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On to the Sweet 16

Phil Sandoval
Valley Journal photo/John Stroud Roaring Fork's Derek Parker, left, and Basalt's Ben Pollock battle for possession during the Rams' 56-40 win over the Longhorns in the Class 4A, District 2 championship game Saturday in Palisade.
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Having survived February Frenzy, six area prep teams move on to Colorado high school’s version of March Madness as Sweet 16 playoff games are held in Classes 2A-4A starting later this week.Playoff action resumes Thursday in the girls 4A tournament where local squads Glenwood Springs and Rifle hope to continue their winning ways in the single-elimination tournament.The Demons (12-12) raised the most eyebrows among tournament watchers last week as No. 11-seed Glenwood downed Mesa Ridge and Pueblo Central in back-to-back sub-region contests.

The wins put the Demons in a showdown with Regis (16-7), the No. 2 seed in the Brenda House region, from the Denver Metro League at 6 p.m. Thursday at CSU-Pueblo.Rifle (19-4), fresh off a 69-32 demolishing of Elizabeth in their only playoff game to date, clash with No. 1 Greeley West (23-1) at 8:15 p.m. Thursday at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.Whichever girls teams win will advance to Saturday’s 4A semifinals at Thursday’s respective sites.Winning the Class 3A, District 2 title gives the Roaring Fork boys and girls the luxury of hosting their tournament games in Carbondale this weekend.

The 18-3 Ram boys have been seeded No. 1 in the eight-team Steve Hill region and have drawn No. 8 Bayfield (9-12) as their first-round opponent on Friday. If successful, Roaring Fork plays the winner of the University/Holy Family semifinal Saturday.Given the No. 2 seed in the Sheila Quillen Thompson region, the Roaring Fork girls (19-2) face No. 7 Bennett (10-13) Friday. The winner of that game plays either Kent Denver or Roosevelt Saturday.Basalt also advanced out of districts to regional play. The boys are in the Dick Katte region where the 12-10 Longhorns, seeded No. 4, open with No. 5 Strasburg (18-5) Friday at Buena Vista High School.The Basalt girls also will be on the road this weekend. Given the No. 8 seed in the Michelle Bostrom region, the Longhorns square off against tournament host and No. 1-seed Faith Christian (21-2) Friday evening.

Times for area schools’ 3A playoff games have yet to be determined.Grand Valley travels to Grand Junction High School Saturday for the boys and girls West region tournament, where the winning team advances to the Class 2A state tournament in Pueblo.Both teams will square off against Dolores from the San Juan League. Game times for both contests will be set later this week.


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