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Colorado Springs Metro League hoops crowns coming down to wire

Tuesday’s girls’ basketball matchup between Fountain-Fort Carson and Doherty could serve as a league championship game, as the Trojans and Spartans are the only teams in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League with one loss in conference play.

Doherty handed F-FC its only CSML loss in a 62-40 win, led by Taryn Lindsey’s 19 points. The Spartans’ league loss came in a one-point defeat at Pine Creek.

At 4-2, Liberty still has a chance to get into the championship picture, but the Lancers will likely need to avenge its losses to the Trojans and Spartans in their final two games of the regular season.

On the boys’ side, Pine Creek was 7-0 and in control of the league race before Doherty knocked off the league leaders on Saturday. Now, the Spartans, Fountain-Fort Carson and Rampart, all with three league losses, are hoping for a couple of more chances.

It’s a tight race in the 4A leagues, too, Canon City boasts a 10-0 league record to lead the girls’ race, while Sierra is 10-1. The Tigers are responsible for the Stallions’ lone league loss, but Sierra figures to get another shot after Friday’s game was postponed due to weather.

Harrison tops the boys’ division with a 9-1 league record, while The Classical Academy and Widefield sit in second and third with two league losses.

The Gladiators handed Harrison its only CSML loss Jan. 16 and the two meet again Tuesday in another game that will help decide the conference champions.

Girls' state swimming, wrestling regionals this weekend

In a change from previous years, not all three girls' swimming classifications will be competing for the state championship on the same weekend. 

Classes 5A and 3A will compete at the VMAC in Thornton this weekend. Class 5A championships will be Thursday through Friday, while 3A will begin preliminary races Friday morning with finals Saturday. 

Class 4A, however, will hold its championship at the VMAC on the 18th and 19th.

Local wrestlers will battle to qualify for the state tournament at regionals this weekend.

Cheyenne Mountain will host 13 teams in the 4A Region 1 tournament and Mesa Ridge will welcome 12 teams as the host of the 4A Region 4 tourney. 

Manitou Springs boys' basketball facing challenges

The Manitou Springs boys' basketball team had one of its biggest tests of the season last week. The Mustangs faced defending Class 3A state champion Manual on Thursday and nearly pulled off a big win. 

Ultimately, they lost 74-64 in nonconference action.

Joah Armour led the Mustangs with 14 points, followed by Isaiah Thomas' 13. However, they couldn't stop the play of Manual's Jaden Stoffell, who exploded for 34 points and six 3-pointers.

Manitou Springs (13-3) was up 35-34 at halftime before Manual (9-6) pulled off the comeback.

The Mustangs are in position for a big-time clash with The Vanguard School School in the regular-season finale Feb. 18. Both teams are 8-0 in 3A Tri-Peaks League play; both have two league games left before the matchup.

Pine Creek wrestling becomes official league winner, JV takes state

The Pine Creek wrestling team beat Liberty 77-6 on Wednesday in a dual match to become back-to-back Colorado Springs Metro League champion.

The Eagles’ junior varsity team won the JV State Invitational on Saturday, edging Thompson Valley by a 229-212.5 margin.

Kael Reeves-Dunbar (220 pounds) and Brycen Anderson (195) won their brackets, while RJ Craft (285), Nate King (170) and Ethan Hubbell (132) placed second.

Reporter

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.