Frontier Academy, Platte Valley, Resurrection Christian, College, Valley, Weld Central, Windsor Constitution – Greeley Tribune
Frontier Academy Wolverines
This past season was a campaign full of ups and downs for Frontier Academy, as the Wolverines began the season 7-1 before losing 11 of their final 12 games and finishing with an 8-12 record.
Frontier will look for more sustained success this season despite having a slew of new faces.
The Wolverines began their season Thursday with a 46-15 win against DSST: Conservatory Green at the Bennett Tiger Tip-Off.
Platte Valley Broncos
Platte Valley’s incredible dominance over its Class 3A counterparts continued a year ago, as the Broncos won their second consecutive state title to cap a 26-0 season.
The Broncos bring back ample talent but also have some key players to replace, including this past year’s senior leading scorer Cora Schissler (15.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 2.7 spg).
Among the returnees: senior standouts Bree Bunting and Andi Schissler. A year ago, Bunting averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.1 blocks and 2.7 steals per game. Schissler produced 13 points, a team-high 8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.7 steals and a team-high 1.3 blocks per game.
No doubt Platte Valley has the sheer talent to three-peat in a new-look 3A classification.
Unsurprisingly, the Broncos are ranked first in 3A by CHSAANow.com to start the season.
They received a stiff test in their season opener Tuesday, losing 63-27 to Holy Family, the top-ranked team in 4A.
DENVER, CO – MARCH 11: Platte Valley’s Andi Schissler (1) shoots as Grand Valley’s Jaycee Pittman (12) defends during the Platte Valley Broncos 3A girls basketball semifinal game against the Grand Valley Cardinals in Hamilton Gym at the University of Denver in Denver March 11, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
Resurrection Christian Cougars
Resurrection Christian’s season may not have ended they way it envisioned a year ago — with three consecutive losses, including a loss in the first round of the 32-team 3A state tournament. But the overall success was undeniable, as the Cougars went 14-9 while playing in an ultra-tough 3A Patriot League.
This season, Resurrection Christian will test himself in 4A. It’s the ninth-ranked team in the classification to start the season, according to CHSAANow.com.
The Cougars bring back plenty of talent, including their top 2 scorers from a year ago: junior Mackenzie Flikkema and sophomore Olivia Klein.
A season ago, Flikkema averaged 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Klein averaged 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
A season ago, University remained firmly in the hunt for a state title, falling in the 3A title game to Platte Valley. The year before, the Broncos also fell to the two-time defending 3A champion Broncos, that time in the semifinals.
The good news: University no longer must get through Platte Valley to win a state title. The Bulldogs are now in 4A, with the addition of a sixth basketball classification in Colorado.
Now, for the bad news: Arguably an even tougher challenge stands in between University and its first girls basketball state title. That would be powerhouse Holy Family.
The Bulldogs rank second behind the Tigers in CHSAANow.com’s preseason 4A rankings.
After having just two seniors and going 22-5 a year ago, University brings back some formidable talent, notably senior Taryn Kravig, who averaged team-highs of 14.7 points, 2.8 steals and 3.3 assists per game a year ago.
DENVER, CO – MARCH 11:University’s Taryn Kravig (2) drives down the court as Vanguard’s Jordyn Christensen (4) defends during the University Bulldogs 3A state semifinal girls basketball game against the Vanguard Coursers at Hamilton Gym at the University of Denver in Denver March 11, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
Valley has taken some noticeable strides over the past handful of years, and it hopes to continue to move forward this winter after going 12-12 a year ago.
The Vikings advanced to the 32-team 3A state tournament this past season, losing to Pagosa Springs in the first round. They bring back numerous key players this winter, including junior Peyton Savolt, who was second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) a year ago, while also averaging 1.3 steals per game.
Valley will face new challenges this season, while rising up to 4A.
Weld Central Rebels
Weld Central started slow a year ago, 0-7 and 3-12, but found its stride late, winning seven of its final nine games. The Rebels will look to carry that late-season confidence into this season, as they move up to 4A.
Weld Central graduated some top seniors from this past year’s squad, but it brings back senior Lacey Schliefelbein, who led the team in scoring (8.2 ppg) to go with 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game a season ago.
The Rebels move from the 4A/3A Colorado League, in which they played a year ago, to the 4A Patriot League, joined by Berthoud, Eaton, Resurrection Christian, Sterling, University and Valley.
Weld Central opened its season Tuesday with a tight 31-26 loss to Strasburg.
Windsor Charter Academy Firebirds
Windsor Charter embarks on its first season sanctioned by CHSAA after going 10-7 and playing in the independent Front Range Christian Athletic Association a year ago.
The Firebirds join the 3A Mile High-Foothills League and will play alongside Bishop Machebeuf, Clear Creek, Dawson, Lyons and SkyView Academy.
Windsor Charter had just two seniors a year ago. Among the returnees: senior Emma Trubia, who led the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and steals (4.7 spg), and was second in rebounds (4.9 rpg) and assists (2.6 apg) a year ago.
The Firebirds already have two games under their belts this season and are 1-1.
—Keep reading in the coming days for more boys and girls basketball preview capsules.
Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.