Road trips ahead for area teams
Travel bags, motel rooms and long bus trips will be the rule rather than the exception for most state playoff-bound basketball teams this week.
Other than the Basalt girls, who get to host a pair of Class 3A playoff games, the remaining five area teams open the playoffs on the road.
Rifle, the area’s only Class 4A school to advance, get the first taste of playoff action.
Both the girls and boys teams play Tuesday, on the road in different locations.
The 14-6 Bear girls earned the No. 25 seed in the 32 team tournament and travel to No. 8 Pueblo County (16-6). If Rifle should defeat the Hornets, it plays either Western Slope League rival Moffat County or Longmont in Friday’s quarterfinals.
The boys, who have fashioned a 15-7 record to date, are the No. 27-seeded team and draw Broomfield of Boulder as their first-round opponent.
The 17-5 Eagles out of the Skyline League are the No. 6 team in the boys tournament. The winner of the game faces either No. 11 Northridge (13-9) or Berthoud (19-3) in the quarterfinals.
Among Class 3A area teams, the Basalt boys have a tough task ahead of them.
According to information provided by the Colorado High School Activities Association, the five 3A district champions and the No. 6-8 seeded teams host playoff games in quadrants of four teams each.
Therefore, the Longhorns, the No. 32 seeded team, travel to unbeaten No. 1 Colorado Springs Christian (22-0) on Friday.
Other teams in Basalt’s quadrant include No. 16 Estes Park (16-7) and No. 17 Centauri (14-7).
A third-place finish at districts has turned into a No. 12 seed for the Roaring Fork boys. The 14-8 Rams play 15-8 Eaton in a first-round game at D’Evelyn High School in Wheat Ridge.
The host Jaguars are the No. 5 seed in the tournament and bring a 20-3 record into their playoff game against No. 28 La Junta (10-13).
The winners of Friday’s games play on Saturday.
On the girls’ side, Basalt hosts a set of playoff games this Friday and Saturday at the Big House.
The 19-3 `Horns, the No. 5 overall seed, play at 7 p.m., Friday against No. 28 Denver Christian (13-10). The winner faces the winner of the 5 p.m. contest between Kent Denver (19-3) and Pagosa Springs (12-9) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Roaring Fork has to travel to Platte Valley for the playoffs, but has gotten a high seed from the tournament committee.
The 17-5 Rams are ranked No. 9 in the tournament and battle No. 24 Trinidad (12-11) on Friday. The top half of the quadrant features No. 8 Platte Valley (19-3) against No. 25 Florence (13-10).
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.