Even in the heart of league play, every so often a game pops up on the schedule that brings about a double-take.
Non-league matchups late in the season are always interesting, especially when it pits top-10 teams against one another as the postseason approaches. February brings with it a number of those matchups, whether it's Fruita Monument
traveling across the state to take on Jeffco's Ralston Valley (Arvada)
, or Front Range-leading Horizon (Thornton)
visiting defending champion Grandview (Aurora)
The 5A classification isn't alone in this, either. In 1A, a rematch of the 2016-17 girls state title game is in store between Kit Carson
But the month isn't limited to those great games alone. Here are 10 games to keep an eye on in the coming weeks across the state's five classifications:Class 5A
• Fruita Monument (16-1) at Ralston Valley (14-2), 6 p.m., Feb. 2
Fruita Monument is tied with Horizon for the top overall record in 5A, with the team's only loss coming to Castle View (Castle Rock)
on Dec. 2. The Wildcats have won 14 in a row since that game, including a victory over 4A's No. 1 team in Pueblo West. Seniors Riley Snyder
(19.2 points) and Angelique Gall
(13.5) have both provided some big moments.
Ralston Valley had won 14 in a row before Lakewood snapped that winning streak Friday night. Senior Delaynie Byrne
averages 21.8 points and eight rebounds to pace the Mustangs.• Highlands Ranch (14-4) at Castle View (15-2), 7 p.m., Feb. 6
This Continental League battle is crucial as both teams attempt to stay with Regis Jesuit (Aurora). The Falcons fell to the Raiders 37-34 last Wednesday, with Castle View facing Regis Jesuit late in the month.
Highlands Ranch's two in-state losses have come by a combined four points. The team has four players scoring in double figures, led by Autumn Watts
at 15.9. Castle View's two losses came in out-of-state tournaments. Junior India Cole
(13.6 points) leads the Sabercats.• Horizon (16-1) at Grandview (13-3), 6:30 p.m., Feb. 6
Horizon has yet to drop a game to an in-state opponent this season, and the Hawks have made short work of opponents in the Front Range League. The Wolves figure to provide one of the team's toughest challenges to date. Alyssa Jimenez
(17.3 points), Samantha Deem
(14.2) and Isabella Allen
(14.1) pack a punch for Horizon's offense.
Grandview's only in-state loss came to Regis Jesuit, and the Wolves have rattled off nine consecutive victories. Senior Leilah Vigil
is scoring nearly 15 points a game for Grandview and Alisha Davis
is at 11.7 points and just shy of 10 rebounds.Class 5A/4A
• Lakewood (14-3) at Mesa Ridge (Colorado Springs) (12-2), 4 p.m., Feb. 10
The game with 4A Mesa Ridge is the only non-Jeffco contest Lakewood will play since after the holiday break, but it's a great test for both teams.
The Tigers just upended No. 2 Ralston Valley on Friday night to forge a tie in the league standings. Camilla Emsbo
is averaging 16.9 points and seven rebounds for Lakewood, which has won seven in a row since a loss to the Mustangs on Jan. 4. Mesa Ridge and Widefield are neck-and-neck in the Colorado Springs Metro League, with the Grizzlies set to face the Gladiators in a rematch on Jan. 31. Chloe Welch
is averaging 16.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists for Mesa Ridge. Ashley Bowen
and Angelina Jackson
are both right around 11 points a game.Class 4A
• Holy Family (Broomfield) (15-2) at Windsor (12-4), 7 p.m., Feb. 6
Holy Family pushed its winning streak to eight games with a victory over Skyline (Longmont) on Friday night, but the Tigers must contend with a Windsor team that has won five in a row since a loss to Holy Family on Jan. 12.
This time the Wizards get the Tigers at home. Senior Michaela Moran
(12 points) and junior Hollie Hoffman
(11.4) pace the Wizards. Holy Family's Izzy Hren
is currently at 16.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists on the year. She had 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and five steals in the teams' first meeting.• Golden (15-2) at Evergreen (15-1), 6 p.m., Feb. 15
Evergreen got the better of this matchup last Wednesday, downing the Demons 50-40 behind three players in double figures and a strong finish to the game.Baylee Galan-Browne
, Meriel Hahn
and Claudia Dillon
combined to score 36 of the team's 50 points, and Dillon and Hahn combined for 20 rebounds as well. Abby Garnett
led Golden with 16 points, but Makena Prey
attempted only nine shots and finished with 12 points, well below her season average of nearly 21.
Both teams will also have to contend with Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch) the second time through the league schedule as well. Class 3A
• Colorado Springs Christian (14-2) at St. Mary's (Colorado Springs) (12-0), 7 p.m., Feb. 9
The Tri-Peaks League is likely going to come down to these two teams, with a red-hot CSCS team facing a top-ranked St. Mary's squad.
The Lions are coming off a 32-28 victory against Lamar in a rematch of the 3A state championship game. Just like the title game, this was a defensive struggle as well. But juniors Megan Engesser
and Rachel Ingram
have CSCS playing as well as anyone in the classification right now.
St. Mary's, save for a one-point victory over 4A Pueblo East on Jan. 10, has been having its way with teams. Sophomore Josephine Howery
(14.6 points) and senior Makenna Bodette
(11.8 points) lead the Pirates.• Pagosa Springs (11-2) at Centauri (La Jara) (13-1), 5:30 p.m., Feb. 10
Pagosa Springs made the upcoming rematch that much more interesting after handing Centauri its first loss of the season Friday night. The Pirates pushed their winning streak to six in the process, and served notice that the Intermountain League has to go through them. Senior Morgan Lewis
is scoring nearly 18 points a game.
Centauri finishes out the regular season at home against Pagosa. Senior Caroline Van Berkum
(11.1) points and a balanced offensive attack figure to be fired up for the rematch.Class 2A
• Holyoke (11-2) at Yuma (12-0), 5 p.m., Feb. 13
These two teams met Jan. 19 in Lower Platte League action, with the Indians pulling out a 39-28 victory behind 19 points from Cody Robinson
and 12 points and 16 rebounds from Chasey Blach
Those two have guided top-ranked Yuma all season. Both players average close to 16 points, with Blach adding nearly 14 rebounds a game. Holyoke's Taeryn Trumper
averages 14 points a game, and Grace Dille
adds more than 11 to go with 17.4 rebounds.
• Fleming (11-1) at Kit Carson (12-0), 2 p.m., Feb. 3
This non-league tilt is a rematch of the 1A state title game last March, with Kit Carson taking a 55-35 victory.
Fleming's Alli Keisel
leads three players scoring in double figures with 17 points a game, and freshman Kendyl Kirkwood
nearly averages a double-double at 10.3 points and 9.2 rebounds. The Kit Carson duo of Micayla Isenbart
(13.6 points) and Tess Hornung
(13.3) have helped the Wildcats remain undefeated thus far on the season.