COLORADO SPRINGS – When things get going for real next week, the Limon boys basketball team is going to be more than prepared.

If taking on a rival in a district semifinal game and coming away with a close win isn’t quality playoff prep, then nothing is.

The Badgers battled for 32 minutes of regulation to come away with a 47-45 win over Burlington in the Class 2A District 8 tournament. It was the Badgers’ second two-point win against the Cougars this year, but this one could be the jolt that starts a deep playoff run.

“It’s crucial,” Rockwell said. “Winning a district championship puts you in the best position to go to state. We just worked through the whole game. We had some adversity with the refs, but we just kept working and it was alright.”

Rockwell was calm, cool and collected while the running the offense and found a little bit of a shooting rhythm to start the second half.

“I thought he did a nice job of being patient in the second half,” coach Dirk Pedersen said. “He hit a 3 early and anytime you knock down a shot, the defense plays you a little different. He was able to get in the lane and finish well and he can do that pretty regularly.”

He scored nine of his team-high 15 points in the points and his 3-pointer early in the third quarter was one of just two long-range shots the Badgers (19-2 overall) needed to make to get off the court at James Irwin High School with a win.

They move on to the district championship game which will be played Saturday at the same location. Limon hopes to finish off the goal of a district title, but a tight game like this has to be beneficial to them with the regional brackets set to be released Sunday.

Limon sits at No. 1 in the 2A CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index which will construct the playoff field. It will likely stay at No. 1 should it backup its play on Saturday in the district title game.

The Badgers had to weather the hot shooting hand of Keziah Williams. He scored a game-high 24 points, but was limited to just two total field goals in the second half. The Cougars (11-9) and the Badgers each scored just seven points in the third quarter and all seven for Burlington came at the hand of Williams. Henry Goodnow scored 10 points and was the only other Cougar in double figures.

Kaden Becker chipped in 12 points for the Badgers and Dontarius Arnold added 11 points.

Simla pulls away from ECA

(Dan Mohrmann/

The nightcap at James Irwin started as an intense battle but ended with the Simla Cubs celebrating a big win. They trounced Evangelical Christian Academy 60-44 to advance to the district championship game against Limon.

Brayden Glover owned the paint, muscling his way to 20 points, which led all scorers. Brent Bowker added 11 and Caston Cox scored nine.

This will be the second showdown between the Cubs and Badgers this season. Limon came away with a 76-64 win back on Jan. 24.