Coach Ron Garcia y Ortiz doesn’t even have two points separating those four averages and also gets almost seven assists per game from Marshall and 10.1 rebounds from Kameron Bentley.
Overland got off to a fine 7-0 start this season, but got a bit lost from view by attending the KSA tournament in Orlando. The Blazers had their schedule thrown off and Garcia y Ortiz disciplined three starters, which resulted in a bad loss to George Washington.
Against Arapahoe, Tim Billingsley had the hot hand for the Warriors, scoring 33 points, including 6-of-12 shooting on 3-pointers. However, Overland did a good job on Parker Semin, who had 12 points, and Javon Moore, who went scoreless.
"Usually, Semin is the one who hurts us, inside," Garcia y Ortiz said. "He’s had 24 against us, 26 last year. I thought our bigs did a good job against Semin, aggressive and keeping him off the blocks."
Overland received good crowd support against Arapahoe, from Blazers fans held down from being vocal by their team playing 11 of their first 14 games on the road. The Blazers also look to run as much as possible.
"If we can speed the game up, then I feel good about our chances against anybody," Garcia y Ortiz said. "We’re an up-tempo team. If you see us playing a half-court game, then I’m not doing my job."
This week’s action looks to be the caliber usually seen in the playoffs or final week of the regular season.
In Class 5A, Arapahoe at Grandview tonight and Rocky Mountain at Fairview on Friday are a cascading set of terrific matchups, but they are only appetizers. Chaparral at top-ranked and defending champion Regis Jesuit on Saturday is the main course.
Although Class 4A doesn’t often get the big regular-season games because of widely dispersed powerhouses, it also has a couple of beauties on tap. Undefeated Sterling hosts 10-4 Windsor on Friday. The Wizards have been hampered by the loss of former coach Monty Alcaraz to Fort Collins, and he was followed by a few Windsor players. This season, there were the expected losses to Longmont and Broomfield, but the Wizards have done well otherwise.
Coach Dustin Duncan has guided his team toward a 10-4 record, as the Wizards are sitting in third place in the Northern League. A win against Sterling might throw the standings down the home stretch into glorious chaos.
An even better battle is lurking down south, as undefeated Pueblo East (14-0) visits Pueblo Central, which is 13-2. It seems that East has usurped Pueblo South, last year’s state runner-up, as the premier team from the Steel City, but the Central Wildcats have overpowered a lot of good teams. Brad Ranson has coached his team to wins against Lewis-Palmer and Cheyenne Mountain.
For a while, Chatfield was considered the favorite to win the 5A Jefferson County League. The Chargers had a diverse offense and their losses certainly came against upper-crust opposition.
Dakota Ridge put a crimp in that outlook, with a 51-42 win last Friday. To make the win a bit sweeter for Dakota Ridge, Eagles coach Curi Yutzy is a Chatfield graduate and former all-state player for the Chargers. The Eagles (12-3 overall, 4-1 league) have put together four consecutive wins after getting trounced 53-42 by Ralston Valley.
Columbine also is doing well with a winning league record after going 0-7 to start this season. Pomona is 10-5 overall and 4-1 in league after a rocky start. The Panthers did lose a low-scoring contest to Columbine, 38-33. Green Mountain also was on a bit of a roll, but has stumbled in league play.
Local talent benefits colleges
The Northern Colorado Bears are 17-4 and ranked 10th in the nation by one Web site’s Mid-Major Top 25. UNC has been bolstered by the play of Will Figures from Smoky Hill, who averages 15.0 points per game, Devon Beitzel from Centaurus, at 14.7 and Taylor Montgomery from Cherry Creek, who averages 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds.
The University of Denver is getting good production from Nate Rohnert, the Chaparral graduate who is the Pioneers' leading scorer and rebounder. The 6-foot-5 Rohnert is a senior who averages 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Rob Lewis from Evangelical Christian averages 9.7 points per game, Andrew Hooper from D’Evelyn 9.7, while Kyle Lewis from Kent Denver and Sabatino Chen from Monarch also contribute.