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CLASS 5A

Air Academy Kadets

Coach: Theresa Scott, 1st season at Air Academy

Last year: 18-7 (10-4 5A/4A PPAC)

Returning starters: Capri Dewing, sr., G; Annie Louthan, sr., PG; Bri Sealy, jr., PG; Jessie Simms, sr., F/G

Other top athletes: Allie Hotz, sr., G; Caitlin Kramer, fr., G/F; Olivia Towns, so., C/F

Outlook: “I’m excited to see what these girls can do with so many odds against them: new coach and coaching staff, and new way of attacking the game, new division (4A-5A) and new conference in the whole new world of COVID,” Scott said. “They're an upbeat, athletic group of competitors, so they'll be fun to watch. We will 'grow as we go' so you will not be disappointed!”

Notes: Air Academy earned a top-10 seed and a first-round bye in the 4A 2020 state tournament. Annie Louthan is the top returning contributor. She averaged more than 20 minutes and 8.7 points as a junior.

Doherty Spartans

Coach: George Pollard, 1st season

Last year: 17-9 (10-2 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Taryn Lindsey, sr., G; Makenzie Noll, sr., G; Payton Sterk, jr., G

Other top athletes: Gabby Beauperthuy, jr., F; Erin Capell, sr., F

Outlook: “This is an exciting season because with our quality senior leadership during a crazy offseason with the pandemic as well as change in leadership in our program, we have adjusted well and are ready to compete in the new PPAC league,” Pollard said.

Notes: Doherty joins the 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference and aims to win a sixth straight league championship. Lindsey returns after leading the Spartans in scoring as a junior averaging 13.3 points.

Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans

Coach: LouAnn Guiden, 6th season

Last year: 20-3 (10-2 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Torie Bass, sr., PG; Makenzie Patterson, jr., SG

Other top athletes: Ramiah Boyd, so., SG; Zaniya BrunoMunn, so., PG; Christina Cespedes, sr., SG; Tori Howard, sr., SG; Keira Mitchell, fr., P; Aiyanna Mitchell, so., P; Keira Mitchell, fr., P; Jada Miller, so., F; Aylonna Robinson, sr., G

Outlook: “What excites me the most is being given the opportunity to play this season. The girls have worked very hard and are looking forward to the season. With strong senior leadership, this season should be a fun one,” Guiden said.

Notes: Bass, committed to CSU-Pueblo to play basketball, returns after leading the Trojans with 13.5 points per game. Bass is the only returner among Fountain-Fort Carson’s top five scorers in 2020.

Liberty Lancers

Coach: Monty Taylor, 6th season

Last year: 15-10 (7-5 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Taylor Gossage, sr., P; Jacie Rohr, so., PG; Ashley Zieglis, sr., P

Other top athletes: Hope Callan, so., W; Paige Miller, sr., P; Kaylee Urlich, so., SG

Outlook: “We are just excited to get a chance to play.” Taylor said.

Notes: The Lancers graduated their lone double-figure scorer Lydia Marshall. Rohr is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 7.8 points as a freshman. Gossage averaged 6.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Palmer Terrors

Coach: Dave Shackelford, 34th season

Last year: 8-15 (3-9 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Jolay Reed, sr., G; Alyssa Rodriguez, so., G; Emily Schumacher, sr., P/W

Other top athletes: Halle Gonzalez, sr., W

Outlook: Shackelford said he is excited to get back on the court. “It has been a long 10 months of no games. I appreciate everyone involved with the process to be able to have a season,” he said.

Notes: Rodriguez had a stellar high school debut, averaging 13.5 points as a freshman.

Rampart Rams

Coach: Justin Abbott, 3rd season

Last year: 4-19, 0-12 5A/4A CSML

Returning athletes: Marissa Amparan, sr.; Jayda Randle, sr.; Kenni Wriedt, sr.

Other top athletes: Hanna Benoit, jr.; Kaylee Cambra, fr.; Emily Huxtable, fr.

Outlook: “Heading into season three brings an awesome sense of commitment from returning players and youth in our incoming players,” Abbott said. “Our ladies have really been clicking this offseason and growing as a solid unit as we prepare for the upcoming season. There is a lot of excitement around what we are striving to accomplish this year.”

Notes: Wriedt is the team’s top returning scorer. She averaged 6.7 points and 3.6 rebounds. Randle averaged 5.8 points and 5.7 rebounds as a junior.

Vista Ridge Wolves

Coach: Anna Kelle, 5th season

Last year: 3-19 (0-14 5A/4A PPAC)

Returning starters: Kaitlyn Anders, sr., PG; NyDriana Hancock, sr., G; Aaliyah Key, sr., F; Isaiah Lewis, sr., C; Taylor Wortkoetter, sr., SG

Other top athletes: Maliyah Carter, sr., G; Jadan Cooley, jr., G; Shelby Gabrielson, sr., F; Morgan Hampton, jr., F; Kayana Jones, so., PF; Taya McDanel, so., SG

Outlook: “We are fortunate to have a roster full of returning players with varsity experience. The team consists of seven seniors who have been the core of the program for the past few years along with four promising underclassmen, together creating the perfect combination of experience and young talent,” Kelle said. “This team is tightly knit and strongly motivated to perform at a high level and reach their peak potential this season. I am excited to see the energy, hard work, and dedication that these players have been pouring into preseason pay off!”

Notes: Vista Ridge returns every major contributor from 2020. Wortkoetter led the Wolves as a junior averaging 7.5 points and five rebounds. Lewis averaged 5.6 points and 7.8 rebounds as a junior.

CLASS 4A

Canon City Tigers

Coach: Dan Heath, 9th season

Last year: 20-5 (14-1 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Mady Ley, jr., G/F; Emily Till, jr., F

Outlook: Heath said he is excited to watch his student-athletes compete despite uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Notes: Canon City upset No. 1 Sand Creek in the state playoffs to advance to the state quarterfinals, but the Tigers graduated their top two scorers who combined for more than 29 points per game. The team’s top returners, Ley and Till averaged 8 and 7.1 points, respectively, last year. Till led the team in rebounds with 7.3.

Coronado Cougars

Coach: Bryan Earls, 4th season

Last year: 7-17 (6-6 5A/4A CSML)

Returning starters: Milena Cheney, sr., F; Hope Earls, sr., PG; Sanaya Jones, sr., F; Tinah Muhammad, sr., W

Other top athletes: Allie Leischer, so., W; Makenna Remple, so., W; Anna Weiss, so., W

Outlook: “We return most of our roster and the girls are excited to get an opportunity to play,” Earls said.

Notes: Muhammad led the Cougars in 2020 nearing a double-figure average with 9.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Jones averaged 10.8 boards.

Falcon Falcons

Coach: Tarike Adams, 7th season

Last year: 17-8 (10-4 5A/4A PPAC)

Returning starters: Hannah Burg, sr., G; Billie Fiore, jr., G; Kayla Harkema, sr., G; Kilee Wood, sr., G

Other top athletes: CJ Long, so., G; Ella Mensen, sr., SF

Outlook: Adams said he is most excited to see the growth of his returning players.

Notes: Falcon earned a No. 13 seed and a first-round bye in the 2002 4A state tournament and returns four of the team’s top five scorers, including Burg and Fiore who led the team averaging 14.1 and 10.2 points, respectively.

Harrison Panthers

Coach: Charles Thomas, 4th season

Last year: 11-12 (8-7 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Amyah Moore, sr., G/F; Elizah Moya, jr., G/F; Faith Thornton, sr., G/F

Other top athletes: Zaria Graham, so., F; Brianna Kessack, G

Notes: Amyah Moore averaged 21.8 points and six rebounds as a junior, finishing fourth in Colorado in points per game average.

Lewis-Palmer Rangers

Coach: Kristy Youngpeter, 4th season

Last year: 15-10 (8-6 5A/4A PPAC)

Returning starters: Riley Enget, sr., G; Griffin Greenwood, jr., F/C; Mia O'Neal, sr., F

Other top athletes: Halle Enget, sr., G; Emma Jones, so., G; Anna Poe, sr., G; Chaelie Polk, sr., F

Outlook: “On the court, the Lady Rangers have great communication, speed and depth this year,” Youngpeter said. “Three returning starters partnered with increased player experience will bring an exciting game this year.”

Notes: Junior Greenwood is the Rangers’ top returner after averaging double-double of 10.3 points and 11 rebounds as a sophomore.

Mitchell Marauders

Coach: Chris Gunn, 20th season

Last year: 7-16 (2-14 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Madison DeJean, sr., G; Torrai Logan, so., G; Aalyviah Smith, jr., G; Ja'ziah Wells, jr., G

Outlook: “I’m excited that we get to play. Sports can be a positive distraction from everything going on in our country right now,” Gunn said. “This squad is very resilient and I appreciate their willingness to get better each day; not just in basketball and school, but in life. Some of our players have faced some tough challenges throughout their young lives and it warms my heart to know that they keep pushing no matter the obstacles thrown at them.”

Notes: Gunn said Logan is an “absolute gem” for Mitchell. As a freshman Logan averaged 11.6 points and 7.3 rebounds. Smith led the team in scoring averaging 12.9 points.

Palmer Ridge Bears

Coach: Jason Boyer, 3rd season

Last year: 13-12 (6-8 5A/4A PPAC)

Returning starters: Hannah Dove, sr., F; Charlotte Hauke, jr., F; Natali Volk, so., G; Mia Womack, jr., G

Other top athletes: Rylie McMullen, jr., PG

Outlook: “We are excited to finally play and look forward to the challenges of a new league,” Boyer said.

Notes: Womack averaged 11.1 points as a sophomore and returns as the team’s top scorer.

Sand Creek Scorpions

Coach: Patrick McKiernan, 1st season

Last year: 23-2 (14-0 5A/4A PPAC) The Scorpions earned the top seed in the 2020 Class 3A state tournament.

Returning starters: Nikki Derrell, sr., PG; Tamika Williams, jr., F

Other top athletes: Angela Jones, so., G; Melissa Reyes, so., G; Riley Rodriguez, jr., G

Outlook: “(We have) two returning starters with three others with some varsity experience,” McKiernan said. “We only had 10 girls try out this year. Four of the 10 with zero high school basketball experience.”

Notes: Nikki Derrell returns after having averaged 14.5 points to lead Sand Creek to a top seed in the 4A state tournament. McKiernan takes over the program with 17 years experience, coming from a long tenure at Doherty High School where he went 153-72 in nine seasons.

Sierra Stallions

Coach: Joseph Williams, 9th season

Last year: 20-5 (14-1 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Arianna Reyes, sr., G

Other top athletes: Jaide Howell, sr., F; Faith Sheppard, sr., F; Jasmine Johnson, sr., G

Outlook: “Like most high school teams not (being) able to play this summer has slowed teams down from growing together, so seeing how my team comes together is what I am looking at in a shortened season,” Williams said.

Notes: Sierra earned a No. 11 seed in the 2020 state tournament and comes off an appearance in the quarterfinals. Reyes is the top returning scorer after averaging 8.2 points as a junior. Howell was not far behind, averaging eight points and 6.9 rebounds.

The Classical Academy Titans

Coach: Frank Haist, 24th season

Last year: 9-14 (8-7 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Kaelen Boyles, sr., F; Juliet Coyle, jr., F; Gracie Dorny, jr., F/G; Brooka Jones, jr., F/G; Katharine Roach, so., F/G; Jaedyn Ryba, sr., F/G

Outlook: “Last year we started eight different girls and only two were seniors, so our returners have had some solid varsity experience,” Haist said. “I'm excited that we have a bunch of bold, confident, and humble players who will do an outstanding job representing this season!”

Notes: Roach neared a double-figure average as a freshman leading the Titans in 2020 at 9.3 points a game.

Widefield Gladiators

Coach: Jeff Giovannone, 2nd season

Last year: 9-15 (9-7 4A CSML)

Returning starters: Liliani Krause, sr, F; Thea Mataipule, so., F; Knikita Slaght, sr., G;

Other top athletes: Kirsten Ardolf, sr., F; Cami Carmody, so., G; Kasaya Krause, fr., PG; Elana Monroe, jr., G; Gianna Perkins, jr., G

Outlook: “I'm excited to get to see these girls play and get back to a sense of normalcy with how challenging the last year has been,” Giovannone said.

Notes: Krause returns after an impressive junior season in which she led the team in points and rebounds, averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 boards.

CLASS 3A

Banning Lewis Stallions

Coach: Chaz Langhoff

Last year: 2-5 (independent schedule)

Outlook: “Our first year in CHSAA in a difficult 3A Tri Peaks League will be a good test to see how we respond to adversity as we grow our program,” Langhoff said.

Notes: Banning Lewis joins the Class 3A Tri-Peaks league in the program's inaugural season as a CHSAA-sanctioned team.

Colorado Springs Christian Lions

Coach: Cayla Fitzgerald, 2nd season

Last year: 9-15 (4-6 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: Hope Arnold, sr., PG/SG; Elleah Hoekert, jr., PG/SG; Megan Johnston, jr., C

Other top athletes: Emily Squires, sr., SF

Outlook: “We have a young and eager team and have brought back some key pieces and upperclassmen to lead the younger girls,” Fitzgerald said. “In my first year last year, we had a great opportunity to learn how to play together and work within a new system. This season, I look for us to build off of that and continue an upward trend.”

Notes: Heading into her third varsity season Hoekert is the Lions’ top returning starter after averaging 12.2 points in 2020.

Ellicott Thunderhawks

Coach: Cody Chambers, 4th season

Last year: 8-12 (3-7 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: Dalton Henderson, jr.; Michelle Lugo-Hermisillo, jr.; Jaecynda Nienhuser, sr.; Hailey Wilson, sr.

Other top athletes: Kaela France, sr.; Aileen Gutierrez, so.; Jaylene Gutierrez, so.; Allyssa Lagasse, so.; Melissa Lugo-Hermisillo, so.

Outlook: Chambers is excited to see his team develop in 2021.

Notes: Wilson returns after averaging 10.2 points and 3.6 steals as a junior. As a freshman Lagasse was third on the team in scoring with 6.1 points.

St. Mary’s Pirates

Coach: Kyle Burkett, 1st season

Last year: 24-1 (10-0 3A Tri-Peaks) The Pirates were primed to compete in the 3A state semifinal before the 2020 basketball tournaments were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning starters: Ellie Hartman, jr., G

Other top athletes: Kacey Barta, sr., G; Madison Bodette, sr., P; Emerson Kutz, fr., G; Payton Kutz, jr., G; Elizabeth Rysavy, jr., G; Maeve Salveson, fr., G

Outlook: “I am excited to see the hard work they did for months translate to success on the court. Our team had a lot of graduating seniors and the girls are ready to continue the legacy of the teams that have come before them,” Burkett said.

Notes: Kyle Burkett takes over for his father, Mike, who led the St. Mary’s girls’ basketball program for the last 21 years. The Pirates were eager to battle for a third consecutive state title before the pandemic canceled the final two rounds of the 3A tournament, and return one starter from the 2020 lineup.

Vanguard Coursers

Coach: Scott Arrasmith, 2nd season

Last year: 20-5 (8-2 3A Tri-Peaks)

Returning starters: Hailey Blanchard, so.; Olivia Caton, so.; Alexis Garcia, sr.; Juliana Garcia, so.; Zoe Kilimann, jr.

Other top athletes: Ramiyah Byrd, so.; Becca Lewis, jr.

Outlook: “We only lost one starter to graduation and return a solid group of girls who all have varsity playing time,” Arrasmith said. “We have a young team with playoff experience and they are excited to build on last year's Great 8 appearance.”

Notes: The Coursers return three scorers who had double-figure averages in 2020. Led by Alexis Garcia who scored 13.7 points per game, followed by now-sophomores Blanchard and Juliana Garcia, who averaged 11.9 and 11.6 points, respectively. Vanguard is coming off a 20-win season and appearance in the Class 3A quarterfinals.

Woodland Park Panthers

Coach: Craig Macari, 18th season

Last year: 6-17 (4-12 4A CSML)

Notes: Woodland Park returns one starter, Kassidy Cargill, who averaged 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds as a junior. Macari said his team is young with just two seniors.

CLASS 2A

Colorado Springs School Kodiaks

Coach: Vicki Vaughan, 16th season

Last year: 19-4 (7-1 2A Black Forest)

Returning starters: Mia Chavez, jr., G; Alair Ferguson, sr., F; Bailey Reid, sr., C; Whitney Richardi, sr., F

Outlook: Vaughan said she is most excited to see the senior class leave a legacy at Colorado Springs Christian.

Notes: Richardi is the team’s top returner. She averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 steals as a junior.

Peyton Panthers

Coach: Brian Green, 2nd season

Last year: 19-5 (5-2 2A Black Forest)

Returning starters: Paige Gowen, sr., PG; Serina Graham, sr., SG; Shelby Miller, sr., SG

Other top athletes: Shaylee Gee, so., SG; Tara Graham, jr. SG; Kimber Moore, fr. C; Abbie Nickell, fr., SG

Outlook: “We probably have the toughest schedule in 2A featuring games with Manitou Springs, St. Mary’s, Rye, Yuma, Sanford, Simla and Elbert. The win/loss record may not be the best indicator of how good this team is,” Green said. “The varsity roster has a mix of experienced players (five seniors) and young players (four freshmen). The young players will make an immediate impact.”

Notes: Gowen shifted from power forward to point guard in the offseason, which Green calls a “good move to take the fullest advantage of her talents.” As a junior, Gowen averaged 7.9 points and five rebounds. Miller is the team’s top returning scorer, averaging 13.6 points and 5.1 boards and 2.3 steals in 2020.

CLASS 1A

Evangelical Christian Academy Eagles

Coach: Bruce Beers, 20th season

Last year: 11-10 (4-2 1A Black Forest)

Returning starters: Maddy Castro, sr., G; Kailey DeRuiter, jr., G/P; Michael Elpers, jr., P

Other top athletes: Myah DeJong, so., G; Hadassah Derosier, jr., P; Keira Morton, so., G; Elana Sutton, so., P; Darcey Wingett, so., G

Notes: Castro is the team’s top returner after leading the Eagles with 11.7 points and five rebounds per game as a junior.

NOTE: Teams not listed did not submit preview information by deadline.