• Jonathan Castner / For BoCoPreps.com

    Alex Sandstrom and the Mead Mavericks are ranked second in Class 4A in the first RPI rankings released Wednesday.

  • Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Taylor Christiansen and the Lyons Lions are ranked first in Class 2A according to the RPI rankings released Wednesday.



The Colorado High School Activities Association’s implementation of RPI for all team sports fell under heavy scrutiny during the football season, but by and large presented a fair case for itself in almost every other sport in the fall.

Opting to wait to release RPI ratings until halfway through the winter season — the CHSAA released them on Wednesday for boys and girls basketball as well as hockey — the sample size of games played for most teams gave it a fair chance to surprise fewer people.

There may be those who pick over it with a fine-toothed comb to find outliers, but for Boulder County teams there were not a lot of shocking negative revelations.

In boys basketball, it confirmed hot starts for the Mead, Dawson and Longmont Christian teams. It showed the strength of the 5A girls Front Range League, as well.

And it revealed Monarch hockey still is in the upper tier of the sport.

The Mead boys might have the case for receiving the best news on Wednesday, although in the grand scheme of things winning the Tri-Valley League is the ultimate goal for the Mavericks as it would guarantee a top-8 playoff seeding.

At 12-2 and having lost only to Golden and Valor Christian, Mead was situated in second in the 4A RPI behind only D’Evelyn (11-2) — the Jaguars perhaps being a surprise No. 1. Other 4A boys teams to litter the top 20 include Silver Creek (sixth at 9-1), Holy Family (11th at 10-4) and Longmont (16th at 6-5).

The Dawson boys, a 2A Mile High League team, also had their RPI fall in line with their 7-1 start to the season. The Mustangs opened the season with a loss to Yuma but have not seen defeat since, averaging more than 60 points a game scoring.

Their Mile High League counterparts, 1A Longmont Christian, are sixth in the lower classification RPI with a 7-2 mark. The Warriors will benefit not only from winning but by the simple fact that they will face several 2A teams over the rest of their season.

Another small school, Lyons, got some welcome news in the girls standings as the 11-1 Lions checked in with the No. 1 overall percentage in 2A. Like the Dawson boys, LHS opened with a loss at Liberty Common (a 3A team) but have won 11 straight games, including a couple wins over 3A teams.

The rest of the major players in girls hoops are in the big school ranks. The Front Range League, a 13-team conglomerate, has five teams in the top 16 of 5A and seven in the top 21. Among them are Monarch (No. 8) and Fairview (No. 15) — while Legacy and Broomfield are 27th and 31st, respectively.

Holy Family, despite being 8-5, is seventh in 4A by virtue of a win against Air Academy and matchups against top-6 Evergreen, Pueblo South and Pueblo West. The Centaurus girls are also 19th with an 8-4 mark, and Silver Creek, Erie, Mead and Longmont all fall within the top 32.

There are fewer games to work with in hockey but the lack of parity in the league from top to bottom can be seen in the top five schools in RPI having a familiar feel.

For Monarch, a 5-3 record still has them seated fifth behind perennial powers Regis, Cherry Creek and Ralston Valley. New to the mix, but not a surprise, is George Gwozdecky’s Valor Christian team that is 8-1.

The CHSAA will use RPI to determine postseason brackets as well as district seedings.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24