District tournament week has barely started and a number of teams have already punched their tickets to the regional round. By the end of the week, 32 squads will have advanced to next weekend, as they chase a state tournament appearance.
DISTRICT 1 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
Home sites will be utilized for the quarterfinal round of this district, and the top seed, Sanford (15-4) has already advanced to the semifinals as the result of a bye. The rest of the field will take the floor on Tuesday, looking to join the Indians in the next round.
After upsetting Del Norte 56-51 in overtime last Saturday, Sanford will take a six-game winning streak into Friday’s match-up with either #4 Custer County (8-11) or #5 Center (7-12). The Indians dominated both during the regular season, beating Custer County 40-12, and taking a pair from the Vikings, 51-11 and 53-16. Sanford does not have a single player averaging more than nine points a game, but seven players score at least four a night. The Bobcats won the regular season contest with Center 37-33 last Saturday. Memphis Curry had 18 points in the victory.
The top half of the bottom bracket has #3 Sargent (8-11) hosting #6 South Park (6-9). Sargent got 13 points, six assists and five steals from Lainie Dillon in a 44-33 victory over the Burros just over two weeks ago. Morgan Burnett topped South Park with 14 points.
Following the loss to Sanford to end the regular season, Del Norte (18-1), which had been ranked #1 in the classification for most of the season, enters the tournament as the #2 seed. The Tigers will host #7 Crested Butte (0-19). Both of their regular season meetings got ugly in a hurry. Del Norte led 26-6 after the first quarter in the first game and 25-3 in the second. The Tigers won 86-21 and 84-13. Kendra Parra, who averages just under 24 points a game, combined for 46 points and 21 steals in the two games.
The semifinals and placing games will be held over the weekend at Adams State University. Due to the bye into the semifinals, Sanford has already advanced to regionals.
DISTRICT 2 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
Once again, Yuma (16-3) won the Lower Platte, earning the top seed for the district tournament and a first round bye. The Indians have won eight straight games and are led by the senior duo of Cody Robinson (17.1 ppg) and Chasey Blach (11.9 ppg). They will face the winner of the quarterfinal between #4 Wiggins (9-10) and #5 Sedgwick County (6-12). Yuma beat the Tigers 53-16 during the regular season, and dominated Sedgwick County, 60-16. Wiggins took the head-to-head meeting with the Cougars, 39-23, as Paige Finegan turned in a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards.
Second-seeded Wray (16-2) also received a first round bye, so the Eagles will have to wait for either #3 Holyoke (12-7) or #6 Akron (3-16). The Dragons just took a 59-32 victory over Akron less than two weeks ago, as they jumped out to a 40-14 halftime advantage. Freshman Kristen Vieselmeyer led the Dragons with 12 points, while Taeryn Trumper and Victoria Race each had 10. Akron’s Bailee Clarkson had a dozen points to pace the Rams. Wray had no trouble with Akron last week, beating the Rams 67-33, but the two meetings with Holyoke went down to the wire. The Eagles won both, 40-36 and 46-40, but they were outscored in the second half of both games.
The teams will use home sites on Tuesday for the quarterfinals before moving to Northeastern Junior College for the final two days. The semifinals are on Thursday and the placing games will be on Saturday. Yuma and Wray are already qualified for the regional round.
DISTRICT 3 (THREE TEAMS ADVANCE)
Five teams will be vying for three spots in the regional round when District 3 gets things started on Tuesday. Fourth-seeded Mancos (4-15) will host #5 Telluride (5-14) with a semifinal date against #1 Ignacio (13-6) awaiting the winner. The Bluejays and Titans split a pair of regular season games, with each winning on their home floor. Telluride took the earlier of the two meetings by a 32-21 count, but Mancos responded with a 26-22 victory last Friday. Neither team had much success against Ignacio, as the Bluejays fell 56-21 and 58-32, while Telluride dropped its two games against the Bobcats, 54-26 and 36-14.
One of the semifinals is already set, with #2 Dolores (8-10) facing #3 Ridgway (7-10). The Bears beat Ridgway 50-40 in their first meeting, with Tatum Majors posting 14 points and 11 rebounds. Ridgway avenged that loss with a 45-42 victory in double overtime last Saturday. Geri-June Hall (17 points) and Ashley Medina (15 points) combined for 32 points for the Demons. Majors was limited to six points for Dolores.
Durango High School will host the semifinals on Friday and the placing games on Saturday.
DISTRICT 4 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
The District 4 tournament got an early jump, with a pigtail game being played last Saturday. Eighth-seeded Platte Canyon (1-17) bumped #9 Nederland (1-17) 25-17 to advance to Tuesday’s second round. The Huskies must travel to #5 Burlington (7-12) where they will face a Cougar squad that has won four of its last five games. With the teams playing in different leagues, they did not play during the season.
Tuesday also has a second round game featuring #6 Clear Creek (7-12) and #7 Front Range Christian (8-11). Clear Creek has dropped three of its last four games, but the Golddiggers do own a 55-28 victory over the Falcons during the regular season. After a slow start, Clear Creek outscored Front Range Christian 39-7 in the second half to secure the victory. Paige Murphy (20) and Aliya Singleton (19) combined for 39 points in the win.
Fourth-seeded Lotus School (12-4) gets the winner of the game between Burlington and Platte Canyon in the quarterfinals. It will be the first meeting of the year between the Meteors and either opponent. Lotus features one player averaging double figures in scoring, freshman Amana Malki, who scores just under 14 points a game. The winner of that quarterfinal will face #1 Limon (18-1) in the semis. The only loss of the season for the Badgers came against 1A Kit Carson, who is a heavy favorite to win its third straight title. Six of their regular rotational players average better than five points a game, led by Toni Lopez at 11 a night.
The winner of the game between Clear Creek and Front Range Christian will move on to meet #3 Denver Christian (10-9) in the quarters. The Thunder won their regular season game against FRC 30-12, and they also took care of the Golddiggers 53-41. Denver Christian finished the season losing four of its last seven games. That includes a 48-46 overtime loss to #2 Byers (13-6) who is lurking in the semifinals. Kara Amidon had 21 points in the losing effort.
Home sites are utilized through the quarterfinals, and then the teams will head to Vista Peak High School for the final two rounds. By making the semifinals, Limon and Byers have already qualified for the regional round.
DISTRICT 5 (FIVE TEAMS ADVANCE)
One team has already earned a trip to regionals out of District 5, as #3 Hotchkiss (14-6) dispatched #6 Hayden (8-12) 63-48 in quarterfinal play. By reaching the semifinals, the Bulldogs are guaranteed a top four finish, with five teams advancing. The Tigers slide into the consolation semifinals and now need two more wins to keep their season alive.
Ninth-seeded West Grand (5-15) earned a shot at #1 Meeker (18-1) in the quarterfinals by upsetting #8 Paonia (4-15) 33-28 on Monday. Paonia had beaten the Mustangs 26-20 during the regular season, but could not duplicate that result in the pigtail round. West Grand must now find a way to slow down Meeker, who defeated the Mustangs 69-17 three weeks ago. Victoria Lasker had a game-high 15 points for the Cowboys in that contest.
In what could be a hotly contested quarterfinal, #4 Vail Christian (10-9) hosts #5 Rangely (9-10). The Saints won the regular season meeting 40-34, thanks to 14 points and nine rebounds by Abby Kuhns. Skylar Thacker had a dozen points to pace the Panthers.
With Hotchkiss already into the semifinals, the winner of the quarterfinal between #2 Soroco (16-3) and #7 Plateau Valley (12-8) knows who they will be facing in the next round. Plateau Valley had to beat Caprock Academy (2-19) 54-17 on Monday in a pigtail game to earn a spot in the quarters. It marked the second win over the Eagles in less than a week for the Cowboys. Soroco received 24 points from Chloe Veilleux in a 70-41 victory over PV earlier this month.
After utilizing home sites through the quarterfinals, the scene will shift to De Beque High School for the remaining games. The consolation semis will be played on Thursday, while the championship semifinals are on Friday. All of the placing games will be held on Saturday.
DISTRICT 6 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
The four regional qualifiers from District 6 have already been determined, as the quarterfinals were knocked out on Monday night. The top seed, Swink (18-2), made short work of John Mall (6-15), running away with a 72-10 victory. The Panthers had defeated Las Animas (2-18) 29-18 last week in a pigtail game to earn the spot in the quarterfinals.
Joining the Lions in the top semifinal is Fowler (10-10) after the Grizzlies moved past Holly (12-8) 42-38 in overtime. Bella Devore had a career-high 17 points to lead Fowler in the victory.
Leading off the bottom half of the bracket is Rocky Ford (13-7), who moved past Hoehne (6-14) 43-20. The Meloneers led 25-9 at the half. They will face Rye (19-1) in the semifinals after the Thunderbolts eliminated Crowley County (9-12) 42-27. Rye’s Chloe Richardson was the only player for either team to reach double figures, as the sophomore finished with 10. The Chargers beat Swallow Charter (1-19) 52-17 in a pigtail game last week.
The semifinals will be held on Thursday at La Junta High School, and the finals will take place there on Friday.
DISTRICT 7 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
District 7 opens play on Tuesday with a pigtail game between #8 Twin Peaks Charter (4-15) and #9 Loveland Classical (11-7). Twin Peaks is one of the few CHSAA member schools that the Lions played during the regular season, and it was a 22-21 decision in favor of the Timberwolves. Natalie Schauer was the lone player for either side in double figures, as the junior posted 13 points and 12 boards in the victorious effort.
Top-seeded Heritage Christian (19-0) awaits the winner in the quarterfinals. The Eagles faced Twin Peaks Charter during the season, recording a 60-15 victory. The Timberwolves did not score in the fourth quarter of that loss. Four Eagles finished in double figures, led by Savannah Brown with 14.
In the 4 vs 5 match-up, Lyons (11-8) will host Dayspring Christian (8-11). The Lions won’t have to go too far back to review their scouting report, as Lyons claimed a 51-41 victory over the Eagles just two weeks ago. Avery Joy of Lyons topped all scorers with 24 points in the contest. Dayspring Christian was led by Brooke Shenkenberg, who tallied 21 points.
Highland (15-4) needed overtime to beat Lyons in its last regular season game. That helped the Huskies secure the #3 seed, and land them a quarterfinal contest against #6 Union Colony Prep (6-12). Highland dominated the Timberwolves in their regular season contest, building a 29-9 halftime lead on the way to a 52-23 victory. Laramie Woods was one of three Huskies in double figures, posting a team-high 14 points. Olivia Himmel added a dozen, and Alyssa Winter tallied 11. Alexis Boiko had 14 for Union Colony.
The #2 seed belongs to Dawson School (16-3) who hosts #7 Gilpin County (3-16) in the quarters. The Mustangs have won seven straight games and were just a handful of points away from winning the Mile High league. Their win over Gilpin County during that streak was closer than expected, 39-26. The Eagles were outscored 10-1 in the second quarter, or the final might have been even tighter. Maddy Timms recorded 17 points and six steals for the Mustangs.
The semifinals will move the tournament away from home sites and into the neutral site of Frederick High School on Friday, with the placing games to follow on Saturday. The four semifinalists will advance to the regional round.
DISTRICT 8 (FOUR TEAMS ADVANCE)
There are no pigtails or play-in games needed in District 8, it’s just a straight eight-team bracket that begins play with quarterfinals on Wednesday at home sites. Peyton (15-4) is the top seed and as such, the Panthers will host #8 Miami-Yoder (1-17). The two teams just played last Friday and things got out of hand quickly. Peyton cruised to a 63-7 victory behind 18 points from Shelby Miller.
The other quarterfinal in the top half of the bracket has #4 Colorado Springs School (12-7) facing #5 Dolores Huerta Prep (9-9). The Kodiaks established the tone early in their first meeting with the Scorpions, outscoring them 17-3 in the first quarter. That was enough to carry through to a 50-31 victory. Whitney Richardi set a new career-high with 19 points in the win.
Third-seed Calhan (11-8) will host #6 Fountain Valley (7-10) in one of the quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw. The Bulldogs put enough points on the board in the opening quarter to win the contest when the two teams met earlier this season. Calhan opened the game with a 17-3 first period and went on to win 37-16. That game was just two weeks ago.
Simla (13-6) will be looking to advance to the semifinals with a victory over #7 Thomas MacLaren School (4-8). The Cubs handled the Highlanders 51-23 during the regular season, thanks to a 20-2 opening frame. Halle Lutz paced Simla with 16 points and six steals.
Wednesday’s winners will head to the Colorado Springs Auditorium for the weekend. Semifinals are scheduled for Friday with the placing games set to go on Saturday.