It’s hard to believe but the girls basketball season is nearly over and league titles will soon be decided, this year via a strange combination of riveting action and coronavirus cancellations.
In the NCAC, one of the toughest leagues in the state with playoff potential teams – Holy Family, Windsor, Erie, Mead, et al – the race is just about wrapped up courtesy of No. 1 Holy Family’s overtime win over No. 6 Windsor this past week. But there are still a few games to go and seemingly anything can happen in Season, so head coach Ron Rossi and the top-ranked Tigers aren’t taking anyone lightly down the home stretch of the regular season.
“Winning that game against Windsor was a big one in OT, and that’s a big step for us accomplishing our goal of a league title,” Rossi said. “I just wish our student body could have been there to see it. But we set out to win the league and there’s a lot of ball left to go, so we just have to take care of these last two games and lock it up.”
As of Tuesday, Holy Family (8-1, 6-0) was clearly in the driver’s seat for its 14th straight league title. Trailing the Tigers are Windsor (8-1, 5-1), Mead (5-2, 4-1), Erie (6-3, 4-2) and Centaurus (6-3, 3-3). All of those teams have fallen to Holy Family with the exception of Mead, which is currently in an especially problematic quarantine considering the Mavericks are right on the playoff bubble at No. 33 in the Class 4A RPI standings and with only a handful of games left on the schedule.
In the Front Range League, the race for the title got a little more interesting when No. 5 Fossil Ridge (9-1, 6-1) lost to Poudre (6-4, 4-3) on Monday night. The unexpected loss may have created an opportunity for No. 11 Monarch (8-1, 6-1) now that the Coyotes have matching conference records with Fossil Ridge and Horizon (8-1, 6-1). Fossil Ridge does, however, hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Monarch, while Monarch has the tiebreaker advantage over Horizon.
“We’ve got four games left and the best we can do is just try to win them all,” Monarch coach Michael Blakely said. “They’re all against local teams in our Front Range League and they’re teams that we know – the girls all know each other – so they were going to be fun games anyway. So all we can do is try to win them all and see what happens with Fossil and Horizon.”
Also in the FRL standings, Broomfield (5-5, 5-2) is in fourth, Fairview (4-6, 3-4) is eighth and Legacy (3-6, 3-4) is ninth.
In the 3A Metro League, it appears the conference championship will be decided by several upcoming games between No. 13 Peak to Peak (7-1, 7-0), No. 3 Lutheran (10-1, 8-0) and No. 10 Kent Denver ( 8-2, 7-1), all of which are still in the mix. Peak to Peak is scheduled to play Kent Denver this Thursday and Lutheran on Friday, March 5.
In the 1A 5280 League, there’s yet another coronavirus-created mess. No. 10 Shining Mountain (8-1, 5-1) would seem to be the current frontrunner, but No. 4 Flatirons Academy (5-3, 1-0) currently sits atop the conference standings despite having played just one league game, which the Bison won over Shining Mountain. The uniqueness of this season’s dynamic has forced the league to re-examine its tiebreaker rules.
“We’re going to be the only team in our league that plays every team in our league, as long as we get through next Thursday,” Hawkes said. “It’s been a weird season, but we’re pretty proud of that.”
In other Shining Mountain news, Frances Hilliard, who is averaging 18 points per game, became the program’s first-ever 1,000-point scorer this past week.