Taking a glance at the seven area boys high school basketball teams as they return from holiday break…
Berthoud (2-4, 0-0 Patriot)
Wins: Frederick, Roosevelt.
Losses: Fort Lupton, Elizabeth, Thompson Valley, Northridge.
The Spartans played a pair of early-season tournaments to start the year, where they won one out three games in each. A heavily senior-laden lineup has yet to find its grove, as the team has struggled shooting thus far in getting held under 50 points in three of its four losses.
Having not played since Dec. 10, the Spartans will look to build some momentum tonight (Tuesday) at home against Roosevelt, who Berthoud already beat once this season 58-55 back on Dec. 9.
Greg Hutchins (12.8) and Zach Ruebesam (10.3) lead the Spartans offensively.
Fossil Ridge (5-1, 0-0 5A Front Range)
Wins: Mountain View, Pine Creek, Douglas County, Denver South, Thompson Valley.
Losses: Faith Christian.
Other than a six-point loss in their second game of the season to four-time defending 3A state champion Faith Christian, the SaberCats have transitioned to the post-Chris Hansen era pretty well.
Cody McCoy (21.5 points per game) has taken over a majority of Hansen’s scoring output, while sophomores Alex Semadeni (11.5) and Evan Smith (8.5) have both been solid as first-year varsity players. Heath Brashear has been steady at the point as well, averaging 6.3 points and 5.0 assists.
With Boulder starting just 3-4, Fossil Ridge could actually be in line to pull of something it didn’t during last year’s Great 8 run by winning the Front Range League title.
Loveland (5-2, 0-0 5A Front Range)
Wins: Montbello, Dakota Ridge, Hinkley, Mountain View, Thompson Valley.
Losses: Fruita Monument, Rangeview.
The Indians have gotten off to a solid 5-2 start under first-year coach Reese Gliko, with three of those wins coming by six points or less.
Six-foot-six sophomore Conor Lang’s length and shooting touch have enabled Loveland to stretch the floor offensively, where Joe Etling and Ryan Andrews lead the way.
The Indians play 11 games this month, all of them conference tilts, including tonight’s opener at home against Rocky Mountain (5-2).
Mountain View (1-7, 4A Northern)
Losses: Fossil Ridge, Faith Christian, Douglas County, Pueblo County, Horizon, Loveland.
The transition under first-year coach Adam Hooker has been a tough so far, but three losses by five points or less provides hope that the Mountain Lions are close to turning the corner.
Giving up leads has been a repeated problem for Mountain View, who is led offensively by Armando Garcia.
The Mountain Lions open conference play tonight (Tuesday) at home against Greeley Central.
Resurrection Christian (6-0, 1-0 District 7)
Wins: Lyons, Heritage Christian, Nederland, Dayspring Christian, Lyons, Wiggins.
For the second straight year under Bruce Dick, the Cougars have stormed out of the gate and are 6-0, with five of those wins coming by 13 points or more—and that’s with all of their games played away from home. Things will even themselves out quickly, though, as Resurrection plays seven of its eight January games at home, including the first six.
The Cougars feature four players averaging eight points or more: Josh Mondt (16.2), Bryan Wallman (14.8), Wyatt Simon (10.7) and Brock Buxman (8.2).
A Jan. 21 matchup against Denver Christian (5-0, 1-0) is certainly one to watch, as Resurrection will be looking to avenge last year’s 60-52 defeat.
Roosevelt (1-6, 1-0 4A Tri-Valley)
Wins: Fort Morgan.
Losses: Centaurus, Montrose, Pueblo Central, Northridge, Berthoud, Thompson Valley.
After struggling to an 0-6 start, the RoughRiders notched their first win of the season their last time out, Dec. 16, in a 76-64 road win at Fort Morgan, their Tri-Valley League opener.
The RoughRiders have been banged up already, with two of their top players, Dylan Cunningham (ankle) and Michael Mitchell (head) hobbled. Cunningham has battled through a sprain and managed to average 15 points a game, while Mitchell has been out since suffering a head injury in the team’s 58-55 loss to Berthoud on Dec. 9.
Getting back Mitchell, who topped 20 points in two of the team’s first three games, would be a huge boost for Roosevelt as they open 2012 with a rematch against Berthoud tonight (Tuesday) before returning to conference play Friday at home against Erie (1-7).
Thompson Valley (5-3, 0-1 4A Northern)
Wins: Greeley West, Northridge, Berthoud, Roosevelt, Skyline.
Losses: Broomfield, Fossil Ridge, Loveland.
Josh Robinson’s squad sprinted out the gates 5-0, matching its win total from the previous two seasons combined, before dropping its last three.
Scheduling certainly has played a factor, as the Eagles’ three losses have come against teams with a combined 16-4 record. However, the loss of sophomore forward Austin Dyer, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in TV’s loss to Broomfield, certainly hurts.
With Dyer out, forward Karsen Buschjost—one of only two seniors, along with Trent Baisley—will be relied upon even more down in the post for the Eagles.
Wednesday’s road game at Fort Morgan (1-7) figures to be a great chance for the Eagles to get back in the win column.