The field is set and stars have aligned, as the 2017 CHSAA Boys Basketball Tournaments have started. The Larry Farmer region of the Sweet 16 games provides one of the best matchups you’ll see in the state. The Smoky Hill Buffaloes will battle it out against the Denver East Angels on Wednesday, March 1 at 7p.m. MT at Smoky Hill.
Although breaks and strains have altered this team with injuries, CHSAA transfer rules and finally feeling comfortable enough to feel as if they’ve found the formula for success, East finds themselves exactly where they want to be in the Colorado High School 5A playoffs; in the driver’s seat as they make a strong push for the state championship.
On the other end, there’s Smoky Hill, the dark horse picked by many to make a run at the state championship. Anthony Hardin has challenged his team this year to prove they’re one of the best teams in the state despite having a 4-19 campaign last year. With another year under their belt, how did they answer? With 12 more wins than last year setting themselves up to possible become this year’s Cinderella team.
All of the principal figures are accounted for: junior standout Daylen Kountz (27.2 ppg) and Kenny Foster (17.1) lead their respective teams in scoring and have ascended as two of the elite players the state of Colorado have to offer.
One of the other matchups to watch will be the battle of the bigs. Smoky Hill big man, William Becker (11.3 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game), faces off against East big man Assane Diouf (7.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game) both looming on every drive and shaping possessions through blocks and inside presence.
Most of the games have been streamed for both teams through baller.tv but for the playoffs there will not be a live stream of the game. You must get there early, as it will be a packed house and there are also pre-sold tickets to the game. Check with both schools as this is a game you don’t want to miss as it sets up with a possible rematch for both teams against state runner-up Eaglecrest and a great game at the Coliseum for next round.