Several key games are left on the schedule, and those will help finalize district tournament brackets. At the same time, pigtail games will get the District 8 tournament started on Thursday.
Five teams (two from the Western Slope, three from the San Juan Basin) will compete for two regional berths. North Park is the top seed from the WSL, and the Wildcats will face the winner of the pigtail game between Dove Creek and Nucla in the semifinals. Nucla won both meetings with Dove Creek this season, including a 45-42 decision last Friday. Neither team has faced North Park this year.
Ouray has locked up the top seed from the SJB, and the Trojans will square off with De Beque from the WSL in the semifinals. Ouray is 2-0 against the Dragons this season, winning 46-45 at De Beque in December and then claiming an 84-60 victory at home in January.
The pigtail game takes place next Tuesday and the semifinals will be played on Thursday. The championship will be decided next Friday.
The top seed for District 2 is still up for grabs and will be decided on Friday when Kit Carson visits Cheyenne Wells. Both teams are unbeaten in High Plains League play, so the winner will also nab the league title. Cheyenne Wells suffered a 60-50 loss to Holly last Thursday, and takes a 16-1 mark into Thursday's game with Walsh. Kit Carson has won seven straight and stands at 13-4 on the season.
Cheraw is currently third and the Wolverines hold head-to-head tiebreakers over both McClave and Eads. The Cardinals and Eagles are tied for fourth, and those two will close out the season against each other on Friday, at McClave. Granada comes out of the Arkansas Valley to join the five HPL teams in the district. The Bobcats don't have a win over any of the other teams in the field, but played both McClave and Eads to two points. They will finish the regular season against Cheraw on Friday.
Holly has locked up the Ark Valley title and with it, the top seed in the District 3 tournament. The Wildcats finished their regular season with an 80-42 victory over Granada on Tuesday. Wiley is set as the #2, posting a 5-1 record inside the district, with the lone loss coming to Holly. South Baca can lock up third with a win on Thursday against winless Springfield. That is the only game left between AVL teams. Walsh sits right behind the Patriots, in fourth. Kim/Branson is set in fifth, while Springfield is sixth.
Longmont Christian, out of the Mile High League, will be the top seed for this district, coming in with a higher RPI than the North Central League champions, Peetz. The Bulldogs locked up the NCL crown with a win over Fleming on Tuesday. Weldon Valley, the runner-up in the NCL, sits third. Heritage Christian is just behind the Warriors, and the Eagles are looking at a first round match-up with Fleming, who still has a league game at Prairie on the schedule.
Caliche (LPAA) and Pawnee are in a fight for the sixth seed in the district. The Buffs sit ahead of Pawnee in the RPI and the two will meet up on Saturday. Before then, the Coyotes visit Arickaree/Woodlin on Thursday, and Caliche hosts Merino on Friday. The pigtail game next Monday will feature Prairie and Briggsdale. Prairie won two earlier meetings (65-50, 61-39) with the Falcons. The Mustangs will travel to Briggsdale to close out the regular season on Friday.
Arickaree/Woodlin clinched the YW-KC League title with a victory over Idalia on Tuesday. The Indian-Mustangs lost a regular season meeting with Flagler, who comes in from the Union Pacific. The top seed will go to one of those two squads. Otis finished second in the YW-KC, and is in line for the #3 seed.
Idalia had defeated Arickaree/Woodlin 48-44 earlier this season, but that was a non-league contest. The Wolves finished third in the league and should be the fourth seed. The final two spots belong to Bethune and Stratton/Liberty. Stratton/Liberty, out of the Union Pacific, defeated Bethune during the regular season.
Very little is settled in the race for the top seed in District 6. Primero defeated Sierra Grande 60-49 on Tuesday, running its winning streak to 10. The Bulldogs have the inside track for the #1 seed, but Sierra Grande, Sangre de Cristo and Creede/Lake City are all still in the mix. Sangre and Sierra Grande meet this weekend, while Primero's final game against a district opponent will be against Cotopaxi, who is sitting fifth.
Centennial holds down the sixth spot, just ahead of Antonito and La Veta. Antonito has the tiebreaker over La Veta, having defeated the Redskins head-to-head. Moffat, Manzanola, and Aguilar round out the field. Quarterfinals open on Tuesday at home sites, with the semifinals and finals at Adams State on Thursday and Saturday. Only two teams will qualify for regionals.
Elbert can lock up the Black Forest League title with a win at Pikes Peak Christian on Friday, but a loss by the Bulldogs brings about a three-way tie. If the Eagles defend their home floor, they would grab a share of the lead, along with Elbert and Kiowa. Elbert holds the tiebreaker over Kiowa, after beating the Indians last week. Kiowa defeated PPC earlier this year.
Genoa-Hugo joins the district, coming out of the Union Pacific. The Pirates have only played three games against other teams in the field, but have won all three. Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind split two regular season meetings with Hanover, but the Bulldogs have a better overall record than the Hornets. Deer Trail does not have a win over any other team in the field.
Ten teams out of the 5280 will slug it out in District 8, with three regional qualifying spots at stake. They get things started on Thursday with pigtail games. In the top half of the draw, #8 Beth Eden Baptist takes on #9 Belleview Christian, for the right to face top seeded Front Range Baptist in the quarters on Monday. Beth Eden beat Belleview Christian 65-30 on Tuesday.
The pigtail in the lower half of the bracket has #7 Thorncreek Christian hosts #10 Denver Waldorf, with the winner moving on to duel with #2 Rocky Mountain Lutheran. The Crusaders won the regular season match-up with Denver Waldorf, 78-27.
Monday's other quarterfinals will pit #3 Shining Mountain against #6 Jim Elliot Christian and #4 Denver Jewish Day against #5 Cornerstone Christian. The better seeded team won the regular season meetings.