Gazette Preps high school hoops rankings: Liberty boys, girls top Class 5A

Photo - The Liberty Lancers defeated the Cheyenne Mountain Indians 87-66 in boys' basketball on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Liberty High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
The Liberty Lancers defeated the Cheyenne Mountain Indians 87-66 in boys' basketball on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Liberty High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

Here's a look at where Colorado Springs-area teams stand in 2018.


Team records as of Jan. 1

Class 5A

  1. Liberty (7-2)
  2. Doherty (6-2)
  3. Rampart (5-2)

Breakdown: Liberty enters 2018 riding a seven-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2. The Lancers’ latest win was an impressive come-from-behind feat over Vista Ridge, which held a 12-point lead heading into the fourth. But Liberty put up 33 points in the final quarter to eke out a two-point win.

Liberty will find another challenge waiting as it heads back onto the court in 2018 as the Lancers face off against Doherty in their 5A Colorado Springs Metro League opener. Doherty is right on Liberty’s heels at 6-2, beating opponents by an average of 10 points through the Spartans’ last three wins.

Rampart is also pressuring in 5A CSML at 5-2, and already has an edge over Liberty with a three-point win over the Lancers at the Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon tournament in early December. The Rams will host a holiday tournament at The Broadmoor World Arena to kick off 2018.

Class 4A

  1. Lewis-Palmer (7-0)
  2. Palmer Ridge (8-2)
  3. Falcon (4-2)

Breakdown: Other than a close three-point win over Mead in early December, the unbeaten Rangers have not faced much adversity so far in the 2017-18 season, leading to their No. 3 statewide ranking, and top mark in Class 4A. Lewis-Palmer will begin to face more familiar foes in 2018 as they kick off the new year on the road against Sand Creek and Vista Ridge this week.

Just down the road, Palmer Ridge is riding an eight-game winning streak after dropping the first two games of the season. Vista Peak threatened to break the streak before the holiday break, but the Bears held on for a three-point lead and their closest margin of victory this season.

Palmer Ridge will face Falcon this week for its first matchup of the new year. Falcon fell to Pueblo South in its final game of 2017, but started the year strong averaging more than 66 points.

Class 3A and below

  1. The Vanguard School (5-1)
  2. Colorado Springs Christian (4-1)
  3. Evangelical Christian (3-3)

Breakdown: Aside from one overtime loss in mid-December, the Coursers have overwhelmed opponents, scoring no less than 71 points per game, and have won by an average of more than 20 points.

Colorado Springs Christian has won four straight since dropping the first game of the season, but opens 2018 with a tough test in Pueblo West on Thursday. The Lions’ most recent victory was a four-point win over Bayfield as CSCS held off a Wolverine comeback in the fourth quarter.

Sitting at 3-3, Evangelical Christian will need to prove itself in the new year as it enters 3A District 8 play. The Eagles will face a big test in Byers (6-1) right off the bat, then will enter league play against Peyton and Ellicott next week.


Team records as of Jan. 1

Class 5A

  1. Liberty (5-2)
  2. Doherty (6-3)
  3. Rampart (3-3)

Breakdown: The Lancers have a pair of 30-point wins under their belts, and a number of dominating victories by 20 points or more. Liberty has won five of its last six games, and will dive into 5A CSML play in the new year.

Liberty’s league test will be against 6-3 Doherty, which won its final two games of 2017, including an impressive 42-point win over Douglas County. The Spartans average 57 points, but have scored 74 points twice so far this season.

Despite starting the season 3-3, Rampart showed promise in December with three straight wins, including a big 12-point victory over 5-3 Vista Ridge. The Rams will host the Rampart Holiday Tournament to kick off the new year.

Class 4A

  1. Air Academy (7-1)
  2. Discovery Canyon (6-2)
  3. The Classical Academy (6-1)

Breakdown: Overtime, one-point wins, blowouts, the Air Academy girls basketball team has seen it all. The Kadets opened the season with a two-point overtime win, followed by a one-point victory the next day. Then they went to work claiming five more victories, four of which by 20 points or more.

Air Academy will face 6-2 Discovery Canyon to kick off the new year in a 5A/4A Pikes Peak league opener. The Thunder have won five of their last six, with their most recent loss coming in a two-point defeat to Pueblo East.

The Classical Academy’s only loss of the season has come at the hands of Air Academy, who buried the Titans by 29 points. But despite that tough loss, TCA has been strong all season, outscoring opponents by 86 points this season.

Class 3A and below

  1. St. Mary’s (6-0)
  2. Colorado Springs Christian (5-0)
  3. The Vanguard School (4-1)

Breakdown: Leading the tough 3A Tri-Peaks league into the new year is a pair of undefeated squads who will certainly make league play interesting in 2018. St. Mary’s remains unbeaten at 6-0 and has overwhelmed opponents, averaging 65 points and allowing just 33 against. The Pirates' first win of the season was an astounding 50-point win over Prospect Ridge, followed by a 40-point victory later that week.

Colorado Springs Christian has also gotten into the habit of drowning opponents, averaging 66 points and allowing just 23 points against. The Lions have scored more than 70 points three times this season and have a 60-point win over Jefferson Academy.

The Vanguard School sits in fourth in 3A Tri-Peaks at 4-1, and is riding a three-game winning streak into the new year. The Coursers open 2018 against 5-3 Florence, who already has two league victories on the season.