Girls' basketball 5A, 4A state tournament capsules

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With so many first-round upsets, there are some interesting disparities in rankings matchups. But that's what makes it fun. More upsets would make it even more fun.

On to the second round we go.

Class 5A

 

No. 26 Rampart vs. No. 7 Doherty

When: Friday: 7 p.m.

Where: At Doherty

What to know: It's always fun to get a league rivalry in the playoffs, though you wish it was deeper into the postseason. Will the fifth time be the charm? That's what Rampart is hoping. Rampart (11-13) wants to stop a four-game losing streak to the Spartans (22-1) dating back to 2014-15. Doherty won this season's series by a combined 56 points, though the second meeting was only a six-point difference heading into the fourth. Rampart will have to slow down Doherty's big three - Kalani Poloa (14.3 points per game), Aubriana Noti (14.0) and Mykiaa Minniss (12.7). The Rams' offense revolves around sophomores Bailee Hart (9.4 ppg) and Bailey Torres (9.3 ppg), and junior Madi Wriedt (8.7 ppg).

Pine Creek huddles before their game against Doherty Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Pine Creek High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Pine Creek huddles before their game against Doherty Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Pine Creek High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

No. 20 Poudre vs. No. 13 Pine Creek

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Where: At Pine Creek

What to know: Pine Creek (17-6) comes in off the first-round bye to take on a Poudre (14-10) squad that has won three straight and opened the playoffs with a 35-27 win over No. 45 Prairie View. The Eagles held Poudre to 16 points in a 17-point win on Dec. 2 on the road. Another defensive performance like that and the Eagles - winners of five consecutive games - will likely be on their way to the round of 16. Courtney Stanton leads the Eagles with 11.8 ppg, while Gabi O'Connor adds 10.6. The Impalas look to senior McKenzee Gertz for scoring, as she averages 15.6 ppg and 6.5 rebounds per game.

No. 40 Vista Ridge vs. No. 8 Denver East

When: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Where: At Denver East

What to know: At one point this season, Vista Ridge (7-17) lost seven consecutive games and 11 out of 12. Since, the Wolves have won three in a row, including Tuesday's playoff-opening victory over No. 25 Cherokee Trail. Playing in one of the more challenging 4A conferences (the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference is all 4A teams except Vista Ridge) might have prepared the Wolves for the postseason. Denver East has won four in a row and ran the table in the 5A/4A Denver Prep League. R'manie Pulling leads the Angels at 12.6 ppg, while sophomore Dezmonea Antwine averages 11.0. Kate Rohr leads the Wolves with 12.7 ppg. Darian Taylor nearly averages a double-double with 10.4 ppg, 9.8 rebounds. The Angels beat the Wolves 55-24 on Dec. 9.

 

Class 4A

PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Air Academy Kadets hosted the Discovery Canyon Thunder in girls' basketball on Friday, January 27, 2017 at Air Academy High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing 

No. 29 Berthoud vs. No. 4 Air Academy

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Air Academy

What to know: The PPAC champion Kadets (19-4) limp into the postseason after winning just one of their last three, and that includes a loss to 10-win Lewis-Palmer and a 22-point loss to Falcon. Berthoud (14-10) won its playoff opener to snap a two-game losing streak. Berthoud will key on stopping Kadets' leading scorer Katelin Gallegos (14.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg), the team's only double-digit scorer. Brooke Sulski averages 8.0 ppg. The Spartans have five players that average in double digits, led by Sydney Meis (13.0), Kyleigh Milan (12.8) and Emily Cavey (12.0).

Mesa Ridge Girls Basketball
The Mesa Ridge Grizzlies hosted The Classical Academy Titans on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at Mesa Ridge High School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography. 

No. 39 Cheyenne Mountain vs. No. 7 Mesa Ridge

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Mesa Ridge

What to know: This PPAC vs. CSML battle will be nice for both teams, letting them stay close to home. The Indians (11-13) take on the 4A CSML champs in the Grizzlies (19-4). Cheyenne Mountain went on the road to upset No. 26 Silver Creek in double overtime on Tuesday behind 21 points from Ashlynn Smith. Smith leads the Indians with 13.2 ppg, the only player to average double digits. Carly Fetters averages 6.2. Mesa Ridge is led by Chloe Welch's 18.0 ppg. Sophomore Ashley Bowen averages 12.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg.

 

No. 21 TCA vs. No. 12 Discovery Canyon

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Discovery Canyon

What to know: The Classical Academy (19-5) might be one of the most dangerous teams in the tournament not to receive a first-round bye. The Titans are riding an 11-game win streak and that includes a win over league champ Mesa Ridge and a 33-point first-round win over No. 44 Skyview. The Thunder placed second in the PPAC and have won six in a row. Throw in the fact that these schools are just a few miles apart and natural rivals, and you've got the making of an instant classic. TCA is led by four players who average more than 10 points, including McClain Walker (13.3) and Raegan Bervig (11.0). Discovery Canyon is led by sophomore Ashten Prechtel's double-double average of 13.8 ppg and 11.8 rpg, and senior transfer Emma List's 16.1 ppg.

No. 18 Falcon vs. No. 15 D'Evelyn

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: D'Evelyn

What to know: Falcon (17-7), boasting wins in six of its last seven games, will have upset on its mind as it heads to D'Evelyn. The host Jaguars (16-7) have lost two of their last five. But the team is playoff tested, having reached at least the quarterfinals the last five seasons. Falcon's first-round win was its first since 2013-14. Hanna Diaz leads the Falcons with 13.4 ppg, while Jade Adams adds 12.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg. Jill Smith leads D'Evelyn with 13.7 ppg. Bailey Marvel and Angi Reed each average more than 10 ppg.

PREP BASKETBALL
Palmer Ridge senior Sam Rippley (11) guards Vista Peak junior Brooklyn Grieve (22) in the second quarter. The Palmer Ridge Bears defeated the Vista Peak Bison 58-46 in girls' basketball on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at Palmer Ridge High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing 

No. 27 Palmer Ridge vs. No. 6 Valor Chr.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: At Valor Christian

What to know: Palmer Ridge (14-10) roars into the second round off a 31-point win over No. 38 Denver West. The Bears have won four in a row and by an average margin of 22 points. Valor Christian (15-8) has stretched its winning streak to seven games. Tess Boade leads the Eagles with a 12.9 ppg average and Mary Newland chips in 10.7 ppg. The Bears lean on Sam Rippley, who averages 11.8 ppg. Three others average more than 7.0 ppg.

Sierra vs Canyon City Girls BBall
The Sierra Stallions hosted the Canyon City Tigers in girls' basketball on Saturday, January 14, 2017. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography. 

No. 30 Sierra vs. No. 3 Evergreen

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Where: At Evergreen

What to know: Definitely one of the most intriguing second-round matchups, Sierra (15-9) will have to be at the top of its game if it wants to knock off last season's 4A runner-up. Evergreen (20-3) hasn't missed a beat since last season's run to the final, holding nine of its opponents to 30 points or fewer. The Cougars have just two players who average double figures in Claudia Dillon (13.3 ppg) and Baylee Galan-Browne (10.3). Dillon also averages 10.3 rpg. Sierra's defense has held opponents to 30 points or fewer six times. The Stallions have four players averaging in double digits, led by D'Nae Wilson's 12.0 ppg and Aubrey Robinson's 11.5.

 

Sierra vs Canyon City Girls BBall
The Sierra Stallions hosted the Canyon City Tigers in girls' basketball on Saturday, January 14, 2017. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography. 

No. 42 Cañon City vs. No. 10 Pueblo East

When: Friday, 5 p.m.

Where: At Pueblo East

What to know: Cañon City (11-13) is hoping to make it two upsets in a row. The Tigers might be catching Pueblo East (16-7) at the right time, as the Angels have lost three straight. East has three players averaging in double figures, led by Kayla Albo's 14.0 ppg. Nastassja Rubio averages 12.0 ppg and Riley Harding 10.5. Freshman Jerika Moore leads the Tigers with 13.4 ppg. Katie Till and Ellie Till average more than 10 ppg.