5A Jeffco hoops preview: Lakewood one of the best

Ralston Valley expects another deep playoff run as well

Posted 11/20/14

5A Jeffco was arguably the best league in the entire state last season as three of its teams made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the state tournament.

Two of those teams will return this season and battle it out for what could be a historic …

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5A Jeffco hoops preview: Lakewood one of the best

Ralston Valley expects another deep playoff run as well

Posted

5A Jeffco was arguably the best league in the entire state last season as three of its teams made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the state tournament.

Two of those teams will return this season and battle it out for what could be a historic chase for the league.

Lakewood (24-2, 16-0 in league last season) will enter the season as one of the top teams in the state, led by Mackenzie Forrest, who is already considered one of the best players in the state.

Forrest guided the Tigers all the way to the Great 8 of the state tournament last season with a monster stat-line that included over 19 points and four steals per game.

Forrest, and junior McKenna Bishop (11 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season), will produce perhaps the most dynamic duo in the state in any classification this season.

And Lakewood has a legitimate opportunity to compete for a state championship not only this season but over the next couple seasons.

But while Lakewood has emerged as Jeffco’s best team last season, the leagues most consistent team over the past several seasons has been Ralston Valley.

The Mustangs (20-6, 14-2 in league last season) were a really good team last year that ran into a buzz saw in Regis Jesuit in the playoffs.

However, getting back to the Sweet 16 of the state tournament is certainly realistic for Ralston Valley this season.

The Mustangs lost a couple good players to graduation, but returning is one of the league’s best players — sophomore Ashley Van Sickle. Van Sickle averaged 12 points a four rebounds per game as a freshman and many believe she has the talent and skill to dominate over the next few seasons.

Ralston Valley and Lakewood should have a fantastic battle for 5A Jeffco this season with the winner of the league potentially being propelled deep into the playoffs.

Bear Creek, Dakota Ridge and Columbine will push the Tigers and Mustangs this season but likely for only third, fourth and fifth place.

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