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Fredreick's Savanna Staff, left, goes up ...
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Fredreick’s Savanna Staff, left, goes up for a shot against Mountain View on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 at Frederick High School.

League and Team Outlook

Class 5A
Front Range League
Teams and trends: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Legacy, Loveland, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre and Rocky Mountain. Monarch won the FRL last year before missing out on its last three games of the season and was one of six teams to qualify for the Class 5A state tournament. Fossil Ridge was the only team to make it out of the first round.
2021 league leaders: Scoring: Courtney Wristen, Broomfield (234) . Scoring average: Natalie Guanella, Monarch (16.5)*. Rebounds: Wristen (148). 3-pointers made: Samantha Koeberer, Fossil Ridge (38). Assists: Emma Rich, Broomfield (68). Free throws made: Bela Voglund, Poudre (55)*. Steals: Sophie Christopher, Broomfield (45)*. Blocks: Brooke Bohlender, Poudre (25).
Numbers game: Even though Monarch played just 11 games, the Coyotes ranked second in the entire 5A classification for 3-point shooting (38%). Fossil Ridge didn’t lag too far behind at sixth through 15 games (31%).
* — Eligible to return in 2021

Boulder's Ella Bartsch shoots against Mountain ...
Daily Camera file photo
Boulder’s Ella Bartsch shoots against Mountain Range on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 at Boulder High School.

Boulder Panthers
Coach: Emily Van Patten
The Scorecard: The Panthers will look to turn the tides this season as they welcome back one starter in senior F Ella Bartsch, who averaged 11.9 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game last season. Senior forwards Grace Shook and Phoebe Hatch will help serve as veteran leadership as the Panthers welcome a few newcomers that they hope will do some damage: senior F Sophia Matarrese, junior G Lily Huettel and freshman G/F Megan Matthews.

Broomfield Eagles
Coach: Mike Croell
The Scorecard: The Eagles lost just one senior last season but return a lot of young players from a team that earned the No. 23 seed for the Class 5A state playoffs. They’ll lean primarily on junior G Sophie Christopher (4.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and junior wing Mary Krieger (4.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg) as Taylor Shelton, Lydia Tymchenko, Nina Lucas, Desirae Martinez, Kayleigh Jones, Sydney Deem, Sarah Collins, Kayla Rich, Gigi Tedesco and Megan Graf all battle for the last three starting spots.

Fairview Knights
Coach: Courtney Smith
The Scorecard: The Knights welcome a new head coach after finishing the 2020-21 season with a 5-8 record. Fairview returns its top player in senior F/G Kailey Page (11 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game and 2.9 steals per game). Junior F Layla Wright, senior G Sophia Hrywnak and sophomore G Lila Nuttle will round out the rest of Fairview’s top returners as the team tries to navigate the Front Range League.

Legacy Lightning
Coach: Jody Welch
The Scorecard: The Lightning bring back a strong leadership core with seven seniors. The ladies struggled a bit with their early 2021 slate after finishing the shortened season with a 3-6 record, but will be returning all but two seniors for the new year. Senior G Westbrook Jensen (9.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg), senior post player Katie Paredes (5.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and senior G Kendall Aragon (5.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) will lead the Lightning forward.

Monarch Coyotes
Coach: Mike Blakely
The Scorecard: The Coyotes return after winning the Front Range League earlier in 2021 and only losing five seniors. They welcome back their strongest shooter in junior G Natalie Guanella, who earned the FRL co-player of the year award as well as all-state honorable mention after averaging 16.5 ppg. She’ll be joined by junior F Amelia Rosin (7.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and junior F Arezo Safi (6.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) to lead the team toward success this winter.

Class 5A/4A
Northern League
Teams and trends: Centaurus, Erie, Greeley Central, Greeley West, Holy Family, Longmont, Mead, Silver Creek, Skyline and Windsor. Although the league was newly formed just last season, Holy Family has continued its dominance as it won the league last year and won the league all six years that it was in the Tri-Valley League; Windsor has been right on its tail most of those years.
2021 league leaders: Scoring: Kylie Sanger, Windsor (279). Scoring average: Grace Moyers, Erie (20.7). Rebounds: Olivia Reed, Windsor (197)*. 3-pointers made: Alyssa Wells, Holy Family (40). Assists: Samantha Darnell, Windsor (64)*. Free throws made: Tyler Whitlock, Holy Family (48). Steals: Wells (76). Blocks: Cecilia Aanerud, Holy Family (24).
Numbers Game: The league saw a wide gap in scoring averages last season as Windsor led with 75.8 ppg and Skyline ranked last with 26.9 ppg. Erie (66.9), Holy Family (65.5) and Mead (62.2) were the only other teams to score more than 50 points a game.
* — Eligible to return in 2021

Centaurus Warriors
Coach: Christopher Mischke
The Scorecard: The Warriors squeaked into the postseason last year with the No. 27 seed in the Class 4A state playoffs after finishing the regular season 5-4. They’ll be sitting pretty this year as four starters come back with an added year of experience to their resume: junior G Laura Gensert (13.7 ppg), junior C/F Sam Sterritt (5.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg), senior G/F Page Sanchez (1.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and junior G Ann Spence (1.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg).

Erie Tigers
Coach: Brandon Havard
The Scorecard: Erie returns to the court after the Tigers’ last season took them to the Class 4A Elite Eight. They welcome a new head coach but lose two star scorers in Grace Moyers and Deb Altshuler, who transferred to other schools. Harvard expects sophomore G Maddie Hartel (2.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg), senior G Ava Welty (1.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior F Erica Pickering to take the reins of the program.

Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Ron Rossi
The Scorecard: The always-dominant Tigers played their way to the Final Four last season before losing to eventual state champion Mullen. They lost their two top scorers in Tyler Whitlock and Alyssa Wells but bring back plenty of talent in junior G Mariah Quintana (2.9 ppg), sophomore G Essynce Contreraz (4.7 ppg), junior F Fiona Snashall (1.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), senior F Makenna Bertsch (5.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and senior C Maggie Dooley (4.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

Longmont Trojans
Coach: Wade Kingsbury
The Scorecard: The Trojans struggled a bit during the disjointed COVID season earlier this year but look to rebound during more normalcy that lies ahead. Guard Christine D’Epagnier returns after nabbing an all-conference nomination during her sophomore season for 12.4 ppg and 3.4 rpg. She’ll be followed by sophomore post player Savannah Pohl (10.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg), senior G Megan Leick (6.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and sophomore post player Ella Pears (3.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg).

Mead Mavericks
Coach: JR Sagner
The Scorecard: The Mavericks return for the 2021-22 season with a strong core of ladies to build around. Their last 8-4 season led them to a No. 12 seed and first-round win in the Class 4A playoffs. Senior G/F Edie Morrow (11.6 ppg, 7 rpg), senior F Jacklyn Stephenson (12.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg), junior PG Charlotte Brennan (12.2 ppg), junior G Kyra Haan (11.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and senior G Maddox Boston (3.1 ppg) will guide them early into the new year.

Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Katie Peterson
The Scorecard: The Raptors welcome a new head coach after a 3-5 season that was defined by their youth. Now that they’re a year older and wiser, Peterson believes they can achieve their potential this season. Early on, she’ll look to junior C April Conilogue (7 ppg, 5 rpg), senior G Mackenzie Larson (6.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg) and junior F Taylor Mallett (3.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg) to take the reins.

Skyline Falcons
Coach: Jason Maguire
The Scorecard: The Falcons may see an early learning curve as the senior class goes through its third head coach in four years. They welcome a 26-year basketball coach in Maguire, who hopes to turn the program around. He’ll rely on seniors PG Charlee Neb (7.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg), SF Natalie Weathers (3.3 ppg, 4 rpg), PG/SG Abbie Anson, F Abi Farmer (2 ppg, 2.4 rpg) and sophomore F Ava Chrisman (4.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg) early on.

Class 4A
Longs Peak League
Teams and trends: Berthoud, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Riverdale Ridge, Roosevelt, Severance and Thompson Valley. The Longs Peak League was created last year and saw a good amount of success in year one as it sent five teams to the Class 4A state tournament, including Frederick.
2021 league leaders: Scoring: Amelia Solt, Thompson Valley (323)*. Scoring average: Solt (20.2). Rebounds: Charlee Durtsche, Thompson Valley (176)*. 3-pointers made: Kelsey Koza, Severance (40)*. Assists: Breanna Fowler, Berthoud (94). Free throws made: Solt (83). Steals: Katy Jo Werner, Northridge (73)*. Blocks: Anastasia Zelenko, Severance (34)*.
Numbers Game: In a league that saw six teams averaging over 30 rebounds per game, Frederick ranked third with 36 rpg while going up to the glass often on both offense (218) and defense (320).
* — Eligible to return in 2021

Frederick Warriors
Coach: Jake Hansen
The Scorecard: The Warriors earned a Class 4A playoff bid last season after finishing the regular season 7-7 and look to improve even more with a full season. They return all but one senior and will rely mostly on senior G Jadyn Glasgow (6.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg), senior forward Ali Davis (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg), junior G Savanna Staff (9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and junior wing Megan Majeres (6.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

Niwot Cougars
Coach:  Jon Hill
The Scorecard: The Cougars welcome a new coach with the hopes of turning around their misfortunes from the 2020-21 season. They’ll bring back five seniors, meaning they’ll have plenty of experience to rely on as they look to wing Rachel Noble (2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg), G Carly Toothaker (5.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg), G Maddi Tajchman (1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg), wing Grace Crall (1.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and wing Jordyn Stewart (1.8 ppg, 1.1 rpg) for leadership.

Class 3A
Metro League
Teams and trends: Bishop Machebeuf, Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Lutheran, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge Academy, SkyView Academy, Stargate and St. Mary’s Academy. Lutheran had reigned atop the Metro League for the past four years, but Jefferson Academy finished right behind them two seasons back. Peak to Peak finished third in 2021 behind Lutheran and Kent Denver.
2021 league leaders: Scoring: Stephanie Schultz, Lutheran (303). Scoring average: Schults (17.8). Rebounds: Elizabeth Rooks, Prospect Ridge (135)*. 3-pointers made: Dakota Garrick, SkyView Academy (29)*. Assists: Raelyn Kelty, Lutheran (69)*. Free throws made: Kelty (51). Steals: Erica Derby, Stargate (72). Blocks: Ella Freimuth, Colorado Academy (26).
Numbers Game: Lutheran dominated nearly every statistical category within the league, but Prospect Ridge didn’t lag too far behind in assists per game (11.3 to Lutheran’s 13.5) and led everyone else in double-double performances with seven from Rooks.
* — Eligible to return in 2021

Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Mark Sharpley
The Scorecard: Jaguar sports have seen a good amont of success in recent years, and girls basketball wants to add its name to the mix. To do so, they’ll look to senior F Jordan Neely (10.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) — a former all-state honorable mention — junior G Allison Kirkpatrick (3.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and junior forward Helen Stegner (7 ppg, 7 rpg) to guide them.

Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Joe Howard
The Scorecard: Peak to Peak comes off of a successful last season that saw the Pumas earn a bid to the Class 3A state playoffs, where they dropped out after a first-round loss to Resurrection Christian. The Pumas will return a good number of top players from last season, including junior G Natalie Farhar, sophomore F Annasofia Foster, sophomore G Charley Miller and senior F Ashley Trathen. They’ll also be welcoming a strong freshman class that Howard believes will contribute greatly early on.

Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Ellie Kempfe
The Scorecard: The Miners struggled to find their rhythm through a shortened COVID season in early 2021 but bring back four returners. Senior post player Elizabeth Rooks, who averaged a double-double with 15 ppg and 12.3 rpg last year, will take the reins of the program as senior G Jaelyn Korbe (7.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), junior G Zoe Webster (5.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and senior W Faith Torres (2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg) follow her lead.

Class 3A/2A/1A
Mile High League
Teams and trends: Clear Creek, Dawson School, Dayspring Christian Academy, Denver Christian, Front Range Christian, Gilpin County, Heritage Christian, Highland, Loveland Classical, Lyons, Twin Peaks Charter Academy and Union Colony Prep. Heritage Christian has won the Mile High League each of the past three seasons, and Dawson finished runner-up in the 2019-20 and 2018-19 seasons but fell to seventh last season.
2021 league leaders: Scoring: Taylor Vandenburg, Longmont Christian (269). Scoring average: Vandenburg (22.4). Rebounds: Savannah Brown, Heritage Christian (165). 3-pointers made: Abigail Smith, Gilpin County (32)*. Assists: Avery Hughes, Heritage Christian (60)*. Free throws made: Jenna Bakta, Highland (88)*. Steals: Mariah Glasper, Union Colony Prep (63)* Blocks: Kinley Davenport, Highland (22)*.
Numbers Game: Nine of the 12 teams in the league averaged 10 or more steals per game, including Dawson (10.8) and Lyons (10.5), but Union Colony Prep reigned supreme with 16.4.
* — Eligible to return in 2021

Dawson School's Annabelle Biggar, right, pushes ...
Daily Camera file photo
Dawson School’s Annabelle Biggar, right, pushes up the court against Highland on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 in Lafayette.

Dawson Mustangs
Coach: Matt Johnston
The Scorecard: The Mustangs have seen a good amount of success throughout the past three seasons with a cumulative 47-15 record but fell to 8-6 last season after an early rough patch. They bring back a strong junior in F Annabelle Biggar (13.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and will look to senior F America Cordero (4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg), senior G Helen Leon (2.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg) and junior G Ella Stewart (3.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg) to help them out.

Lyons Lions
Coach: Marcus Richardson
The Scorecard: The Lions will be learning their strengths and weaknesses every day of the season as they rely on just one returning starter in junior G Brooklyn Enny, who utilizes a strong inside game and averaged 6.6 points, 5.4 boards, 1.2 assists and 2.5 steals. Richardson will also look to junior Raeana Ortiz, sophomore Gemma Powell, sophomores Marley Chase, Skyler Joy, and juniors Sophie Claviere and Sierra Lauren to round out the main rotation of players.

Twin Peaks Timberwolves
Coach: Jim Schauer
The Scorecard: The Timberwolves look to improve from a 2020-21 season that saw only one win, and Schauer believes his ladies will be up to the challenge. A larger roster will certainly help as they rely on senior F Elyse Hughes and sophomore G Ella Schauer to guide them this season. The Timberwolves only housed eight players — some of whom played the whole 32 minutes in games — last year and lost three to graduation.

Note: Longmont Christian, which led the Mile High League in a number of categories last season, namely scoring, will not field a varsity team this year, per the school.

Bringing it home: recent state champions
2021 — Valor Christian (5A), Mullen (4A), Platte Valley (3A), Limon (2A), Flatirons Academy (1A).
2020 — No champions crowned (state tournaments canceled because of COVID-19).
2019 — Cherry Creek (5A), Mullen (4A), St. Mary’s (3A), Yuma (2A), Kit Carson (1A).
2018 — Grandview (5A), Evergreen (4A), St. Mary’s (3A), Yuma (2A), Kit Carson (1A).
2017 — Grandview (5A), Evergreen (4A), Lamar (3A), Paonia (2A), Kit Carson (1A).
2016 — ThunderRidge (5A), Valor Christian (4A), Lutheran (3A), Yuma (2A), Idalia (1A).

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