,” Campbell said. “Probably the most experienced team we have had in a long time. We are excited about this season and opportunity to compete.”

Falcon Falcons

Coach: Mark Watley, seventh season

Last year: 4-19 (2-12 PPAC)

Returning starters: Mason Black, so., G; Mason Hamlin, so., G; Ethan Royx, sr., PG

Other top athletes: Coleton Pitts, sr., F/C

Outlook: “Returning senior class that has a great work ethic, as well as an added year of maturity after last season’s 4-19 finish for the two returning freshmen starters from last season,” is what Watley says has him most excited about the season.

Lewis-Palmer Rangers

Coach: Bill Benton, seventh year

Last year: 28-0 (14-0 PPAC), state champions

Returning starters: N/a

Other top athletes: Kyle Berry, sr., G/F; Brady Jones, so., F/C; Cam Lowe, so., G/F; Noah Ragsdale, jr., G; Eddie Speller, jr., F; Colin Westfall, jr., PG

Outlook: “A very new group to the varsity experience,” Benton said. “A very talented group though, they will figure out how to play for and with each other. Just need to get adjusted to varsity size, speed and athleticism.”

Palmer Ridge Bears

Coach: Nick Mayer, 12th year

Last year: 8-16 (5-9 PPAC), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Brian McCarthy, sr., G; Wes McEvoy, sr., F; Grant Renwick, sr., F.

Other top athletes: Tyler Calhoun, sr., G; Gabe Hanson, jr., PG; Trey Jones, sr., G.

Outlook: “The opportunity to work with such high-character young men,” is what Mayer said is exciting about this season. “They are competitive, hard working and very close off the court.”

Sand Creek Scorpions

Coach: Rob Hawkins, fourth year

Last year: 9-15 (5-9 PPAC), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Izaiah Jordan, sr., G; Konnor Morgan, jr., C; Markus Ramirez, jr., SG.

Other top athletes: Isiah Cox, sr., G/F; Greg Garnett, jr., PG.

Outlook: “It's the last year the PPAC will look like this for 4A,” Hawkins wrote. “In my opinion, it's been the most competitive 4A league in the state. We have some really good teams in our league again this year. It's the last time we will play our rival Vista Ridge (5A) twice in a season.

So far: 1-0, beat Pueblo West

Class 3A

Tri Peaks League

Ellicott Thunderhawks

Coach: Brian Enloe, first year

Last year: 2-17 (0-12 TPL)

Returning starters: N/A

Colorado Springs Christian School Lions

Coach: Dave Erickson, first year

Last year: 18-5 (10-2 TPL), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Joshua Erickson, sr., F; Caleb Stockton, jr., G

Outlook: “Seeing this new group of players come together, learn, and improve,” excites Erickson.

Manitou Springs Mustangs

Coach: Brian Vecchio, second year

Last year: 11-12 (8-4 TPL), lost in district

Returning starters: Joey Allen, sr., G; Joah Armour, jr., F; Isaiah Thomas, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Caleb Allen, so., G; Grayson Bodor, sr., G.

Outlook: “Returning eight players from a young team that has gained some valuable experience playing a good nonconference schedule,” excites Vecchio heading into the season.

St. Mary’s Pirates

Coach: Jim Masterson, 43rd year

Last year: 17-6 (10-2 TPL), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Sam Howery, so., PG; Luke Stockelman, jr., G/F.

Other top athletes: RayShawn Dearmon, sr., G; Evan Faber, sr., G/F; Cyrus Hernandez, so., G; John Klein, jr., F; Andon Mindrup, so., G/F; Bert Muehlbauer, sr., F.

Outlook: “Excited for this team to come together and see what we can achieve ... hoping to contend for the Tri Peaks league championship,” Masterson said.

The Vanguard School Coursers

Coach: Joe Wetters, 10th year

Last year: 24-3, (12-0 TPL), lost in state championship

Returning starters: Dominique Clifford, sr., G; Joseph Padilla, sr., G.

Other top athletes: Ryan Lair-Douchinsky, jr., F; Guillermo Morales, sr., F.

Outlook: “Opportunity for younger kids to step in and make a difference at varsity level,” Wetters said of what excites him heading into the season. “Lost most of starters from the second-place team last season, so new faces will have to continue winning ways.”

Class 2A

Black Forest League

Calhan Bulldogs

Coach: Ryan Carter, eighth year

Last year: 4-16 (2-5 BFL), lost in district

Returning starters: Brandon Eglinton, jr., F.

Outlook: Carter said he’s excited about his hard-working group.

Colorado Springs School Kodiaks

Coach: Tony Little, 37th year

Last year: 11-9 (3-4 BFL), lost in district

Returning starters: Spencer Becker, sr., G; Kyle Jarolimek, sr., G; Luke Taylor, sr., F.

Other top athletes: Ben McCurdy, jr., G/F.

Outlook: “Ensure my seniors have a great season and enjoy their time in the program,” Little said about what excites him about the season. “Promote a sense of pride in their efforts and maintain friendships that will last forever.”

Peyton Panthers

Coach: Jedd Sims, fifth year

Last year: 14-9 (6-1 BFL), lost in regional

Returning starters: AJ Lashley, so., G; Brennen Meyers, jr., G; Gavin Miller, jr., F.

Other top athletes: Gibson Gellerman, so., G; CJ Lashley, so., F.

Outlook: “Should be a fun year with most of our players returning,” Sims wrote. “Kids are excited for another chance to compete for a league and district title.”

Notes: The 2018-19 Black Forest League champions are looking for their third league title in four years.

Thomas MacLaren School Highlanders

Coach: Jeff Cook, second year

Last year: 9-12 (4-3 BFL) lost in regional

Returning starters: Max Ambuul, jr., G; Nedas Cortez, jr., G; Kieran McGuire, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Tomas Baltzar, so., PF/C; Michael Brophy, so., SF.

Outlook: “Six players with extensive varsity experience,” is what Cook said has him most excited.

Class 1A

Black Forest League

Evangelical Christian Academy Eagles

Coach: Bob Wingett, 24th year

Last year: 21-4 (6-0), fifth in 1A

Returning starters: Judah Alexander, sr., F/C; Jonah Aragon, jr., F; Jason Holt, sr., G; Sam Mote, sr., G.

Other top athletes: Landon Bunker, sr., G; Andrew DeRuiter, so., F; Michael Kim, fr., G; Tyson Rawlings, sr., G; RJ Wagner, so., F.

Outlook: “We finished fifth in the state (1A) last year and we bring back four starters,” Wingett submitted. “These boys will have a lot of experience. They work hard and they keep pushing to grow both on and off the floor. I am excited to see what kind of ride these boys take the ECA family on this year.”

GIRLS

Class 5A

Colorado Springs Metro League

Doherty Spartans

Coach: Patrick McKiernan, 10th year

Last year: 16-9 (10-2 CSML), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Caylee deWitt, sr., F/C; Aujanne Latimer, sr., F; Makenzie Noll, jr., G; Payton Sterk, so., G.

Other top athletes: Taryn Lindsey, jr., G.

Outlook: “Four returning starters,” is what McKiernan said excites him, while “Taryn Lindsey will be a great addition.”

Notes: The Spartans will host their first home game in their new gym Thursday.

So far (all through Tuesday): 0-1, lost to Regis Jesuit

Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans

Coach: LouAnn Guiden, fourth year

Last year: 18-6 (10-2 CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Torie Bass, jr., PG; Danae Christensen, sr., F/C

Other top athletes: Christina Cespedes, jr., G; Carolynn Dail, sr., SG; Tauja Durham, sr., F/C; Jordan Hutchinson, jr., G; Mackenzie Patterson, so., G; Shawnee Phillips, jr., G; Camryn Rigdon, jr., G; Aylonna Robinson, jr., F; Miranda Soto, sr., SG; Amara Standridge, jr. F; RaeKyiah Williams, sr., F;

Outlook: “What excites me about this season is the versatility that we will have as well as the ability to work well together,” Guiden said. “These girls have put in a lot of work to prepare for this season.”

So far: 2-0, beat Legacy and Legend

Liberty Lancers

Coach: Monty Taylor, 24th year

Last year: 16-9 (9-3), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Abby Cryderman, sr., G/F; Taylor Gossage, jr., F/C; Talia Lollich, sr., G; Lyida Marshall, sr., G/F.

Outlook: “Watching the new mix with old,” excites Taylor. “We should have an interesting and competitive team.”

So far: 0-1, lost to Fort Collins

Rampart Rams

Coach: Justin Abbott, second year

Last year: 3-20, (2-10 CSML)

Returning starters: Kaylee Leighton, sr., F/C; Jayda Randle, jr., G; Kenni Wriendt, jr., G

Other top athletes: Hannah Benoit, so., G; Hannah Howard, sr., F/C; Ginette Mauricio Rivera, jr., G; Nicole Mauricio Rivera, jr., G; Veronica Ortega Gomez, jr., G; Morgan Ortiz, jr., G; Hadleigh Richardson, so., F/C; Kaylee Sheets, so., G; Emma Todd, jr., F/C

Outlook: “Coming off a season where two players had true varsity experience, I'm excited for the depth and opportunity our current ladies had last year,” Abbott said. “Even though the year was challenging, we developed several ladies to make a big impact for this season.”

Palmer Terrors

Coach: Dave Shackelford, 24th year

Last year: 5-18 (1-11 CSML)

Returning starters: Jai Jordan, sr., G; Emily Schumacher, jr., G/F

Other top athletes: Jazelle Burney, sr., G/F; Jabrie (Zion) Cantres, jr., F/C; Halle Gonzalez, jr., G; Alyssa Rodriguez, fr., G

Outlook: “The exciting young talent, and the work they put in with the assistant coaches in the offseason,” excites Shackelford.

Notes: Shackelford’s assistants are all former student-athletes at Palmer: Erik Trujillo (boys’ basketball/football, 2000); Kylie Berry (girls’ basketball, 2008); Abi Torres-Drozd (girls’ basketball, 2016).

Pine Creek Eagles

Coach: Janean Jubic, fourth year

Last year: 6-17 (4-8 CSML)

Returning starters: Amelia Carlile, jr.; Jordyn Gutierrez, jr.; Lola Kuehn, jr.; Orianna Martin, sr.

Other top athletes: Madelyn Blazo, so.; Maddie Miller, sr.; Haley Murdock, sr.; Brynae Stewart, fr.

Outlook: “I have a great group of young women,” Jubic said. “They walk in the gym each day ready to get after it and work hard. They are selfless and care about each other. Our parent support and overall energy is fantastic. I'm proud to coach them each day!”

Notes: The Eagles will host a night for first responders and military Jan. 9.

Pikes Peak Athletic Conference

Vista Ridge Wolves

Coach: Kim Carl, third year

Last year: 1-22 (0-14 PPAC)

Returning starters: Kaitlyn Anders, jr., PG; Nya Hancock, jr., G; Jayden Lacy, so., G; Neveah Lewis, jr., F/C; Taylor Wortkoetter, jr., F.

Other top athletes: Serenity Campbell, sr., G; Jadan Cooley, so., G; Shelby Gabrielson, jr., F/C; Aaliyah Key, jr., F; Taya McDanel, fr., G

Outlook: “We are loving the work ethic and selflessness of this group of young ladies,” Carl said. “They are hungry to learn and perform and it's going to be exciting to see the things they accomplish as a unit this season.”

Class 4A

Colorado Springs Metro League

Coronado Cougars

Coach: Bryan Earls, third season

Last year: 11-13 (6-6 CSML), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Milena Cheney, jr., G/F; Hope Earls, jr., G; Sarah Ford, sr., G; Sanaya Jones, jr., G/F; Madi Leahy, sr., G; Tinah Muhammad, jr., G;

Other top athletes: Danielle Contreras, sr., G/F; Sofia Merrill, jr., G/F; Anna Weiss, jr., G.

Outlook: “We return six players who started more than two games on varsity last year and we added two from last year's JV for some much-needed depth in our varsity lineup,” Earls said. “We have some talented sophomores and we have a deep freshman class with the potential to help us in a real way not only at the C and JV levels but expect to see some of them at critical times at the varsity level.”

Mesa Ridge Grizzlies

Coach: Kaitlyn Mileto, first season

Last year: 19-6 (15-1 CSML), lost in third round of state

Returning starters: Serin Dunne, sr., G; Monet Hubbard, sr., G; Jada Thompson, sr., G.

Other top athletes: Taleiyah Gibbs, fr., F; Marissa Spencer, jr., F/C.

Outlook: “I am excited for the talent we have in our program,” Mileto said. “We will have a strong core of returning players to go along with strong newcomers who work extremely hard and are highly competitive. The girls are eager to compete at a high level.”

So far: 1-0, beat Pueblo East

Mitchell Marauders

Coach: Chris Gunn, 16th year

Last year: 6-17 (2-14 CSML)

Outlook: “Fresh start with new players,” excites Gunn.

So far: 1-0, beat Elizabeth

Sierra Stallions

Coach: Joe Williams, ninth season

Last year: 17-9 (11-5 CSML), lost in third round of state

Returning starters: Azaria Lacour, sr., G; Annalisa Melito, sr., F; D’nae Wilson, sr., G

Other top athletes: Drew Girling, sr., F; Ariana Reyes, jr. G

Outlook: "Each year is different,” Williams said. “Looking forward to going to battle and bond with the players. We have some girls that will need to take the next step forward in basketball growth.”

So far: 1-0, beat Thomas Jefferson

The Classical Academy Titans

Coach: Frank Haist, fourth year

Last year: 18-7 (12-4 CSML), lost in third round of state

Returning starters: Kaelen Boyles, jr., F

Other top athletes: Shenna Daum, sr., G; Jaedyn Ryba, jr., G; Sydney Teel, sr., F; Rebecca Thompson, sr., G

Outlook: “Believe it or not I'm excited for the challenge we have this year. We graduated 10 seniors last year. We scored 52 points a game and the seniors took 46 points with them,” Haist said. “We have one returning starter and one other returning full varsity player. We are young in age and experience, and we expect to reload and not rebuild. And so I am very excited about the challenge of competing at a high level with this young, coachable group of girls.”

Woodland Park Panthers

Coach: Craig Macari, first year

Last year: 7-16 (6-10 CSML)

Outlook: We will play disciplined, hard and scrappy,” Macari said.

So far: 0-1, lost to George Washington

Pikes Peak Athletic Conference

Air Academy Kadets

Coach: Phil Roiko

Last year: 26-1 (14-0 PPAC), lost in state semifinal

Returning starters: Kylee Blacksten, sr., G; Annie Louthan, jr., PG.

Other top athletes: Capri Dewing, jr., G; Allie Hotz, jr., G/F; Katie Lark, jr., F; Brooke Moss, jr., G; Bri Sealy, so., F; Jessie Sims, jr., G

Outlook: “Finally getting our multisport athletes on the court again. We believe strongly that our players should be playing other sports,” Roiko said. “With only two players returning from our Final Four run last season the team is looking forward to developing some chemistry with one another."

Notes: Blacksten, a Colorado commit, is on pace to record more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career.

Discovery Canyon Thunder

Coach: Heath Kirkham, third year

Last year: 15-10 (10-4 PPAC), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Chloe Currier, so., PG; Kylie West, so., G.

Other top athletes: Mackenzie Seitz, sr., F/C.

Outlook: “Very young and lots of growth potential,” according to Kirkham.

Notes: The Thunder graduated Ashten Prechtel, the state’s career leader in rebounds who plays at Stanford.

Falcon Falcons

Coach: Tarike Adams, sixth year

Last year: 10-15 (4-10 PPAC), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Hannah Burg, jr., SG; Billie Fiore, so., PG; Trinity Grant, sr., F; Kilee Wood, jr., SG

Outlook: “This team worked extremely hard this summer and I am excited to see the results of their efforts,” Adams said.

Lewis-Palmer Rangers

Coach: Kristy Youngpeter, third year

Last year: 8-16 (6-8 PPAC), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Ally DeLange, sr., G; Riley Enget, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Griffin Greenwood, so., F; Emma Jones, fr., G; Mia O’Neal, jr., F; Kim Tucker, sr., G/F.

Outlook: “The Rangers’ depth, speed and team chemistry is back this year under a core group of ladies who have embraced the culture and process,” Youngpeter said.

Palmer Ridge Bears

Coach: Jason Boyer, second year

Last year: 12-13 (8-6 PPAC), lost in second round of state

Returning starters: Eden Bonser, sr., G; Sydney Day, sr., F; Hannah Dove, jr., G.

Other top athletes: Charlotte Hauke, so., G; Lacy Preeshl, so., PG; Mia Womack, so., G.

Outlook: “I am excited about the attitude and work ethic that this team has,” Boyer said. “We have two seniors and two juniors on the roster, so we have some underclassmen that will need to step up to the challenge.”

Class 3A

Tri Peaks League

Colorado Springs Christian School Lions

Coach: Cayla Fitzgerald, first season

Last year: 25-2 (10-0 TPL), lost in state championship

Returning starters: Corrie Anderson, sr., G; Elleah Hoekert, so., G.

Other top athletes: Hope Arnold, jr., G; Megan Johnston, so., F/C; Alicia Yee, sr., G.

Outlook: “Excited to be in a new school with a great group of young ladies who work hard every day and want to be better,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m also excited to watch this young team grow together and learn from each other throughout the year.”

James Irwin Jaguars

Coach: Anthony Byrd, eighth year

Last year: N/A

Returning starters: Aso Lefano, sr., F; Luisa Venegas, sr., G

Other top athletes: Ramiyah Byrd, fr., G/F; Kayleigh Summerville, fr., F

Outlook: “Looking forward to see(ing) with eight freshmen, two sophomores and three seniors what the season has in store for us,” the James Irwin coach said.

St. Mary’s Pirates

Coach: Mike Burkett, 21st season

Last year: 26-1 (9-1 TPL), state champions

Returning starters: Catherine Cummings, sr., G/F; Seneca Hackley, sr., SG; Ellie Hartman, so., SG; Josephine Howery, sr., PG; Brooklyn Valdez, sr., SG;

Other top athletes: Payton Kutz, so., G; Rachael Wilcox, sr., F.

Outlook: “Challenges in front of this group, working toward a third state championship,” is what Burkett said has him excited about the 2019-20 season. “Cherry Creek, 5A state champs, will be at the Pirate gym in December.”

Notes: The Pirates return 13 of their top 14 players for last year’s state championship team, including college-bound players Hackley (Florida Gulf Coast) and Howery (Colorado School of Mines).

So far: 1-0, beat Resurrection Christian

The Vanguard School

Coach: Scott Arrasmith, first year

Last year: 14-9 (5-5 TPL), lost in first round of state

Returning starters: Courtney Arrasmith, sr., F; Alexis Garcia, jr., G; Emma Howard, so., F

Outlook: “We have an experienced group of returning players and a talented group of freshmen,” Arrasmith said. “We will be very young — but these girls are hard workers and I am excited to see what they are capable of.”

Notes: Arrasmith, a former assistant, said the roster has expanded from 13 girls a year ago to the point where the Coursers can field full varsity and junior varsity squads this season.

So far: 1-0, beat Pueblo Central

Class 2A

Black Forest League

Colorado Springs School Kodiaks

Coach: Vicki Vaughan, 15th year

Last year: 14-9 (4-3), lost in regional

Returning starters: Mia Chavez, so., PG; Alair Ferguson, jr., F; Kate Griffin, sr., PG; Sarina Mansour, sr., G; Bailey Reid, jr., C; Whitney Richardi, jr., F.

Other top athletes: Cameron Richter, fr., G; Abrielle Stikeleather, sr., G.

Outlook: “Our overall potential along with our depth excite me about this upcoming season,” Vaughan said. “We were disappointed with our final loss last year in the regional playoffs after leading by 10 at the half. This loss served as a prompt to work harder in the offseason in order to meet our full potential as a team. Several of our returning players committed to more workouts and club play, and this combined with a strong nucleus of returners with playoff experience should help us this season.”

Notes: Vaughan called this year’s team one of the more talented she’s coached at CSS.

Peyton Panthers

Coach: Brian Green, first year

Last year: 18-6 (7-0 BFL), lost in regional

Returning starters: Annika Deanda, sr., PG; Kayleigh Mannering, sr., SG; Shelby Miller, jr., SG

Other top athletes: Paige Gowen, jr., F; Serina Graham, jr., F; Madeleine Jáuregui, sr., F

Outlook: “Great group of young women who are highly focused, hard working, and mission minded,” Green said. “This team is the defending Black Forest League Champions in 2019. This team brings a lot of experience and sharp shooting from the 3-point line.”

Notes: Green, the third Peyton coach in as many years, will be assisted by his wife, Avelyn, and son Ryan.

Class 1A

Black Forest League

Evangelical Christian Academy Eagles

Coach: Bruce Beers, 19th year

Last year: 5-15 (3-4 BFL), lost in district

Returning starters: Amy Antes, sr., G; Maddy Castro, jr., G; Dezi Derosier, so., F/C; Kailey DeRuiter, so., G/F; Micah Elpers, so., F/C; Ella Kim, sr., G; Lily Mann, sr., G;

Outlook: “Coaching great ladies that play hard and have a great attitude,” has Beers most excited heading into the season.

Note: Teams not listed did not report