Area basketball teams ready for district play |

Area basketball teams ready for district play

Let the (playoff) games begin.

The road to the state tournament for area prep basketball teams begins tonight with district pigtail games involving the Glenwood Springs and Basalt boys teams.

The Demons travel to Palisade for a 7 p.m. game against the Bulldogs for the No. 8 seed at Thursday’s Class 4A, District 7 tournament to be held in Grand Junction.

This is the second time the Demons have squared off in three days against the Bulldogs.

On Saturday, Glenwood defeated Palisade for their just second win of the season.

Roger Duroux, the Demons’ coach, said the 54-51 win “was a good win for us, because it built a little confidence going into the pigtail game.”

The coach said the key to the victory was the team’s ability to press Palisade’s ball-handlers before they could set-up their half-court offense.

“We pressed their guards up top. It kept them out of their set offense. We’ll try that again and we’ll see what happens,” explained Duroux.

The Basalt boys have the advantage of playing their Class 3A pigtail contest with Meeker at home.

Not only will the Cowboys will have to contend with the Longhorns’ top gun, Ky Mulcahy, and deal with the extra-long court of the “Big House”, where opponents tend to run out of stamina, due to the extra 10 feet of playing surface.

That game is scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m.

Rifle and Roaring Fork start district play on Thursday.

The Bear boys, the regular-season WSL champion, have drawn the tournament’s No. 1 seed and plays the winner of the Glenwood-Palisade game at Mesa State College’s Brownson Arena at 8:15 p.m.

Rifle’s girls, seeded No. 3, face No. 6 Palisade at Grand Junction High School at 6:30 p.m.

Further east, the Glenwood girls open district play against Montezuma-Cortez from the Southwestern League at Central High School. That game also tips-off at 6:30 p.m.

The winners from Thursday’s games will play at Mesa State on Friday. Losers from the opening round games drop to the elimination bracket. Those games will be played at Grand Junction and Central high schools.

The boys and girls championship, third and fifth place games will all be played at Mesa on Saturday, starting with the girls’ fifth place game at 11 a.m. Championship games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. for the girls, followed by the boys at 7:45 p.m.

The top five teams at the conclusion of districts are assured of a first-round game at next week’s Class 4A state tournament.

The Class 3A, District 4 tournament will also be played in two different sites.

The boys settle in at Palisade High School for their double-elimination tournament starting Thursday afternoon where No. 5 Roaring Fork battled fourth-seeded Hotchkiss at 3 p.m.

If Basalt defeats Meeker, they play No. 1-seed Hotchkiss at 7:30 p.m.

The District 4 girls tournament will be held at Rifle High School where Basalt is the No. 1 seed. The Longhorns start tournament play on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Gunnison-at-Olathe pigtail contest.

Roaring Fork also has to wait to see who they draw as a first-round opponent. The Rams are seeded third and will face either Aspen or Hotchkiss in a 4:30 p.m. contest.

The four winning teams from Thursday’s quarterfinals advance to the next day’s semifinal contests. Those games are scheduled for 6 and 7:30 p.m. starts at both gyms.

Quarterfinal losers play elimination-round games at 3 and 4:30 p.m. The final round of action starts on Saturday with fifth place games at 10 a.m., followed by the third place games and the championship contests, scheduled at 1 and 4 p.m. respectively.

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