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Trendsetters: Boulder’s Ella Bartsch among hoops standouts

Fairview swim owns more than half the top Class 5A times

Boulder High School's Ella Bartsch (No. ...
Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
Boulder High School’s Ella Bartsch (No. 22) puts up a shot over Fairview High School’s Sophia Hrywnak (No. 22) at the CU Events Center on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.
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Life moves fast. Coming into last week, 11 seasons — going back to Jan. 17, 2012 — had come and gone for the Boulder girls’ basketball program without a win over crosstown rival Fairview.

The previous win (the kind you say on three, “For the City” after) came six months prior to the release of the South Korean global phenomenon “Gangnam Style”. The coach then was now longtime Centaurus headman Chris Mischke. Their current star player, Ella Bartsch, was somewhere early into elementary school.

It might as well be a re-tweet of yesterday’s news now. Wednesday, the Panthers, led by one of the area’s most under-the-radar stars in senior Bartsch, ended the long-hanging drought over the Knights with a 34-27 win at CU Events Center. In it, Bartsch had a team-high 14 points and was crucial in giving Boulder the edge on the boards.

“I think we have a lot more talent and a lot more willingness to work,” Bartsch told BoCoPreps when asked of the breakthrough. “In practice every day we’re really putting in the work and pushing each other to be better. And in the past, sometimes that’s lacked.”

Bartsch has been mesmerizing this winter as Boulder pushes for its first playoff appearance in six years. More than marginally better than her first three varsity seasons, she’s having a career year in terms of points per game — up from 11.9 as a junior to 19.5 this year (as per the stats in MaxPreps) — as well as rebounds, steals, blocks and shooting percentage.

Even from long distance, she’s made huge strides, hitting 13 3s in her first 15 games this season. She had just two over her first three years.

Coming into this weekend, the 5-foot-9 senior led her team in every major category outside of assists (Lily Huettel leads with 2.5 per game). In the stats input by her team, she owned more than 50% of her team’s scoring and had twice as many double-doubles as anyone in the Front Range League, with nine and counting.

As of Friday night, only two other local basketball players were averaging more than 19 points per game. Reigning Class 4A and BoCoPreps.com player of the year Elijah Knudsen of Mead (19.3 ppg) is one, Jefferson Academy’s Jordan Neely (19.5) is the other.

Other area players with at least eight double-doubles this season as of Friday night are Boulder sophomore Kyle Blauch, Mead’s James Shiers, Prospect Ridge’s Elizabeth Rooks and Peak to Peak freshman Alexandra Eschmeyer.

Fairview in position to contend for another state title

The Knights came into the week with top times in seven of the Class 5A events, per PrepSwimCo.com.

Freshman Amelia Mason has two of them, swimming the fastest 50-yard freestyle this season at 23.86 seconds and 100 butterfly at 55.07. Morgan Lukinac is tops in the 100 free (51.30), Julianne Jones the best in the 200 IM (2:06.11), and the Knights have the fastest times in all three class relays.

Per the site’s team rankings, Fairview remains second to Cherry Creek.

In 4A, meanwhile, three-time BoCoPreps.com swimmer of the year Mary Codevilla of Niwot had the fastest times in the 50 free (24.11) and 100 free (50.71). The Cougars also had the fastest class 200-freestyle relay time of 1:37.98.

Three area girls wrestlers ranked

Broomfield’s Sydney Wu climbed into the On The Mat rankings this week, going from unranked in 136s to third. Mead’s Jenna Joseph stayed at fourth in the 161-pound class and Legacy’s Madison Farris moved up a spot to third in 185s.

Among highlights, Wu is 15-2 and has won two tournaments, Joseph won the MLK Tournament in Grand Junction earlier this month and was second at the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament, and Farris took second at the NCCT.

Among the boys ranked are Monarch’s Emilio Trujillo-Deen and Boulder’s Joey Airola, who are 1-2 in 5A’s 132s. Airola, although second, beat Trujillo-Deen by a 6-3 decision at the Top of the Rockies tournament last week.

Elsewhere for Monarch, Dillon Roman is No. 1 in 5A 138s, Patrick Brackett fourth in 145s, Dominik Gendreau fourth in 152s, Cole Carlucci third in 182s and Zach Ferrera is fourth in 195s. Legacy’s Gavin Funk is second in 195s.

In 4A, Broomfield’s Cody Tanner is fourth in 106s and Erie’s Noah Lopez second in 120s. In 126s, Erie’s Ramon Salazar is second and Broomfield’s Trevor Hermosillo is fourth. Others include Frederick’s Alex Carrillo in fourth in 132s, Mead’s Jake Glade third in 138s, Broomfield’s Ryan Vigil second in 145s, Broomfield’s Matthew Balzano fourth in 152s and Erie’s Gavin Malek is third in 195s.

Holy Family’s Brayden Bach is second in 3A 106s. Lyons’ Jaden Gardner is fourth in 2A 152s.

Hockey leaders

Monarch, sitting at 8-2 on the season, is led by Zach Jensen’s eight goals. In net, Sean Farrar is 5-1 with a goals-against average of 1.88 and Simon Holstein is 3-1 with a 1.64 GAA.

For Centaurus (5-8), Mitchell Goodman has six goals. Luke Witko has made 166 stops on 183 shots.