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Basketball: What’s in place as regular season hoops nears end

Hoops postseason begins next week


It’s been 11 straight weeks of victory for Mead’s boys basketball program, 60 undefeated days for the Fairview boys, and a month has passed since Skyline senior Chris Roy’s near-midcourt overtime buzzer-beater at Holy Family.

Yes, a lot has happened in nearly three months of high school basketball, and now everything is just about in place with the state postseason set to begin next week.

Nearly, anyway.

Among the storylines to keep an eye out on before the official Feb. 22 regular-season end date is what’s happening at the top of the girls’ 5A/4A Tri-Valley League.

With a game to go, Erie, Holy Family and Berthoud all have two losses in league with each splitting a two-game series. Holy Family had been in control at the start of the month before falling to Erie on Feb. 4 as Anna Hefner hit a shot from the post in the final seconds. Ron Rossi’s team was again at the top after Erie beat Berthoud on Feb. 8, but that turned into a three-way tie after the Spartans avenged an earlier loss to Holy Family three days later.

All three teams will finish the regular season Friday with Holy Family hosting Mead, Berthoud at home against Skyline and Erie at Frederick. And unless one or two of them stumble, the league’s top spot will finish as a reservation of three.

Clearer at this point may be the value of its traded blows and high-stakes matchups heading into the postseason.

Erie's Deb Altshuler, right, goes up ...
Brad Cochi/
Deb Altshuler and the Erie Tigers are one of the local basketball teams hoping to ride momentum into the 2020 postseason, which would begin next week. The Tigers are in a tussle at the top with Holy Family and Berthoud in the Class 5A/4A Tri-Valley League.

“It’s big because outside those four games against those two opponents we hadn’t been tested,” said Erie coach Sarah Pfeifer following her team’s 71-52 win over Mead Tuesday. “That was more like what we’ll see in the next few weeks. The confidence in beating both of those teams, we’re still carrying that with us.”

In the boys’ 5A Front Range League, Fairview officially clinched its third straight league title with a win over Fossil Ridge Tuesday. Yet it was Monday’s victory over Boulder that put things in place.

Both the Knights and Panthers were unbeaten in league before Fairview’s 72-55 win at the CU Events Center. In it, Greysen Carter and Jalen Page combined for 41 points as Fairview surged ahead in the second half to again lay claim on the rivalry after Boulder’s win a year ago.

“You can’t win the third one until you win the first two,” Carter said of the league titles. “Just going on that run is amazing and gives us motivation to keep going.”

Elsewhere, the boys at Mead clinched the Tri-Valley League last week and should go into the 4A postseason bracket as the top seed with a win over Holy Family Friday. Longmont’s boys, meanwhile, were in good shape to win the 4A Northern League outright heading into Wednesday’s game against 5-16 Greeley Central.

In the girls’ Front Range League, Fossil Ridge clinched the title with successive wins over Broomfield and Fairview. The Eagles are still hovering around the top 15 in the RPI with a game left at Monarch Thursday, and the Knights are around 20 with a non-league game left against Rangeview.

“I still think we need to be playing a little bit better,” Fairview coach Rod Beauchamp said after his team’s win over Boulder Monday. “We can take better care of the ball and do a little bit better job on the boards. We need to make sure we continue to get some traction going into the playoffs.”

The area won’t have a league winner in the girls’ Northern League — only possible postseason teams in Centaurus and Longmont. Same goes in the 3A Metro League, where Jefferson Academy’s boys and girls coach Mark Sharpley had both his teams ranked exactly 16th in the RPI coming into Tuesday. No champ out of the 2A/1A Mile High Leagues, either, where the boys and girls from Dawson appear to be in good positions sitting around the early teens in their respective RPI rankings.

In 1A, the Longmont Christian girls out of the Mile High League and Shining Mountain out of the 1A 5280 League look to grab a top-three seed heading into their respective district tournaments.

Longmont High School's Ryan Schneider (No. ...
Ryan Schneider and the Longmont boys team are in good position to win the Northern League, joining Mead (Tri-Valley) and Fairview (Front Range League) as local league champs.