A new champion in Class 2A girls’ basketball is guaranteed as defending state champion could not make it back to Loveland. Yuma, Simla, Wray and Holyoke are the top four seeds in the bracket this year and they’re challenged by Ignacio, Clear Creek, Rangely and Limon in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The state finals are set for Saturday evening.
All games will be played at the Events Center in Loveland and can be seen live through a video stream at nfhsnetwork.com.
Colorado Preps will provide in-game scoring updates and final scores throughout the tournament.
#1 YUMA INDIANS (24-0)
COACH: Bob Rahm
STATE TITLES: 2016, 1997
LEAGUE: Won Lower Platte title (8-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Wray 42-25 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Las Animas 63-18 & Haxtun 51-38
STREAK: Won 24
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 5-0 / beat Wray three times and Holyoke twice
NOTES: This is the sixth consecutive trip to the state tournament for the Indians. They beat Del Norte 46-40 last year to end up third and reached the finals the previous four years including a state championship in 2016. Over the past five years, the Indians have played 15 games at the state tournament, winning 11. This season, they outscored opponents by 678 points for an average margin victory of 28.3. Only one game, a 50-43 win at Wray in late January, has been decided by single digits with two others determined by 10.
#8 IGNACIO BOBCATS (21-2)
COACH: Trae Siebel
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Won San Juan championship (12-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Dolores 46-11
REGIONALS: Beat Sanford 25-23 & Denver Christian 36-31
STREAK: Won 6 straight and 8 of 9
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-1 / Lost to Pagosa Springs 56-30
NOTES: Bobcats are unbeaten against 2A opponents this year with losses coming against 3A Pagosa Springs and 4A Durango. Senior class is 44-3 in conference play in their careers. Outscored opponents 1,244-529 on the season for an average margin of victory of 30.6 pts. Program is making their second straight appearance and third since 2013. Lost to Yuma 43-18 in first round last year and then fell to Simla 47-34 in the consolation semifinals.
#4 HOLYOKE DRAGONS (18-6)
COACH: John Baumgartner
STATE TITLES: 2000
LEAGUE: Finished 3rd in Lower Platte (6-2)
DISTRICTS: Finished 4th – lost to Haxtun 46-44 in 3rd place game
REGIONALS: Beat Vail Christian 52-35 & Del Norte 54-43
STREAK: Won 2 / split last 6
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 1-5 / beat 1A Fleming, three losses to Wray and two to Yuma
NOTES: Dragons record down the stretch doesn’t look impressive but all but one of the losses are against teams seeded higher in the state tournament (Yuma & Wray). Played the last 14 games without starting point guard Emily Jelden who was lost for the season with injury. Program won just seven games two years ago but is 33-13 over the last two. In the state tournament for the first time since 2010.
#5 LIMON BADGERS (22-1)
COACH: Bart O’Dwyer
STATE TITLES: (5) 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002
LEAGUE: Won Union Pacific crown (5-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Denver Christian 53-45
REGIONALS: Beat Hoehne 61-37 & Burlington 44-31
STREAK: Won 12 straight since lone loss to Simla on January 23rd
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-1 / Lost to Simla 50-40
NOTES: Six games have been decided by single digits including two double overtime victories for the Badgers. The loss against Simla came without leading scorer Anna Weisensee who missed the game and four others due to injury. In the state tournament for the first time since winning their last championship in 2007. The Badgers have 10 state appearances in school history with an all-time record of 20-6 including a perfect 5-0 in championship games. Only one senior (Brooke Smith) is among their top 12 scorers on the season.
#3 WRAY EAGLES (19-5)
COACH: David Reed
STATE TITLES: (7) 2009, 2008, 1985, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976
LEAGUE: Finished 2nd in Lower Platte (7-1)
DISTRICTS: Lost to Yuma 42-25 in championship game
REGIONALS: Beat Colorado Springs School 53-48 & Swink 44-29
STREAK: Won 2 and 8 of 10 (losses to Yuma and Burlington)
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 3-3 / beat Holyoke three times and lost three to Yuma
NOTES: Eagles placed second at state a year ago beating Yuma in the semifinals before falling to Paonia in the championship game. Ended up fourth two years ago so this is the third consecutive trip to the state tournament for the Eagles. Seven state championships are tied for second with Highlands Ranch for most girls’ basketball titles in Colorado history.
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#6 RANGELY PANTHERS (21-3)
COACH: Jimmy Mergelman
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Ended in 3-way tie for title with Meeker & Soroco (all 10-1)
DISTRICTS: Beat Meeker 52-51 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Norwood 63-25 & Dayspring Christian 65-40
STREAK: Won 13 since last loss to Cedaredge
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-2 (lost to 3A Moffat County & Cedaredge)
NOTES: 25-point win over Dayspring Christian was the largest margin of victory in any 2A regional final. Only 2A loss this year came against Soroco in league play. Panthers topped the Rams in the second meeting during the district tournament. Team has hit 123 of 303 three-point attempts for the season. The Panthers are in the state tournament field for the first time since 2002.
#2 SIMLA CUBS (23-1)
COACH: Al Snyder
STATE TITLES: 2011 (1A), 1996
LEAGUE: Won Black Forest (8-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Ellicott 45-29 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Sargent 53-45 & Highland 61-43
STREAK: Won 15 straight
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 1-0 / beat Limon 50-40
NOTES: Only loss of the season came against (60-46) on January 20th in non-league play. The Cubs won the rematch 47-43 on February 14th. Defense allows 34.8 points per game and held seven opponents to 25 points or less. In the state tournament for the second straight year. Finished 6th last year as they lost to Wray in the opening round and Haxtun in the consolation finals. Cubs topped Ignacio 47-34 in the consolation round. Posted their 9th 20-win season since the 2006-07 season.
#7 CLEAR CREEK GOLDDIGGERS (22-2)
COACH: Marc Gorenstein
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Won 3A Frontier title (12-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Dayspring Christian 65-41 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Custer County 55-18 & Meeker 60-59
STREAK: Won 21
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-1 / lost to Kent Denver 48-43
NOTES: Golddiggers are making their first ever appearance in the state tournament. They opened the season 1-2 but has not dropped a game since December 5th. Lost to Kent Denver in season opener and Denver Christian in game three. Outscored opponents by more points (720) than points given up throughout the season (613). Average margin of victory of 30 points. Played just nine games against 2A schools this year winning eight. Remaining 15 games came against 3A opponents. Senior class has been involved in 79 wins overall.