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Basketball teams ready to open 2013 league action

Posted: Friday, Jan 4th, 2013

The Sierra Grande Panthers and Sanford Indians have already squared off but when they meet next it will have an impact on the league standings. Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier Sports Editor

SAN LUIS VALLEY— Some key matchups in the beginning of January will really show where all of the San Luis Valley boys' teams are in regards to the league standings.

Some of the games of interest include the Sanford-Centauri game, the Alamosa-Sanford game and the Centauri-Alamosa game. All three of these games take place within a week of each other and are huge rivalries.

Class 3A

The Centauri Falcons look like the team that everyone is chasing in the IML.

The Falcons possess a 7-1 record including a 58-49 win over Woodland Park. Their only loss in the 2012 portion of the season was a 59-51 defeat to Jefferson Academy.

Justin Gallegoes, Jeremy Cornum and KC Jarvies are just some of the many weapons that Falcons new coach Brandon Sanchez, former Sargent Head Coach, has at his disposal.

The Alamosa Mean Moose won’t lay down that easily as the 5-3 team will be looking to defeat their rivals in what are key contests.

The Moose are led by Senior Zach Meyer, junior Ryan Martinez, senior Samuel Bilderbeck and Josh Cody.

The Monte Vista Pirates are 4-3 on the season and have some key wins including a win over a ranked team from New Mexico, Taos.

The Pirates are averaging 47 points per game and are led by junior Keith Romero.

Class 2A

The Sanford Indians look to return to the top of the Southern Peaks League in 2013.

They have already had some team success in the current season as they won the La Junta Holiday Shootout and have a 5-1 record after the first month of ball.

They are led by freshman Chance Canty, who already has two double-doubles, according to media statistics.

Canty is joined by Calder Larsen, who is a 3-point sharpshooter, and freshman Miles Caldon. Dustin Faucette is also a force for the Indians on the boards.

Sierra Grande, last year’s Class 1A runner-ups, enter their first season at Class 2A competition and are looking to prove that they belong.

So far this season, they have a 4-2 record with their two losses coming from the Class 3A Centauri Falcons in the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbird Shootout semifinals and to new league rival, Sanford, 66-34.

The Panthers are averaging 72.2 points per game and are led by senior Tomas Vigil. Vigil has scored 92 points (18.4 ppg) so far.

Vigil also leads in total rebounds with 57 on the season. Senior Victor Howard will be a force for the Panthers.

Braydon Smith, a senior, leads the team in steals with 18 so far.

The Del Norte Tigers have a 2-4 record so far this season as they have been out-matched throughout the season. So far they have lost games to Centauri (80-34), Alamosa (78-35), Sierra Grande (63-53) and Pagosa Springs (71-34).

The Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds are a team that can be a wild card and hand the Indians or the Panthers a loss and make it an interesting race to the league title in the middle of February.

So far in the current season, they have won four games while only losing two games.

As a team, they are averaging 48.7 points per game and 25.7 rebounds per game.

Senior Mitchell Stagner is the leading scorer for them with 112 points (18.7 ppg) while sophomore Troy Fritz is the next closest with 41 points (6.8 ppg). Sophomore Kyle Beiriger has 40 points (6.7 ppg) so far.

Stagner and Fritz also lead in rebounds with 23 and 21, respectively. Junior Cody Parker leads the team with 11 steals

In girl's action, 2013 appears to be a huge year for some teams as a few look to return to the State Tournament again while some teams look to make a run at the gold ball.

Class 3A

The Centauri Falcons look like the team to watch in the next two months of the basketball season as they enter 2013 with an 8-1 record and are poised to dominate the Intermountain League.

The Falcons, who are averaging 61 points per game so far this season, are led by senior Taylor Wilson who is averaging 15.4 points per game (139 total). She has also added a team-high 53 steals.

Junior Tori Fringer is also being a leader for the Falcons as she has totaled 115 points (12.8 ppg) and has 61 rebounds (6.8 rpg) on the season.

The Alamosa Mean Moose, who are averaging 36.8 points per game, enter the 2013 portion of the season with a 2-6 record. The record does not reflect it, but the Moose have vastly improved over last season.

Alamosa did schedule some tough preseason tournament games including a 3-game series at the Black Canyon Tournament in Montrose where they played Class 4A’s Montrose and Class 5A’s Grand Junction and Fruita Monument.

Senior Blake Faucett leads the Mean Moose into action with 59 points (7.4 ppg) and 24 steals on the season while junior Nicole Broyles leads the team with 49 rebounds (6.1 rpg).

The Monte Vista Pirates enter with a 1-5 record and are under first-year head coach Andy Schon.

The Pirates playmaker is sophomore Shelby Hindes, who is a speedy ball handler.

Class 2A

Class 2A and Southern Peaks League teams will have their hands full with the Sanford Indians this season.

The 3-3 Indians are well-rounded and are led by senior Kelli Canty, who constantly giving the Indians at least 18 points per game. If you add in her rebounding abilities and combine that with the abilities of her teammates, Jaycee Canty and Josie Larsen, there appears to be no stopping the Indians who look to make a run at the championship gold ball just two seasons after winning their last title.

The Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds hope to give the Indians a run for their money as they enter the 2013 year with a 5-1 record.

The Thunderbirds are under second-year head coach Brady Stagner and are led by senior Kathryn New and sophomore Allie Beiriger.

The Sargent Farmers will be another team that will be added into the mix when it comes down to the conference championship.

The Farmers are under a new head coach and have a 1-3 record thus far this season.

The Sierra Grande Panthers are a new team to Class 2A and look to put their two cents in.

They are led by the Archuletas, Brianna and Victoria. Senior Brooke Lucero is also a force to reckon with.

The Del Norte Tigers, who qualified for the 2012 state tournament, looked like they would be poised at another run, however, an injury in the opening game of the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbird Shootout in the beginning of December has appeared to change those plans.

AJ Fresquez, who is a great 3-sport athlete, suffered a knee injury and has undergone surgery to repair the damage, however, it will take at least six months to recover.

Despite that, the Tigers continue to battle and carry a 3-3 record into January action

Class 1A

The Centennial Rams and Mountain Valley/Moffat Indians look to make it to the playoffs

The Centennial Rams do have a deeper bench than last year. They are led by Alexis Albert and Justine Sanchez.

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