Bears, Longhorns set for state tourney
The Rifle High School boys soccer team did everything it could to get a home playoff game in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament, but the Bears will be hitting the road anyway.
Despite finishing the regular season ranked eighth in the state by the Rocky Mountain News and winning their regional playoff game 3-0 against Skyview, the Bears were given a No. 12 seed for the state tournament. And, with the seed comes a road game
Rifle (13-3) travels to No. 5-seed Pueblo Centennial Friday for a 1 p.m. contest at Dutch Clark Stadium. The South Central League-champion Bulldogs (14-2) finished the season ranked No. 7 by the News.
Like Rifle, the Bulldogs notched a shutout in their regional playoff match, downing Longmont 1-0.
The winner of the Rifle-Centennial contest advances to the quarterfinal round against either Mullen (No. 4 seed) or the Western Slope League’s Steamboat Springs (13th seed). If both Steamboat and Rifle advance, the game will be played at Rifle.
The only other Western Slope squad to advance to the state tournament is Battle Mountain, which faces No. 1-seed Liberty Thursday.
Class 3A playoffs
Thanks to winning the Class 3A WSL league title, Basalt High School opens the state tourney on its home turf.
The No. 6-seed Longhorns face 11th-seed Fountain Valley of the Tri-Peaks League at 4 p.m. Thursday at Basalt High School.
Fountain Valley (8-4-2) finished third in its league and knocked off Western Slope squad Eagle Valley 2-1 to advance to state.
Basalt (11-2-1) had a bye through the regional round of the playoffs. The Longhorns defeated Eagle Valley by identical 3-1 scores in two meetings this season.
The winner of the Fountain Valley-Basalt game advances to the quarterfinals against either No. 3 Salida or No. 14 Denver Lutheran. The higher seed hosts the game.
Other Western Slope teams in action this week at the 3A state tournament are No. 15-seed Aspen at No. 2 Kent Denver Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and No. 16 Vail Mountain at top seed and defending state champion Faith Christian Thursday at 7 p.m.
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Rifle High School wrestling won its matchup with Glenwood Springs Tuesday at the Glenwood triangular, while the Palisade Bulldogs took down both local teams.