Doherty High School: Page 2

Wednesday, March 30
5A-4A boys' basketball all-area team


The Gazette's 5A-4A Boys' Basketball all-area selections

First team
See photos of the first-team selections

Terrell Brown, Palmer, Palmer, senior
Chris Davis, Fountain-Fort Carson, senior
Xavier Ford, Harrison, senior
Wesley Gordon, Sierra, junior
Josh Scott, Lewis-Palmer, junior

Second team

Kendall Godley, Falcon, senior
Jalen Little, Palmer, junior
Josh Smith, Sand Creek, sophomore
David Snipes, Mitchell, senior
Dominique Wright, Fountain-Fort Carson, senior

Third team

Devin Kastrup, Pine Creek, senior
Matt Hower, Rampart, senior
Kalen Link, Falcon, senior
Eric Rayer, Coronado, junior
Jordan Scott, Lewis-Palmer, sophomore

Honorable mention

Chris Ashe, Widefield; Andrew Atakpo, Air Academy; Collin Babcock, Palmer Ridge; Canyon Barry, Cheyenne Mountain; Calvin Brown, Sierra; Nick Brown, Liberty; Ricky Buchanan, Vista Ridge; Ryan Cook, Rampart; Brandon Deese, Palmer; Luke Gaffney, Cheyenne Mountain; Elliott Hamdeed, Pine Creek; D.J. Haynes, Wasson; Max Javernick, Canon City; Jacob Lancaster, Doherty; Tyler Kennedy, Coronado;  Jon Parker, Discovery Canyon; Richie Perea, Wasson; Kyle Pilipovich, Discovery Canyon; Reggie Sampson, Doherty; Dylan Sisneros, sr., Doherty; Hakeem Stewart, Wasson; Andre Terry, Mesa Ridge; Devonte Upson, Harrison


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Wednesday, March 30
Boys' basketball all-league lists


Only area players are included in lists


Player of the Year
Terrell Brown, Palmer

Coach of the Year
Jimmy Grantz, Palmer

First team
Terrell Brown, Palmer
Chris Davis, Fountain-Fort Carson
Jalen Little, Palmer
Dominic Wright, Fountain-Fort Carson
Matt Hower, Rampart

Second team
Dylan Sisneros, Doherty
Devin Kastrup, Pine Creek
Nick Brown, Liberty
Brandon Deese, Palmer
Reggie Sampson, Doherty

Honorable mention
Doherty—Jacob Lancaster,
Wil Romero, Sherron Wilson, Ian Young; Fountain-Fort Carson— Al Davis, Brent Jackson, Josiah Lee; Palmer— Mark Johnson, DaShawn Moore, Dominic Rufran, Chris Urbaniak, David Victorino; Pine Creek—Steve Aldaz, Elliott Hamdeed, Landon Rogers; Liberty— AJ Bohusiausky, Kody Springsteen; Rampart— Max Cook, Ryan Cook, Alex Hammelev, Jared Theis


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Friday, March 25
McKiernan being inducted into state coaches Hall of Fame
gazette 03-25-11

Coach's basketball family is his legacy

March 25, 2011



Rumor had it that Dan McKiernan lined up the players trying out for basketball and told everyone to step forward if they thought they could make varsity. Those who stepped forward were allowed to try out and those who didn't were cut without picking up a basketball.

The rumor the following year was that everyone who missed a layup warming up during the first 10 minutes of tryouts was released because he couldn't make the game's easiest shot despite not being defended.

As an adult you learn most rumors aren't true, which was the case with these two. As a sophomore at Palmer High School in 1990, I knew kids who were terrified of McKiernan because of these fabrications. Those were the kids who didn't know him.

McKiernan, who just completed his sixth season as the boys' coach at Doherty, will be entering the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday night in Denver. He has coached in the area since 1972, has won 610 games and won two state championships at Palmer.

But McKiernan doesn't consider those his greatest accomplishments. Family comes first, and if you play basketball for McKiernan - you are part of his clan.

"I see them more then their families do," McKiernan said of his players Thursday. "I see them two hours a day during school. You build up quite a relationship."

As with any family, problems arise and McKiernan doesn't shy away from them. He has bailed some of his former players out of jail, talked at a parole hearing for another and let two former players move into his house.

"People talk about all the successes, the 21-plus that we have had go Division I and how many others who became doctors, but we also have quite a few who went to prison or went to jail," McKiernan said. "There's that commitment, but I think all coaches do that. You are joined at the hip. It's a special thing."

Demetrius Somerville, who was a starter on McKiernan's first championship team in 1993 at Palmer, hadn't seen his coach in "13 or 14 years" until about 11 months ago. Somerville, who went on to play Division I at George Mason and then faced troubles of his own, said McKiernan embraced him.

"One thing I always loved about coach McKiernan, he always made you feel like it was more than just a coach-player relationship," said Somerville, who began attending camps run by McKiernan when he was 8 years old. "He filtered a lot of people through that probably would have been in trouble otherwise."

Trouble has a way of finding some, and not all relationships work out.

"Dan sets the expectation and the kids have to hit the expectation," Doherty athletic director Chris Noll said. "If they don't hit the expectation, they don't play on his team. He cares about his kids and they know that he is no-nonsense. ... He is going to do everything to help them, but if they continue to violate - there is no doubt who the boss is."

Last season, Doherty had to suspend its starting point guard, according to Noll, and many years ago McKiernan kicked the leading scorer in the city off his team.

"It's like a death. It really is," McKiernan said of losing a member of his basketball family. "The first thing that comes to mind is that I failed them."

Working to be a quality person is as important as shooting a 3-pointer or making a layup, according to McKiernan.

"If you can't meet these standards then we are going to part," he said.

McKiernan, who takes pride in multiple teaching awards, says that some of the best lessons he teaches are on the court and not in the classroom.

"You learn things that you can't learn in math class, can't learn in English," he says of the practical knowledge he shares coaching. "You can't learn self-sacrifice. You can't learn about getting knocked down and having someone on your (butt) and later pick you up and say, 'It is going to be all right' ... and having success. That can't be learned in a classroom, that's life. Every successful coach is a good teacher. I absolutely believe that. Coaching is the best thing that has ever happened to me."


Coaching is actually the second-best thing that has happened to McKiernan.

Meeting his wife Flo, who he celebrated his 49th wedding anniversary with Wednesday, was the ultimate for McKiernan.

"It was love at first sight," the burly 6-foot-6 coach with a reputation for being a tyrant on the sideline said. "I just fell head over heels. I was absolutely in love with her. I still adore her. She is so cute, she is witty and she is smart."

The couple got married the day after McKiernan, who turned 70 on Tuesday, turned 21.

"He is a Flo McKiernan buff," Noll said. "His wife walks on water in Dan's eyes and that is one thing I have always been impressed with. He is a great husband."

Being a wife of a coach can be tough. Sitting in the stands and hearing someone second-guessing your husband can be trying. Not to mention the hours your husband spends at practices, games and watching film. Dan says that being a coach is a full-time obligation.

To offset the time demands, Dan and Flo have date night every Wednesday.

"It's a priority," Dan said of the couple with five children and 18 grandchildren spending time together. "She raised the family. My advice to young guys being coaches, there's got to be one day a week you spend with your wife and not with your kids. (Coaching is) hard on wives."

Most wives aren't asked if a player can move in. But Flo didn't have any problem allowing Brian Carpenter -- who was living out of a barrack bag, according to Dan -- moving in. Brian was eventually adopted by the McKiernans.

"He's brother Brian, that is what everyone in the family calls him." Dan said.

If Flo would have had a problem with Carpenter moving in, or with any of Dan's antics, she is one person who isn't afraid to tell him - and one he will actually listen to.

"She is my counsel," Dan said. "I don't go to a lot of people ... she won't tell me what I want to hear. She will tell me what she thinks. She has always been there, always been honest and has always had my back."


About 6,000 local kids have participated in McKiernan's basketball camps over the years.

Somerville said there were always scholarships available to kids who were from families with financial struggles so they could participate in the camps when families couldn't afford it. He also said every kid was given a basketball.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do," McKiernan said. "I ultimately wanted to win basketball games. That is the selfish part of it. Some of the richest kids in town and poorest kids mixed together pretty well."

McKiernan also gave out hats, coats, gloves, dolls and G.I. Joe action figures to kids for Christmas.

"We would go around, and I would take my kids with me sometimes," McKiernan said. "But it was our community, I didn't do it all over the city."

Over the years, McKiernan has had his kids read at grade schools, give teddy bears away at the children's ward at a hospital and contribute to Care and Share.

"I think everybody in the community does stuff like that," the Springs native said. "The kids need to realize what is going on in the community. We've got people who are hungry and people who are not doing well and we need to do things for them as well."


McKiernan says he doesn't care what most people say.

"No, I really don't," he said. "You put yourself out there. You are going to make five vocal enemies every year and 50 new friends, but they are not vocal. You have to have a tough skin. I can't worry about what other people think. You do, it bothers you when somebody says something, but fortunately I have had more nicer things said then negatives. They can't knock the success I guess. I have had great kids and great coaches and it gave me a chance to be as good as I could be."

Over 39 years, that is a lot of enemies. But surprisingly, McKiernan says that he is friends with a lot of the officials he torments during games.

"He will ride an official pretty good, and he has calmed down from how he used to be, and a lot of times people only see the antics of Dan McKiernan the coach on the sideline," Noll said. "But once you get to work with him, you get to see Dan as a person. He is a better person than he is a coach and he is a phenomenal coach."

Any time McKiernan has lost his cool and been ejected from a game he admittedly said he deserved it. He also said it is unfortunate that most people tend to remember only the bad things.

"I don't know how people perceive me," he said. "You want people to respect you. But you don't know. But I am good at what I do. After years of making mistakes, and I make mistakes all the time, but I am getting better at it. There are not as many and they are not as big."

As for his relationship with referees during games, he has a simple philosophy.

"Some of my best friends are officials. I really admire them," McKiernan said while assuring me he wasn't just saying that. "But my attitude toward them is 'I built this garden and I don't want you trampling through it.'"


"Basketball comes down to three things: Play as hard as you can, play as intelligent as you can and have fun," McKiernan said. "As a coach, if it is all a drain and there is no fun involved, then you are not doing a good job."

The other thing McKiernan stresses is that he coaches the way he would have wanted to be coached. He remembers the pain he felt when being cut from a junior high team and being notified by a list on the wall. He said he has never used a list and that he will take the time to explain to a player why they didn't make the team.

He also says that when he gets on a kid particularly hard in practice, he makes a mental note and tries to say something positive to that player before they leave the court.

"Every coach is going to get on you and push you to be the best you can be," Somerville said.

Noll says there are no signs of McKiernan slowing down and McKiernan says his passion is what keeps him going.

"If I lose that, then it is time for me to quit," McKiernan said.


McKiernan receives calls and visits from former players, team managers and other friends he has made through basketball and he gets a thrill out of seeing them as adults with families. He even stays in touch with some of the players he kicked off his teams.

"It's a great thing," he said of his relationships with former players. "It's not something that I ever planned out as a legacy or anything like that."

When he is inducted into the Hall Saturday night, McKiernan wants to make one thing clear.

"I want to tell everyone thank you," McKiernan said. "You don't win those things without good players and assistants. All these other people, I have been on their backs, they are the reasons why I am here."

McKiernan by the numbers

Area coaching: Doherty 2004-present, Rampart '02-'04, Palmer 1973-'02

610-366 record

2 state championships ('93, '00)

7 state final fours

16 state tournament appearances

18 conference titles

12 district titles

6 Coach of the year Honors

24-0 season in '00, first time undefeated in Palmer history

3 Teacher of the Year honors for Colorado Springs


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Friday, March 18
5A all-stars get serious when game is on the line
gazette 03-18-11



The Colorado Springs Metro League All-Stars boys’ teams didn’t have the prettiest of shooting nights, but there was plenty to get the crowd out of their seats.

The teams combined for eight dunks, an alley-oop and nine 3-pointers, as the 5A squad rallied in the second half to top their 4A foes 71-67 at Doherty High School on Friday night.

Harrison’s Xavier Ford’s alley-oop slam dunk from Mitchell’s David Snipes gave 4A an early 6-4 lead and had fans yelling.

See photos from the game

Doherty’s Jacob Lancaster, playing on his home court, scored eight points, four on dunks.
Harrison’s Devonte Upson posed mid-flight, one arm behind his head, before slamming the ball and giving 4A a 34-26 lead seconds before the half.

“I touched my head, act like I’m soaring through the crowd, high-flyer,” said Upson. “I was just thinking of what I was going to do. I had it planned. I had to perfect it.”

A Fountain-Fort Carson duo kept 5A from falling too far behind. Chris Davis and Dominique Wright combined for 22 points and hooked up on a fastbreak, with Davis dishing the ball to Wright at the last second.

“We were trying to represent for the 5A team,” Davis said. “He knows what I’m going to do, and we kind of just bonded really well on the court.”

While both teams had fun the first three quarters, with more attempts at dunks and more errant 3s than could be expected, both teams cracked down when the fourth quarter rolled around with 5A trailing 48-46.

Davis tied it at 48 and Palmer’s Brandon Deese brought the crowd and his bench to its feet when he leaped in the air, spun 180 degrees and threw up a no-look bank shot off the glass. It gave 5A the lead for good. And it wasn’t about to relinquish it.

“4A was talking smack,” Davis said. “We wanted to prove a point. We don’t like to get talked about. Aw, man, they were saying they were bigger than us and they were going to take control of the game. We went out and proved them wrong.”

Ford, who finished with 10 points, had a monster dunk that closed the gap to 58-57 and left the twine stretched across the hoop.

“I’d rather win,” Ford said. “We lost, so I’m upset right now. I don’t like losing.

“It’s cool to be selected as one of the best players in the league, so it was fun.”

Lewis-Palmer’s Josh Scott led all scorers with 21 points. Playing with and against some of his peers was a joy for the Rangers junior.

“It was a fun night,” Scott said. “I’ll just put it as Xavier Ford and a lot of good scorers. I just got the lucky draw this time.”


At Doherty High School
Class 4A     21  13  14  19  –  67
Class 5A     10  19  17  25  –  71
Josh Scott (Lewis-Palmer) 21, Xavier Ford (Harrison) 12, Eric Rayer (Coronado) 7, Devonte Upson (Harrison) 7, DJ Haynes (Wasson) 5, Josh Smith (Sand Creek) 5, Kendall Godley (Falcon) 3, David Snipes (Mitchell) 3, Jordan Scott (Lewis-Palmer) 2, Kalen Link (Falcon) 2.
Terrell Brown (Palmer) 15, Chris Davis (Fountain-Fort Carson) 12, Dominique Wright (Fountain-Fort Carson) 10, Jacob Lancaster (Doherty) 8, Max Cook (Rampart) 7, Matt Hower (Rampart) 6, Brandon Deese (Palmer) 4, Devin Kastrup (Pine Creek) 3, Nick Brown (Liberty) 2, Reggie Sampson (Doherty) 2, Dylan Sisneros (Doherty) 2.


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Wednesday, March 16
Rosters set for Friday's Metro League all-star games


The 26th annual Colorado Springs Metro League 4A vs. 5A All-Star Game will be Friday (March 18) at Doherty. The girls' game will begin at 5 p.m. and the boys' game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

There will be a girls' 3-point contest that begins at 3:30 p.m. and wraps with finals between games.

Doors open at 3:15 p.m.


Here are the rosters:



Coach: Jimmy Grantz, Palmer

Terrell Brown, Palmer; Chris Davis, Fountain-Fort Carson; Jalen Little, Palmer; Dominic Wright, Fountain-Fort Carson; Matt Hower, Rampart; Dylan Sisneros, Doherty; Devin Kastrup, Pine Creek; Nick Brown, Liberty; Brandon Deese, Palmer; Reggie Sampson, Doherty; Jacob Lancaster, Doherty


Coach: Russ McKinstry, Lewis-Palmer

Wesley Gordon, Sierra; Josh Scott, Lewis-Palmer; Xavier Ford, Harrison; Kendall Godley, Falcon; David Snipes, Mitchell; Eric Rayer, Coronado; Josh Smith, Sand Creek; DJ Haynes, Wasson; Jordan Scott, Lewis-Palmer; Kalen Link, Falcon; Devonte Upson, Harrison; Richie Perea, Wasson


Coach: Kelley Stewart, Pine Creek and J'on St. Clair, Doherty

Mary Miller, Palmer; Kim Cerjan, Doherty; Taylor Torres, Palmer; Angela Vigil, Doherty; Brandi Farley, Pine Creek; Macy Myers, Rampart; Shannon Kelly, Pine Creek; Michelle Brassard, Rampart; Allie Metzler, Palmer


Coaches: Bob Wingett, Air Academy; Angela Foschi Heldstab, Flacon; Autumn Sereno, Sand Creek

Kaitlyn Mileto, Mesa Ridge; Taylor Proctor, Sand Creek; Janae Vander Ploeg, Cheyenne Mountain; Jade McIntosh, Sand Creek; Miranda Beal, Air Academy ;Connie Char, Cheyenne Mountain; Kate Louthan, Air Academy; Brittany Hernandez, Air Academy; Nicole Herrera, Harrison; Kiah Hicks, Falcon


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Thursday, March 10
2011 State Tournament
State Tournament


FINAL:  #8 Dakota Ridge beat #9 Pine Creek 57-48

FINAL:  #6 Fountain Fort Carson beat #11 Northglenn 74-57

FINAL:  #5 Cherry Creek beat #12 Liberty 59-44

FINAL:  #7 Doherty beat #10 Smoky Hill 58-55



FINAL:  #7 Monarch beat #2 Palmer 73-58

FINAL:  #3 George Washington beat #6 Ftn Fort Carson 65-56

FINAL:  #2 Boulder beat #7 Doherty 57-27



FINAL:  #1 Arapahoe beat #4 Chaparral 63-47

FINAL:  #3 Lincoln beat #7 Monarch 68-64 (OT)

FINAL:  #1 Regis beat #4 Pomona 67-49

FINAL:  #2 Rangeview beat #3 George Washington 59-52

FINAL:  #1 Denver East beat #4 Arvada West 64-54

FINAL:  #2 Boulder beat #3 Mountain Vista 86-69

FINAL:  #1 Highlands Ranch beat #4 Fruita Monument 78-45

FINAL:  #2 Fossil Ridge beat #6 Montbello 60-57



FINAL:  #1 Arapahoe beat #3 Lincoln 66-45

FINAL:  #1 Regis beat #2 Rangeview 69-56

FINAL:  #2 Boulder beat #1 Denver East 60-55

FINAL:  #1 Highlands Ranch beat #2 Fossil Ridge 63-49



#1 Regis (21-5) beat #1 Arapahoe (25-1) 75-57

#2 Boulder (24-2) beat #1 Highlands Ranch (25-1)



#1 Regis (21-5) beat #2 Boulder 



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Tuesday, March 1
Honorable mention Peak Performances from the past week




Dylan Sisneros, Doherty – 16 points


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Sunday, February 27
Saturday postseason basketball roundup

Justin Shaw




No. 2 Boulder 57, No. 7 Doherty 27


At Boulder: Doherty is eliminated early in the tournament after making two trips to the state semifinals in the last four years.


The Spartans trailed 36-12 at the half and couldn't recover.


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Sunday, February 27
Boulder boys steamrolls Doherty
Boulder Daily

By Chris Shelton Camera Sports Writer

Posted: 02/27/2011 11:54:59

Doherty won the tip and scored on its first possession of Saturday`s boys basketball state tournament game against Boulder.


But the Panthers didn`t blink and soon buried the Spartans in the Pit.

Boulder`s press defense forced Doherty to turn the ball over on five of its next six possessions and the Panthers drained four 3-pointers to open the game en route to beating the Spartans 57-27 in the second round of the Class 5A state tournament..


Boulder (22-2), seeded No. 2, will next host No. 3 Mountain Vista (20-4) in the Sweet 16 at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.


"We played real good defense," said Boulder senior guard Zach Wil-son, who had 13 points. "Come playoff time there`s no tomorrow. It`s win or go home so we gave it everything we had."


In addition to Boulder`s fast start, which saw the Panthers build an 18-2 lead to begin Saturday`s game, a heated battle developed inside.


Boulder junior forward Loren Ban, at 6-foot-6, went up against Doherty`s 6-10 center, senior Jacob Lancaster.


Despite having a 4-inch height advantage, Lancaster was hit with a technical foul in the first quarter and eventually had to go to the bench in the first half with three fouls. He was held to two points in the first half and 10 overall.


Ban, meanwhile, withstood Lancaster`s emotional play and went on to lead Boulder in scoring with 18 points.


"Loren`s tough to deal with," said Boulder assistant coach Elton Davis, who handled the post-game duties due to head coach Alan Schulz being ill.


"Loren is a good-sized kid and he`s strong. It`s tough for anybody to try and keep him off the block and move him a little bit. It helped that (Lancaster) got into foul trouble. Loren was big for us."


Also notable for Boulder was that senior point guard, and leading scorer, Riley Grabau was held to one field goal -- and the Panthers still won by 30.


Grabau twice connected with Andre Rieder for alley-oop dunks in the first half and tried to deliver several no-look passes throughout the game to set up his teammates.


"If I don`t hit, my teammates have my back and I depend on them," Grabau said. "When I do hit and they hit, it`s all good. It`s really just all team basketball. My team carried the weight and won it."


Last year, Boulder advanced as far as the Sweet 16, where the Panthers lost a close game on the road to eventual state champion Regis.


This year, Boulder earned a bye in the first round and two home games to start the tournament. The Panthers host a Mountain Vista team that tied for third in the Continental League, one spot behind Regis and two spots behind No. 1 Highlands Ranch.


"It`s way different than last year," Grabau said. "We had one home game and then we had to travel to Fruita (in the second round). But this year it`s way better -- two home games, the crowd behind us. So it`s fun."


Boulder 57, Doherty 27


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Thursday, February 24
Doherty survives first round in nail-biting fashion
Gazette 2-24-11




Doherty’s Dylan Sisneros seemed to be in the right places at the perfect times late in the game Wednesday night.


Sisneros, who had a team-high 16 points, stole the ball on a crucial defensive possession, then made two free throws to help the Spartans to a 58-55 home win over Smoky Hill in the first round of the 5A tournament.


See photos from the game


With No. 7 seed Doherty leading 56-55 with 5.9 seconds left, Sisneros stepped into the passing lane and intercepted the Smoky Hill inbounds pass.


He then missed two free-throws, but got the rebound over four Buffaloes after a favorable bounce, and was fouled again.


“On the first two I was shooting them pretty flat, and the second two I put more arc on them,” said Sisneros, who made both free-throws after his offensive rebound. “As long as we get the W and advance that’s all that matters.”


It looked like Doherty (12-11) would advance with ease. The Spartans held a 51-41 lead mid-way through the fourth quarter. However, a few turnovers and Smoky Hill 3-pointers made it tight.


Doherty led throughout the game, getting several steals that resulted in layups and expanding the lead to 12 at one point before No. 10 Smoky Hill (9-15) cut it to seven after three quarters.


“We didn’t play well on either end and we let them come back because we couldn’t stop their big man in the paint,” Doherty guard Ian Young said.


The big man in the paint was Denis Terzic. The junior post had 20 points and 14 rebounds and almost single-handedly brought his team to a win.


However, the game may well have been won for Doherty on the perimeter. The Spartans held Smoky Hill’s top scorer Nico Perry to just seven points before he fouled out in the fourth quarter. Perry averaged almost 19 points per game this season.


“Coach told us (Perry) was their big scorer so we just had to get a hand in his face,” said Young, who had 12 points and six rebounds.


After the close call, Doherty will travel to No. 2 Boulder (21-2) on Friday for the second round.


Doherty coach Dan McKiernan wasn’t happy with his team’s performance from the line (19-for-31), and knows that it will be critical for the Spartans to improve in that area.


“We have got to get to the line and make them," McKiernan said. "Our offense is an attacking one with a lot of driving to the basket because we don’t shoot too many 3s. When we miss free throws we become a pretty average team.”


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Wednesday, February 23
Hoops: Sizing up the 5A first round
Gazette 2-23-11

No. 11 Northglenn at No. 6 Fountain-Fort Carson

Northglenn has won five of its last six games, although those have been against weak opposition. The Norse lost eight in a row to open the season, so just making the playoffs is an accomplishment in itself. F-FC has won eight of nine and was second in the 5A Metro, one game behind Palmer. The Trojans, led by Chris Davis, shouldn’t have too much trouble in this game and most likely will be headed to No. 3 George Washington for second-round action on Saturday.


No. 9 Pine Creek at No. 8 Dakota Ridge

Pine Creek sputtered to the finish line, losing three straight games. However, after winning just three games last season, the Eagles will finally get to play in a playoff atmosphere. Seniors Elliott Hamdeed and Devin Kastrup will have to lead by example to get a road playoff win. Dakota Ridge has three players that average double-figure scoring, led by Derek VanderVelde at 15.5 ppg. The winner of this game gets a trip to two-time defending state champion Regis Jesuit.


No. 10 Smoky Hill at No. 7 Doherty

Smoky Hill enters this game having lost six of seven, and the Buffaloes haven’t beaten a team with a winning record since Dec. 16. Nico Perry is the engine for Smoky Hill’s offense at 18.2 ppg. Doherty has had a very up-and-down season, with both some big wins and bad losses. The Spartans can be a good team when they get guard play that gets them into their offense and doesn’t turn the ball over. But now that they will be playing schools from Denver in the playoffs, it’s time for the big men like Jacob Lancaster and Dylan Sisneros to step up.


No. 12 Liberty at No. 5 Cherry Creek

Liberty was one of the last four teams to get into the tournament. Close wins over Rampart and Pine Creek in the last two weeks got the Lancers in, and now they have a tough first-round matchup. Leading scorer Kody Springsteen needs a big game for the Lancers to have a chance. Cherry Creek finished in third place in the 5A Centennial, behind powerhouses Arapahoe and Overland. The Bruins will be looking to take control early and run by Liberty.


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Monday, February 21
State brackets are Springs-loaded in basketball


Here are the area teams (and their seedings) that made the state basketball playoffs::


5A boys
No. 2 Palmer
No. 6 Fountain-Fort Carson
No. 7 Doherty
No 9 Pine Creek
No. 12 Liberty


5A girls
No. 2 Palmer
No. 4 Doherty
No. 5 Pine Creek
No. 9 Fountain-Fort Carson
No. 10 Rampart


4A boys
No. 2 Lewis-Pamer
No. 8 Sierra
No. 10 Harrison
No. 11 Falcon
No. 12 Cheyenne Mountain
No. 15 Wasson
No. 17 Coronado
No. 25 Sand Creek
No. 28 Palmer Ridge


4A girls
No. 3 Air Academy
No. 4 Mesa Ridge
No. 6 Cheyenne Mountain
No. 7 Sand Creek
no. 11 Harrison
No. 12 Falcon
No. 28 Sierra
No. 31 Mitchell


The 4A and 5A state basketball brackets were released Sunday afternoon, and they featured a large number of Colorado Springs schools.


The most impressive of all the brackets for the area was the boys’ 4A, which features nine local teams of the 32 in the tournament.


It’s the first year that the 4A tournament has used the same bracket system as 3A, which ranks the teams one through 32 without the use of regions.


Lewis-Palmer is the No. 2 seed on the boys’ side, and is joined by No. 10 Harrison, No. 15 Wasson and No. 25 Sand Creek in its quadrant of the bracket.


“I was a little bit disappointed that we have three other area teams right next to us; they could’ve spread it out better,” L-P coach Russ McKinstry said. “But the top 10 to 12 teams are pretty evenly matched and all the games in this tournament should be good ones.”


The Rangers also noticed that they are on the opposite side from Sierra, meaning they could only play the No. 8 Stallions in the state title game. Sierra has beaten L-P in the state semifinals the last two seasons.


“That was one of the first things I looked at,” McKinstry said. “It’s almost become a yearly ritual that we play Sierra in the final four.”


The 4A girls’ bracket has eight local teams of the 32, including four of those teams earning the right to host first-round games Friday and possibly second-round games Saturday.


No. 3 Air Academy, No. 4 Mesa Ridge, No. 6 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 7 Sand Creek all will be at home this weekend as they try to get to the Great 8.


On the 5A side, the Palmer boys and girls each earned No. 2 seeds and first-round byes. The girls will host a second-round game Friday night, while the boys will be at home on Saturday.


The Fountain-Fort Carson boys earned a No. 6 seed and will host Northglenn on Wednesday, while the No. 5 Pine Creek girls will play at home on Thursday.


Check the Gazette Preps blog today for previews of the early-round 5A action.


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Tuesday, February 22
McKiernan headed to CHSAA Hall of Fame


Local coaching staple Dan McKiernan will be inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame on March 26 in Denver.


McKiernan, currently the Doherty boys' basketball coach, has been at the helm of several area teams in a career that has spanned 47 years. He has won over 600 games, taken two state championships and reached seven Final Fours.


Other members of the 2011 class are John Burke, Gordan Cramer, George Debus and Pam Fagerlund.


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Monday, February 21
NEW: Pikes Peak Top 10 rankings


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels. In essence, it’s our way of predicting which teams seem most likely to compete for a state title based on the body of work they’ve put together thus far.



1. Colorado Springs Christian School (19-0), No. 1 last week

2. Palmer (18-5), No. 2

3. Sierra (16-7), No. 3

4. Lewis-Palmer (20-3), No. 4

5. Harrison (19-4), No. 6

6. Peyton (16-4), No. 5

7. Pikes Peak Christian (15-4), No. 7

8. Evangelical Christian Academy (14-5), No. 8

9. Falcon (16-7), NR

10. Fountain-Fort Carson (12-8), No. 10


Dropped out: No. 9 Cheyenne Mountain (15-8), No. 10 Wasson (15-8)

Others: Coronado (13-10), Manitou Springs (12-7)



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Tuesday, February 22
Honorable mention Peak Performances from the past week


Boys' Basketball


Dylan Sisneros, Dorherty - 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists

Will Romero, Doherty - 18 points, 4 steals


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Saturday, February 19
Friday's roundup:





Doherty 62, Pine Creek 52


At Doherty: Will Romero scored 18 points for Doherty (11-11) who used a 24-12 second quarter to take control.


Elliott Hamdeed scored 13 points to lead Pine Creek (13-10).


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Friday, February 11
Doherty falls at George Washington





George Washington 81, Doherty 63


At George Washington: Doherty fell into an 18-point first-quarter hole and the shooting of Odessa Lear kept them from climbing out.


Lear had 10 3-pointers among his 36 points for George Washington (15-6).


Jacob Lancaster scored 18 points for Doherty (9-10), which also had 16 from Dylan Sisneros and 14 from Will Romero.


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Tuesday, February 8
Pikes Peak Top 10 rankings


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels. In essence, it’s our way of predicting which teams seem most likely to compete for a state title based on the body of work they’ve put together thus far.



1. Colorado Springs Christian School (15-0), No. 1 last week

2. Lewis-Palmer (17-2), No. 2

3. Palmer (13-5), No. 3

4. Peyton (12-3), No. 7

5. Cheyenne Mountain (14-5), No. 4

6. Harrison (15-4), No. 6

7. Pikes Peak Christian (11-3), No. 9

8. Fountain-Fort Carson (10-7), NR

9. Evangelical Christian Academy (11-4), No. 5

10. Wasson (13-6), No. 8


Dropped out: No. 10 Pine Creek (12-7)

Others: Coronado (10-9), Falcon (12-7),Manitou Springs (9-6), Palmer Ridge (12-6), Sierra (12-7), Widefield (11-8)


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Sunday, February 6
Palmer's Deese scores 28 on 18th birthday in victory over Doherty
Gazette Boys Basketball




Brandon Deese celebrated his 18th birthday in style.


First, his basketball coach brought him a birthday present of Rice Krispies Treats – Deese’s favorite. Then, the Palmer senior went out and scored a career-high 28 points, as No. 3 Palmer defeated Doherty 68-53 at Doherty High School on Saturday night.


Deese’s first eight baskets were all 3s. He hit five in the third quarter alone to assure the Terrors (13-5, 5-1 5A Metro League) of their three-game sweep of Doherty. The Rice Krispies Treat might become a ritual.


“We might have to do that before every game from now on,” Palmer coach Jim Grantz said.


A three-point play from Doherty’s Ian Young closed the Palmer lead to 40-34 late in the third quarter. But Deese ended any chance of a Doherty (8-9, 3-3) rally, hitting three 3-pointers to key an 11-3 run to close the quarter.


“Tonight was a big accomplishment for me, being my birthday,” Deese said. “It feels good, just the atmosphere really helps out, having both (sets of) fans here. It just felt really good.”


Palmer leading scorer Terrell Brown added 23 points to complement Deese’s 28. Having multiple players in double digits is something Grantz can get used to.


“We need that,” Grantz said. “The last couple games we’ve had a couple guys in double figures. We’re at our best when that’s what we do.”


Jacob Lancaster led the Spartans with 13 points and Sherron Wilson added 12. They and the rest of their teammates couldn’t match Deese’s performance.


“I was telling my guys I don’t know who’s guarding him or what’s going on, but we couldn’t stop him,” Lancaster said.


In Grantz’s seven years at the helm, this is the first time the Terrors have beaten Doherty three times in one season – sweeping them in league and beating them in a tournament earlier.


“To play them three times in a year is always tough,” Grantz said. “Since I’ve been at Palmer we’ve done that a couple times, but neither team has been able to sweep. ... We  talked a little about that at practice, it’d be a nice thing to do, especially down the stretch.”


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Tuesday, February 1
Colorado Preps - BOYS BASKETBALL: Class 5A Conference Rundown



Four of the six league members are within one game of the conference lead.  Palmer and Fountain Fort Carson (both 3-1) share the top spot with Pine Creek and Doherty (3-2) still very much alive.  Fountain Fort Carson has the tiebreaker right now since they beat Palmer 66-61 in the first meeting.  Game two is set for February 8th (next Tuesday).  The Trojans are coming off a key road win at Doherty (66-52) in a game that knocked the Spartans out of first place.  Doherty and Pine Creek play on Friday and the loser will be two games off the pace and that may be too much of a gap for that team to make up.  Doherty also hosts Palmer on Saturday so it’s a huge week for the Spartans.


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Tuesday, February 1
Honorable mention Peak Performances from the past week




Sherron Wilson, Doherty – 18 points


Tuesday, February 1
Pikes Peak Top 10 rankings


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels. In essence, it’s our way of predicting which teams seem most likely to compete for a state title based on the body of work they’ve put together thus far.



1. Colorado Springs Christian School (14-0), No. 1 last week

2. Lewis-Palmer (15-2), No. 2

3. Palmer (11-5), No. 3

4. Cheyenne Mountain (13-4), No. 5

5. Evangelical Christian Academy (11-2), No. 7

6. Harrison (13-4), No. 6

7. Peyton (11-3), No. 4

8. Wasson (12-5), No. 9

9. Pikes Peak Christian (10-3), No. 10

10. Pine Creek (12-6), No. 8


Dropped out: None

Others: Coronado (9-7), Falcon (11-6), Fountain-Fort Carson (10-7), Mitchell (10-6), Palmer Ridge (10-6), Sierra (10-7), Widefield (11-6)


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Monday, January 31
Colorado Preps - New Set of Rankings Announced (Jan. 31st)


About the only major change in the big school ranks this week involves Fossil Ridge.  Entering the week, the Sabercats were the only unbeaten team left in the division but that changed with a loss to Boulder.  The decision cost Fossil Ridge a share of first place in the Front Range conference and also dropped them four spots to number seven in this week’s poll.  Their loss also allowed Denver East, Regis, Montbello and Boulder to all move up one spot.  George Washington fell three spots following a tough two point loss to Montbello.  The Warriors hit a last second jumper to win a crucial game inside the City League.  Highlands Ranch and Arapahoe went a combined 4-0 last week so they stayed put in top two positions.  The Falcons have a huge test with Regis on Friday.  Those two are tied with Chaparral for the Continental lead.  Arvada West is the lone newcomer.  They have a nice two game cushion in the Jeffco and have won 10 straight games.  They edged Rangeview (16-3) and Palmer (11-5) for the final spot in the rankings.   Palmer’s record cannot matchup with A-West and Rangeview but they have played a tremendous schedule but A-West’s recent stretch of wins gave them the slight edge.  Rangeview has a big game with Gateway on Tuesday with the winner likely winning the East Metro title.



1.       Highlands Ranch (16-1)

2.       Arapahoe (16-1)

3.       Denver East (12-4)

4.       Regis (13-4)

5.       Montbello (13-4)

6.       Boulder (15-2)

7.       Fossil Ridge (16-1)

8.       Overland (13-4)

9.       George Washington (12-5)

10.   Arvada West (14-3)


NEW: Arvada West

DROPPED OUT: Mountain Vista

TEAMS TO WATCH:  Rangeview (16-3), Palmer (11-5), Fort Collins (13-4), Mountain Range (12-5), Ralston Valley (15-2), Gateway (13-5), Lincoln (12-5), Chaparral (11-6), Pine Creek (12-6), Fountain Fort Carson (10-7)


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Saturday, January 29
Boys' hoops: Free throws tip the scales in Fountain-Fort Carson's favor at Doherty
Gazette 1-28-11

January 28, 2011 11:20 PM



Fountain-Fort Carson’s was out-sized by several inches everywhere, in a hostile road environment and had its best shooter stuck in an uncharacteristic funk.  No matter, the Trojans won somewhat handily, topping Doherty 66-54 on Friday.

Ask Spartans coach Dan McKiernan how all this added up, and he had a simple answer.  “The difference in the game was they shot 35 free throws and we shot 11,” McKiernan said about an hour after the final buzzer. “I want the officials to see that.”

Sure enough, the Trojans scored 18 points at the line while Doherty (8-8, 3-2 5A Metro) scored six — a 12-point differential in a 12-point victory.  Of course, Fountain-Fort Carson (10-7, 3-1) had something to do with that stat.  The Trojans penetrated the zone consistently to put a few Doherty players in serious foul trouble — 6-foot-10 center Jacob Lancaster barely played after picking up his fourth foul with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter — and on occasion kicked it out for open looks behind the arc. 

Anthony Davis was on the receiving end of several of those looks, hitting three 3-pointers in the second quarter as Fountain-Fort Carson turned a three-point deficit into a six-point halftime lead.  “I was feeling it,” Davis said.   “Once one shot goes in the rim gets bigger and the confidence goes up, then I can hit anything.”  Davis scored 12 points and, along with 14 points from Dominique Wright, helped make up for a relative off night for Chris Davis, who still found his way to a game-high 16 points.

“He didn’t shoot it very well tonight, which is really scary,” Ribaudo said. “He could have put up 30.”  Doherty struggled to find that person to step up, though Dylan Sisneros had an impressive line with 14 points and 17 rebounds.  The Spartans shot 23-of-63 from the field.  “We didn’t run the offense very well and they executed on their end,” Sisneros said. “That’s what won them the game.”

McKiernan concurred, but doesn’t see a quick fix to the problem after dismissing his point guard in December.  Reggie Sampson mans the position, but he’s better suited to a shooting guard position and has little experience setting up plays.  “We have no quarterback,” McKiernan said. “We’re like the Broncos without (Kyle) Orton.   It would be like them letting one of the running backs be the quarterback.” 

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Wednesday, January 26
Tuesday's roundup




Doherty 53, Rampart 46

At Rampart: Sherron Wilson scored 18 points and Ian Young added 11 points for Doherty (8-7, 3-1 5A Metro).


No statistics were provided for Rampart (9-6, 0-3).


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Tuesday, January 25
This week's Pikes Peak Top 10: No change at top
the gazette 

Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels. In essence, it’s our way of predicting which teams seem most likely to compete for a state title based on the body of work they’ve put together thus far.



1. CSCS (11-0), No. 1

2. Lewis-Palmer (12-2), No. 2

3. Palmer (9-5), No. 3

4. Peyton (10-2), No. 5

5. Cheyenne Mountain (10-4), NR The Indians took down both No. 6 Harrison and No. 9 Wasson by double digits last week

6. Harrison (10-4), No. 4

7. Evangelical Christian Academy (10-2), No. 9

8. Pine Creek (11-5), NR

9. Wasson (9-5), No. 6

10. Pikes Peak Christian (8-3), No. 7


Dropped out: No. 8 Fountain Valley (7-3), No. 10 Doherty (7-7)

Others: Falcon (10-4), Mitchell (9-4), Palmer Ridge (8-4), Fountain-Fort Carson (8-7), Rampart (9-5), Widefield (9-5), Sierra (7-7)


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Saturday, January 22
Palmer boys rout rival Doherty in strange game
Blue Basketball




Palmer had a lot of reasons to be angry Friday night, and it took all its anger out on rival Doherty.


The Pikes Peak No. 3 Terrors (9-5, 1-1 5A Metro) destroyed Doherty 74-40 in their home gym in a game that featured several strange occurrences.


No. 10 Doherty (7-7, 2-1) shot two technical free throws to start the game because Palmer’s roster wasn’t complete in the scorebook. After the Spartans took a 4-0 lead, it was all Palmer.


The Terrors ended the first quarter on a 21-0 run to jump-start what would be one of the biggest routs in this rivalry in a long time.


“We’re meshing and playing with confidence,” said Palmer’s Brandon Deese, who had 14 points. “This is just one win and we have to focus on Pine Creek next.”


The third quarter started in a bizarre fashion for Palmer as well. The Terrors’ top scorer and leader, Terrell Brown, was ejected after he picked up two quick technicals.


Brown was fouled hard by Doherty’s Dylan Sisneros and had some words with a referee that got him tossed at the beginning of the third quarter.


“I got fouled and lost my cool for the first time all season,” Brown said. “It was my language, and it hurt to get ejected. But my team is strong and they came out with a big win.”


The Terrors didn’t miss their leader too much, expanding the lead by almost double in his absence.


The night was miserable for Doherty in every facet of the game, but weak guard play was the biggest aspect that led to the embarrassing final score.


“They got after us on defense and took us out of our offense,” Doherty coach Dan McKiernan said. “We’re not very well led and we don’t have a point guard. It’s like a football team with no quarterback.”


Palmer poured it on, even with a very comfortable lead, and the starters remained in until the middle of the fourth quarter.


“I thought we played really hard tonight and that our defensive intensity was very good,” Palmer coach Jimmy Grantz said. “It’s Palmer-Doherty; if you don’t come out and play angry and desperate it’s going to be a long night for you.”


Chris Urbaniak had 12 points for Palmer, while Ian Young was the only Spartan in double figures with 10 points.


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Wednesday, January 19
Tuesday's roundup






No. 10 Doherty 35, Liberty 20

At Liberty: Ian Young and Reggie Sampson scored in double figures, as No. 10 Doherty (7-6, 2-0 5A Metro) pulled out the win in the low-scoring affair.


Doherty led 2-0 after the first quarter and only scored 17 points through the first three. But an 18-point fourth quarter put the game out of reach. Young scored a game-high 11 points and Sampson 10.

A.J. Bohuslausky scored seven for Liberty (4-8, 1-2).


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Tuesday, January 18
Honorable mention Peak Performances



Jacob Lancaster, Doherty – Scored 38 points with 38 rebounds and 12 blocks in three games, including victories over Pine Creek and Harrison

Reggie Sampson, Doherty – 51 points in three games

Sheron Wilson, Doherty – 19 points


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Tuesday, January 18
This week's Pikes Peak Top 10


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels. In essence, it’s our way of predicting which teams seem most likely to compete for a state title based on the body of work they’ve put together thus far.



1. CSCS (9-0), No. 2

2. Lewis-Palmer (10-2), No. 3

3. Palmer (8-4), No. 5

4. Harrison (10-2), No. 1

5. Peyton (8-2), No. 6

6. Wasson (9-3), No. 4

7. Pikes Peak Christian (7-2), NR

8. Fountain Valley (6-2), No. 9

9. Evangelical Christian Academy (8-2), NR

10. Doherty (6-6), NR

Dropped out: No. 7 Palmer Ridge (6-3), No. 8 Rampart (8-4), No. 10 Pine Creek (8-5)

Others: Cheyenne Mountain (7-4), Falcon (8-4), Mitchell (7-4), Sierra (5-5), Widefield (8-4)


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Sunday, January 16
Saturday's roundup: Doherty knocks off Harrison





Doherty 84, Pikes Peak No. 1 Harrison 79

At Doherty: Jacob Lancaster scored 20 points, Sherron Wilson added 19, and Doherty (6-6) handed Harrison its second defeat of the week.


Xavier Ford led the Panthers (10-2) with 29 points and Ross Charleston added 20 points.



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Friday, January 14
Friday's roundup





Denver East 64, Doherty 52


At Doherty: Doherty jumped out to a 16-9 lead but couldn’t hang on, as Denver East scored 44 points over the second and third quarters.


Reggie Sampson scored 20 points for the Spartans (5-6), but it wasn’t enough. Jacob Lancaster had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.


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Wednesday, January 12
Boys' hoops: Doherty junior's hot fourth quarter downs Pine Creek
Gazette 1-11-11




Coach Dan McKiernan scorned Doherty during a fourth-quarter timeout, questioning a few unnecessarily risky plays and wondering why the team seemed to be trying to give away its lead.


Wil Romero must have been exempted from the conversation.


Romero scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter – including three late 3-pointers – and made a key steal in final 2 minutes as the Spartans opened 5A Metro play with a 62-55 road victory at Pine Creek on Tuesday.


“It feels good,” said the junior, who picked up the scoring slack after Reggie Sampson cooled off after a torrid first half. “I wasn’t hitting at first but I had to just keep on shooting and I finally hit my groove.”


Sampson erupted for 18 of his 19 points in the first half, including a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer. In the past, that would have been enough for Doherty (5-5, 1-0 5A Metro) to put things on cruise control against Pine Creek (7-4, 0-1).


But this is a different Eagles team.


“I just told my boys to have some pride and step it up on defense,” said first-year Pine Creek coach DuCayet Stewart, who has helped erase all evidence of last year’s 3-20 team that lost a pair of double-digit blowouts to Doherty. “To be honest with you, we expected to win that basketball game.”


Despite trailing much of the game, Pine Creek put itself in position to challenge at the end. A few of the turnovers that left McKiernan angry gave the Eagles a chance to cut it to a one-possession game, but Doherty made the defensive stops when it needed them.


Part of the Spartans' struggles can be traced to the absence of sophomore point guard Gentry Gertin, who played a key role early in the season before being suspended for what McKiernan termed “my reasons.” According to Romero, Gertin has since transferred to Liberty.


“We had a point guard as we were building to these games and now we’re changing everything over,” McKiernan said. “We’re just now getting back. We’re playing hard, we’re just not always smart sometimes. But the effort is there.”


Effort also isn’t a problem for Pine Creek under Stewart, as the 5A Metro opener was up-tempo on both sides. Elliot Hamdeed led the Eagles with 19 points and Devin Kastrup added 14.


“It’s been the boys,” Stewart said. “It’s the same group of kids, for the most part, that we had last year. They’ve taken pride in who they are, what they do and how they play basketball. All I do is try to push them a little bit more, push them out of their comfort zone.”


McKiernan offered a bit of perspective gained through 600 victories, pointing out that the league in general may be down this year.


"I think everybody down here is pretty average as far as the state goes,” McKiernan said. “It’s going to come down every night to who can do the little things.”


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Tuesday, January 11
This week's Pikes Peak Top 10


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels.



1. Harrison (9-0), No. 1

2. CSCS (6-0), No. 3

3. Lewis-Palmer (8-2), No. 4

4. Wasson (6-2), No. 6

5. Palmer (6-4), No. 2

6. Peyton (6-2), NR

7. Palmer Ridge (6-1)

8. Rampart (8-2), No. 8

9. Fountain Valley (5-2), No. 5

10. Pine Creek (7-3), No. 10

Dropped out: No. 9 Doherty (4-5)

Others: Cheyenne Mountain (6-3); ECA (6-2); Falcon (6-4); Mitchell (7-2); Sierra (3-5)


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Monday, January 10
Lincoln uses big plays to beat Doherty

DENVER - Colorado coaching great Dan McKiernan couldn't rally his Doherty boys basketball team past Lincoln Saturday afternoon as the Spartans lost 51-57.


Early in the first half Lincoln's Dominic Williams recovered the basketball under Doherty's basket and took it coast to coast to dunk.


Doherty's leading scorer, Reggie Sampson, athletically drove the lane and faked the basket before passing it to Jacob Lancaster who easily laid it in.


Check out the video highlights from the game.


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Sunday, January 9
Lincoln boys basketball finding its mojo

Abraham Lincoln 58, Doherty 51

By Neil H. Devlin
The Denver Post

Abraham Lincoln, which has had an interesting first half of the season, may be starting to turn the corner.

The Lancers, who had struggled in recent seasons against Colorado Springs' Doherty, handled the visiting Spartans 58-51 on Saturday afternoon in Class 5A nonleague.


They next head into the Denver Prep League in search of a city crown, a good postseason seed and, most important, the kind of consistent play they have flirted with in improving to 9-5. Abraham Lincoln started the season with assorted suspensions because of a hazing incident and played half of its regular-season schedule before the holiday break, but appears to have stabilized.


"What was good about that game was our kids executing offensively and defensively," Lancers coach Vince Valdez said. "(The Spartans) have had our number the last two years."


But not on Saturday — Abraham Lincoln led virtually the entire way, got out on the break, executed in the half-court, forced turnovers and competed inside against a bigger, taller team.


"They're really big," Abraham Lincoln 6-foot-4 senior forward Dominic Williams said. "But we just tried to box out and play as a team, and we did."


In particular, Williams, the only returning player from The Denver Post's 2009-10 All-Colorado team, enjoyed both inside and outside play, dunking four times, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Senior guard Chris Abeyta added much-needed outside shooting with 13 points and Alonso Jurado added 10.


Also down low, Corey Vasquez contributed 10 rebounds as the Lancers fared well inside against a Doherty team (4-5) that has a starting front line of 6-10, 6-8 and 6-2.


Rashes of turnovers plagued both teams — "That's what happens when you try to play fast," Valdez said — but the Lancers' out-front defense and transition game were vital in keeping them in the lead.


As for Doherty, cold shooting and failure to protect the ball were problems.


"And if we would have made a free throw, we could have won," veteran coach Dan McKiernan said. "But we'll be all right."


The Spartans head into Colorado Springs Metro play on Tuesday, when they will be at Pine Creek. The Lancers are idle until Jan 21., when they host North.


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Thursday, January 6
Rankings: Unbeaten Arapahoe takes over top spot in 5A boys basketball

 The Denver Post

Arapahoe, unbeaten at 9-0 — including a win over Regis Jesuit — moves up to No. 1 from its preseason No. 2 ranking.

Rank School Record Prev.
1 Arapahoe 9-0 2
2 Regis Jesuit 6-3 1
3 Highlands Ranch 9-1 3
4 Fossil Ridge 8-0 -
5 George Washington 7-2 10
6 Rangeview 8-2 -
7 Ralston Valley 8-0 -
8 Montbello 7-3 -
9 Fort Collins 7-1 -
10 Rock Canyon 6-3 -
Dropped out: Palmer (No. 4, 6-3); Denver East (No. 5, 4-2); Ftn. Ft. Carson (No. 6, 6-5); Lincoln (No. 7, 8-5); Doherty (No. 8, 4-4); Boulder (No. 9, 6-2)

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Tuesday, December 14
This week's Pikes Peak Top 10


Note: Teams rated in relation to competition at their own level (4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels.

Monday's games not included


1. Harrison (5-0), No. 4

2. Palmer (3-2), No. 1

3. CSCS (3-0), No. 6

4. Fountain Valley (5-0), NR

5. Lewis-Palmer (3-2), No. 3

6. Doherty (4-2), No. 4

7. Wasson (4-2), No. 7

8. Palmer Ridge (2-1), No. 8

9 Fountain-Fort Carson (4-2), No. 2

10. Cheyenne Mountain (2-1), No. 10


Dropped out: No. 9. Sierra (2-3) 

Others: Discovery Canyon (2-2), ECA (2-1), Falcon (2-2), Mitchell (3-1), Peyton (3-1), Pine Creek (3-2), Rampart (5-1), Vista Ridge (3-0), Widefield (2-1)


Wednesday, December 15
Tuesday's high school roundup


Grandview 62, No. 6 Doherty 44

At Doherty: Reggie Sampson led Doherty with 16 points and Ian Young added 10.

The Spartans (4-3) were outscored 32-18 in the first and fourth quarters, which proved to be the difference.

Eric Garcia led Grandview with 15 points.


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Tuesday, December 14
Hoops review: Breaking down Week 2

Teams that made a statement last week

Doherty boys:The Spartans rebounded well from the blowout loss they suffered to Palmer by getting a tough road win at Dakota Ridge and then defeating a talented 4A Falcon team. Doherty’s best played game of the week came in a loss. The Spartans lost 62-52 to No. 1 ranked Regis Jesuit on the road, but showed that they could be elite once again come March.


Harrison boys: The Panthers won three more games last week, making them 5-0 for the season. While they haven’t played the best competition yet, Harrison has averaged 92.5 points per game so far, led by Xavier Ford. Ford is averaging 29 points per game and is showing why he is going to be a strong choice for post-season accolades.


Harrison girls: Just like the boys, the Harrison girls won the Woodland Park Tournament, and have run their record to 6-0. The Panthers beat Pueblo East (5-1), Mitchell (3-4) and Fountain-Fort Carson (4-3) to win the trophy and show that they will be a force in the 4A Metro.


Teams that took a step back

Palmer boys:The Terrors blew a seven-point lead in 1:44 to give away a win to highly ranked Denver East just two days after a 16-point loss at Highlands Ranch. Although these will most likely be temporary setbacks, the way Palmer lost the East game should be cause for concern for coach Jimmy Grantz. If the Terrors are to make a deep run in the playoffs they will need to learn to hold leads.


CSCS girls: Nobody is really sure how good the Lions will be this season, as they have new players and a new coach this season. However, after last week it’s clear they are in rebuilding mode. CSCS was crushed 78-33 against Holy Family in a rematch on last year’s 3A state title game, then lost to arch-rival St. Mary’s the next night 45-36. However, the Lions did beat a bad Valley team 40-35 to get their first win.


What we learned

- The Sierra boys like to play very close games, and will need to learn how to win them more consistently. All five games the Stallions have played have been an 11-point margin or less. They lost to Valor Christian 47-37, then defeated Pueblo South 59-56.


- Just as in football, Widefield’s Chris Ashe will need to carry the load for the basketball team. Through three games Ashe is averaging 19.3 points per game, while the closest teammate is scoring 4.3 points per game.




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Tuesday, December 14
Honorable mention Peak Performances




Ian Young, Doherty – 35 points in two games

Reggie Sampson, Doherty – 33 points in two games


Sunday, December 12
No. 1 Regis Jesuit boys basketball survives struggle with Doherty

AURORA — Ken Shaw was as apologetic as a BP spokesman.


"Holy smokes! We were playing in mud most of the game," the Regis Jesuit coach said.

True, the Raiders struggled before finally getting past visiting Doherty 62-52 on Saturday in Class 5A nonleague play.


Top-ranked in The Denver Post/9News poll, Regis Jesuit improved to 4-2 — both losses were in an out-of-state tournament — and extended its three-season victory string over Colorado foes to 49, although it lacked style points as well as execution.


"It was one of those things in which it would be pretty easy to use as an excuse, "Well, a late start, Saturday afternoon game and not much juice in the gym,' " Shaw said. "All those things, but we just didn't bring it first. (The Spartans) did, then we finally got it going, but we never really played well for an extended time."


The Spartans did early, despite being without longtime in-state fixture and coach Dan McKiernan, who recently oversaw his 600th victory and remained home ill with flulike symptoms. Doherty (4-2) made four of its first five shots, led 10-5 after a quarter and was ahead 21-11.


However, after the Raiders made 1-of-15 shots, were guilty of five turnovers and turned tentative inside against 6-foot-10 Jacob Lancaster, they finally erupted.


A 16-0 run gave them the lead for good, they finally figured out the Spartans' zone, and Ryan Winters (18 points) and Tanner Samson (17) picked up the scoring.


Doherty went cold from the floor in the middle quarters, being outscored 43-26.

"I can't wait to maybe get a chance to see these guys again down the road," Doherty assistant coach Matt Steele said.

Neil H. Devlin: 303-954-1714 or 

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Friday, December 10
Thursday's high school roundup




No. 5 Doherty 80, Falcon 69

At Doherty: Ian Young had 19 points and Reggie Sampson added 16 for Doherty (4-1), which had four players in double figures. Dylan Sisneros (15) and Sam Strus (12) balanced out the Doherty scoring.

Kalen Link had 24 points in a losing effort for Falcon (2-2).


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Wednesday, December 8
Tuesday's high school roundup





Pikes Peak No. 5 Doherty 59, Dakota Ridge 54

At Dakota Ridge: Reggie Sampson scored 17 points and Ian Young had 16 to help the Spartans (3-1) to a win in their first road game of the season.


Doherty freshman Sherron Wilson had 11 points, while Derek VanderVelde had a game-high 20 points for Dakota Ridge.


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Wednesday, December 8
Hoops review: Breaking down Week 1

Teams that made a statement

Pikes Peak No. 1 Palmer boys: The Terrors won a gritty, low scoring contest against defending 4A champ No. 4 Sierra, then followed that with a road at No. 5 Doherty the next night in which they crushed the Spartans and let it be known they are the team to beat in the 5A Metro.


No. 5 Palmer girls: The ladies were equally dominant as they defeated Sierra, No. 8 Falcon and No. 6 Doherty all by double digits in three consecutive days. They looked like a complete team with good guard play and solid inside players.


Teams that took a step back

Sierra boys: Losing at No. 1 Palmer wasn’t really a huge deal, but losing the next night to No. 9 Wasson was. It’s understandable that there will be a learning curve for the young Stallions under coach Terry Dunn, but they struggled to find consistent guard play to complement Wesley Gordon.


Wasson girls: It’s easy to pile on the Thunderbirds; they lost their first three games 230-66. It’s one thing for a smaller school to have a lack of scoring ability, but for a 4A school with a boys team has plenty, the girls need to develop, and quickly.


What we learned

-The Pine Creek boys will be much, much better this season, led by Elliott Hamdeed. They have a new coach and a new attitude and were one made free throw away from stunning No. 6 Harrison on the road.


-The Doherty girls will need to have better overall team defense if they are to contend in the 5A Metro. They allowed Palmer far too many open shots and layups.




Tuesday, December 7
This week's Pikes Peak Top 10


Note: Rankings are based on a team’s performance in relation to competition at its own level (ie. 4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels.

Monday's games not included


1. Palmer (3-0), No. 1

2. Fountain-Fort Carson (3-0), No. 3

3. Lewis-Palmer (0-1), No. 2

4. Harrison (2-0), No. 6

5. Doherty (2-1), No. 5

6. CSCS (1-0), No. 7

7. Wasson (2-1), No. 9

8. Palmer Ridge (0-0), No. 8

9. Sierra (1-2), No. 4

10. Cheyenne Mountain (0-0), No. 10


Others: ECA (1-1), Falcon (2-1), Fountain Valley (3-0), Discovery Canyon (1-1), Mitchell (2-1), Rampart (3-0), Sand Creek (1-0), Vista Ridge (1-0)              


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Tuesday, December 7
Honorable mention Peak Performances



BOYS’ BASKETBALL                                   

Reggie Sampson, Doherty – 16 points; 15 points


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Palmer pounds Doherty for tourney title
gazette 12-3-10-2_1




One night after taking down the defending 4A state champs, Palmer got a win even more satisfying — a blowout over rival Doherty.


The Pikes Peak No. 1 Terrors (3-0) controlled play from start to finish and found plenty of space in the Doherty zone Friday in a 69-52 win in the Pikes Peak Tip-Off Classic championship game.


Terrell Brown led all scorers with 17 points, but it was a spark off the Palmer bench that blew the game open in the first half.


Senior reserve Dave Victorino scored 15 points — all on 3-pointers to help propel Palmer.
“I just shot the open shots, I have to thank my teammates for getting me open and finding me,” Victorino said. “It’s our rivals, it’s always important to get a win.”


Palmer spent most of the night carving up the Doherty defense — one that is traditionally among the toughest in the city.


“The key against what coach (Dan) McKiernan plays is that you can’t be passive and let them push you to the edges,” Palmer coach Jimmy Grantz said of his attacking guards.


“We did a great job of being strong in tight spaces.”

No. 5 Doherty (2-1) never gained rhythm on offense, and turned the ball over several times, which led to easy Palmer baskets.


“This was the third game of the season; ESPN wasn’t here tonight,” McKiernan said. “What we’ve got to do is figure out who can play where and come February we’ll see what we have.”


Grantz knows his counterpart will be ready for Rounds 2 and 3 later this season.

“I hope this will set a tempo for us, but every game is different and I know coach McKiernan will make adjustments during the season, and we will as well,” he said.


Doherty’s Sam Strus was the only Spartan in double figures with 13 points.


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Saturday, December 4
Milestone for McKiernan: 600th boys basketball victory

By Neil H. Devlin


Take a bow, Dan McKiernan.


The longtime figure in southern Colorado schoolboy basketball won his 600th game earlier this week.


The 69-year-old, now heading Class 5A Doherty, led his Spartans to a 68-59 victory over Wasson to join an elite club.


Son Mike indicated that his father has watched Joe Paterno head Penn State into his 80s, so why stop now?


McKiernan, who also won his 100th game leading Doherty and has been at multiple schools in the Colorado Springs area, always has well-drilled teams and is the same guy after the game win or lose.


Also a longtime husband, father and grandfather, McKiernan has been a vital part of in-state play.


If he left, he would be greatly missed.


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Friday, December 3
Thursday's high school roundup: McKiernan earns victory No. 600





Doherty's McKiernan earns career win No. 600


At Doherty: A 68-59 Doherty victory over Wasson on Thursday was the 600th career win for Dan McKiernan in a coaching career that began more than 40 years ago.

The victory was also McKiernan's 100th at Doherty, as he improves to 100-22 in his seventh season with the Spartans.


Reggie Sampson led Doherty with 15 points. Lorenz Stalcup scored 11 and blocked five shots.


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Monday, November 29
Two-time champ Regis Jesuit ready to reign again in 5A boys hoops

5A boys basketball preview

By Neil H. Devlin
The Denver Post

Of the multiple underlying questions for Colorado's big-school boys basketball season that opens Wednesday, here's perhaps the most relevant.


Can two-time defending Class 5A champion Regis Jesuit be dethroned?


The Raiders enter the 2010-11 season having won 26 games in succession. They have defeated their past 45 in-state foes and are 53-3 over the past two seasons.

Consider them an obvious target.


"We've lost some important guys, but we have others coming back, some who have worked hard, developed and will have to step up," coach Ken Shaw said. "I think we can be right there."


This season's version, which Shaw said is mindful of its lofty status and eager to uphold the recent tradition attained in southeast Aurora, is pointing to a level attained once within Colorado's big schools since the sport was sanctioned in the 1921-22 season.


While there have been a bunch of back-to-back champions throughout the decades — five, including Regis Jesuit, since the 1990-91 season — only Denver's Manual, in the 1947-48, 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons, has won three in a row.


Otherwise, get set for what should be an ever-changing top 10 — there is balance and competitiveness throughout the class as well as assorted out-of-state travel and intriguing head-to-head matchups before widespread league play that won't begin in earnest until after the holiday break.


In the Colorado Springs and Denver leagues, for example, there's plenty of speed and quickness, some in the new East Metro too. Know-how dots the Centennial, Continental and Front Range. Underestimated talent may lie within the Southwestern, and Jefferson County continues the search for its previous glory days.

Top 10 Class 5A boys teams

1. Regis Jesuit

2. Arapahoe

3. Highlands Ranch

4. Palmer

5. Denver East

6. Ftn.-Fort Carson

7. Abraham Lincoln

8. Doherty

9. Boulder

10. G. Washington


Players to watch

Terrell Brown, Palmer, Sr.

Marcus Byrd, Highlands Ranch, Sr.

Chris Davis, Fountain-Fort Carson, Sr.

Dan Difolco, Dakota Ridge, Sr.

Drew Dyer, Regis Jesuit, Sr.

Riley Grabau, Boulder, Sr.

Cameron Michael, Loveland, Sr.

Parker Semin, Arapahoe, Sr.

Dominic Williams, Abraham Lincoln, Sr.

Ryan Winters, Regis Jesuit, Sr.

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Monday, November 29
Boys' basketball preview: Palmer poised for a 5A run




After several years of scratching the surface, it appears Palmer is ready to break through.


“I’m excited, we’re going to be in the mix this year but it’s going to be a fight,” said Palmer coach Jimmy Grantz, whose team returns all but one contributor from a squad that went 18-6 last year and finished third in the 5A Metro. “We started with tryouts at 5:30 in the morning and that has set a tone that has continued.”


The tone that the senior-laden Terrors have set is one of determination to win the 5A Metro and make a deep run in the state tournament.


“Nothing is complete until we bring a state title back to Colorado Springs,” said forward Terrell Brown, who averaged 17.9 points per game last season. “After losing in the second round last year we’re more mentally prepared now.”


In addition to Brown, the Terrors also return 3-point sharpshooter Brandon Deese, forward Chris Urbaniak, who is a monster in the post and athletic guards Dominic Rufran and Jalen Little.


“Coach emphasizes defense in practice and has us focused on playing tough on both ends,” said Deese, who shot 58 percent from 3-point range last season. “On offense there are more plays designed for me to get quick, good shots, which has given me even more confidence.”


Perhaps the greatest weapon Palmer could have is its depth – the Terrors could go as far as nine deep.


Grantz noticed how much fresher his team was late in games at the Denver East summer league, where it played two games each Wednesday night.


“We don’t lose a lot when we have our bench in the game,” said Grantz. “We play a lot of guys every night and it should pay off in the long run.”


Brown and all the seniors have been working toward this season for several years and now it’s time to show what they are about.


“It’s very important for us to go out with a bang,” said the South Dakota signee. “We’ve been playing together for three years and this is our last run.”


Monday, November 29
Team-by-team capsules




Last year: 17-10 (5A semfinals)

Coach: Dan McKiernan (seventh season, 98-22)

Returning starters: 2

Key players: F Ian Young, sr.; F Dylan Sisneros, sr.; G Reggie Sampson, sr.; G Wil Romero, jr.; C Jacob Lancaster, sr.


Outlook: The big question facing the Spartans this season will be how to replace the magnificent guard play they lost in Tyler Velasquez and Mark Jones. The Spartans will have two 6-foot-10 players (Lancaster and Lorenze Staleup) and 6-foot-3 guard Sheron Wilson who figures to be the first freshman to earn a significant role for McKiernan.


Fountain-Fort Carson                       

Last year: 21-4 (5A round of 16)

Coach: Anthony Ribaudo (eighth season, 141-50)

Returning starters: 2

Key players: G Chris Davis, sr.; F Dominique Wright, sr.; F Herberto Horne, sr.; G Josiah Lee, sr.; G Kevin Parks, sr.


Outlook: The Trojans expect an aggressive defense, up-tempo offense and solid shooters to put them near the top of the league. Davis (18 ppg) returns after leading the team in scoring and Wright is back after averaging 11 points and seven rebounds.



Last year: 10-14 (5A first round)

Coach: Travis Clark (first season)

Returning starters: 0

Key players: G Kody Springsteen, sr.


Outlook: All five starters must be replaced and Springsteen is the only returner with any varsity experience. The Lancers may be looking at a rebuilding process under a first-year coach.



Last year: 18-6 (5A second round)

Coach: Jimmy Grantz (seventh season, 107-39)

Returning starters: 4

Key players: G Terrell Brown, sr.; G Jalen Little, jr.; G Brandon Deese, sr.; F Chris Urbaniak, sr.; G Dominic Rufran, sr.


Outlook: The Terrors are loaded with speed, size and experience. Palmer should not only be the best team in the city, regardless of classification, but also a serious contender for a 5A championship behind South Dakota signee Brown (17.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and court general Little (12.2 ppg, 3.8 apg).


Pine Creek

Last year: 3-20

Coach: DuCaye’t Stewart (first season)

Returning starters: 3

Key players: G Steven Aldaz, sr.; F Devin Kastrup


Outlook: Pine Creek has nowhere to go but up, as they come off a tough season and have a new coach. There could be as many as eight seniors on the team, depending on how many football players decide to come out for the squad


Last year: 23-3 (5A quarterfinals)

Coach: Patrick Simpson (first season)

Returning starters: 0

Key players: G Matt Hower, sr.; G Jared Theis, sr.; F Ryan Cook, jr.; F Max Cook, sr.


Outlook: After the most successful season in school history, the Rams are back at square one. They lost every major contributor from last year’s squad, including coach J’on St. Clair. New coach Simpson starts with a clean slate.



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Monday, November 29
Boys' basketball preview: Pikes Peak Top 10


Note: Rankings are based on a team’s performance in relation to competition at its own level (ie. 4A, 3A, etc.), but do not predict or reflect head-to-head success across levels.

1. Palmer:
Terrell Brown and Jalen Little lead a team that returns the key players from last year's 18-6 squad. 


2. Lewis-Palmer
Josh Scott may be the area's best player, and his sophomore brother Jordan is one of the top up-and-comers


3. Fountain-Fort Carson
Strong guards will power the Trojans. 


4. Sierra
New coach and a lot of new faces for the two-time defending 4A champs, but Wesley Gordon returns as a force in the paint.


5. Doherty
The Spartans must replace The Gazette's Big School Player of the Year, guard Tyler Velasquez.


6. Harrison
Buffalo signee Xavier Ford is one the state's best and 6-foot-7 newcomer Devonte Upson is an intriguing X-factor after moving in from Texas.


Junior guard Nate Engesser has already committed to play for Joe Scott at Denver.


8. Palmer Ridge
Collin Babcock, Forrest Dyer and Eric Marty each averaged double figures in points last year.


9. Wasson
The team's core group has played together for five years.


10. Cheyenne Mountain
The team will go as far as its young guards can carry it.


Others: Falcon, Discovery Canyon, Rampart, ECA Vista Ridge                        


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