Takeaways from the first round of the state 🏀 tournaments, plus a villainous Vikings video

The boys and girls state basketball tournaments are underway. We'll lead today's issue of The Playboo
The Playbook
Takeaways from the first round of the state 🏀 tournaments, plus a villainous Vikings video
By The Playbook • Issue #66 • View online
The boys and girls state basketball tournaments are underway. We’ll lead today’s issue of The Playbook with some takeaways from Friday’s first day of the tournament.
Plus, keep scrolling for some special multimedia features on Valley’s wrestling program and the state wrestling tournament.

Eaton's Ahana Leffler dribbles by Platte Valley's Rhys Maxey on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Eaton's Ahana Leffler dribbles by Platte Valley's Rhys Maxey on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
The Lead
Team Takeaways
Friday’s State Basketball Tournament Matchups — Round of 32
Girls
No. 17 Salida 58, No. 16 Resurrection Christian 54
  • Key stat: Down going into the fourth quarter, Salida outscored Resurrection Christian 22-11 to end the game.
  • Takeaways: The Cougars played great basketball going into the fourth quarter 43-36… then they imploded. The fourth quarter was disastrous on both ends of the court as they scored only 11 points and gave up 22.
  • Up next: This has to be a difficult pill to swallow, as Resurrection Christian was a dark horse for this tournament. The Cougars finished the season 15-8.
No. 8 Platte Valley 43, No. 25 Kent Denver 22
  • Key stat: Platte Valley recorded 18 steals. Junior Kassandra Shoemaker, freshman Brooke Bunting and senior Faith Fetzer had three steals apiece.
  • Takeaways: Impressively, the Broncos (20-3) didn’t seem to have any jitters venturing into uncharted territory — hosting a first-round state tournament game as the strong favorite. Platte Valley’s defense was suffocating, holding Kent Denver to single digits in three of four quarters. In her state tournament debut, Broncos freshman Cora Schissler scored a team-high 12 points.
  • Up next: The Broncos play host to No. 9 Alamosa in the second round/regional title game at 1 p.m. today in Kersey. Alamosa beat No. 24 Colorado Academy 48-16 on Friday.
Platte Valley's Faith Fetzer dribbles around Eaton's Sydney Booth on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Platte Valley's Faith Fetzer dribbles around Eaton's Sydney Booth on Jan. 11 at Eaton High School. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
No. 5 Eaton 48, No. 28 Coal Ridge 33
  • Key Stat: The offensive numbers came from somewhat of an unlikely source in Addie Randel who led the team in points (13), assists (4) and steals (4). This season she was the fourth leading scorer for the Reds.
  • Takeaways: This game was arguably closer than it probably should have been. However, if unlikely sources are able to step up like Randel did Friday, the Reds (22-1) are going to be a difficult team to stop.
  • Up next: Eaton will face fellow Patriot Leaguer No. 21 University in the second round at 1 p.m. today in Eaton. University upset Moffat County 50-41. Eaton is 2-0 against University this season with wins by 15 and 13 points.
No. 21 University 50, No. 12 Moffat County 41
  • Key stat: The Bulldogs outscored Moffat County in each of the last three quarters after trailing 12-10 through one quarter.
  • Takeaways: Even though University (14-9) was the lower seed, this result shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The Bulldogs battled through a tough Patriot League schedule and they’re likely a much better team than they’re 21st seed would imply. Though its been an inconsistent season, University has the talent to have a puncher’s chance in the regional title game today.
  • Up next: The Bulldogs face No. 5 Eaton in the second round at 1 p.m. today in Eaton. The Reds beat Coal Ridge 48-33 in the first round Friday.
No. 7 The Academy 63, No. 26 Brush 49
  • Key stat: Brush had trouble out of halftime, being outscored 15-7 in the third quarter of an otherwise close game.
  • Takeaways: Aside from a tumultuous third quarter, the Beetdiggers really hung with a much higher seeded Academy team. Unfortunately, against a top 8 seed, you can’t afford to take a quarter off.
  • Up next: Brush finishes its season with an 11-12 record. Making it to the state tournament — and being competitive in its sole tournament game — is an impressive accomplish for a Beetdiggers team that many wouldn’t have expected to advance past districts.
Eaton's Mason Willadsen holds on tight to the ball as Basalt's Alonso Silva and Brian Granados try to steal it Nov. 30 at Platte Valley High School in Kersey. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Eaton's Mason Willadsen holds on tight to the ball as Basalt's Alonso Silva and Brian Granados try to steal it Nov. 30 at Platte Valley High School in Kersey. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Boys
No. 12 Faith Christian 57, No. 21 Eaton 54
  • Key stat: This three-point differential was tied for the third most tightly contested game Eaton has played all season, and the Reds have played in a lot of close games, especially in recent weeks.
  • Takeaways: These two teams have met with regularity in the postseason in recent decades. Many of those games have been nail-biters just like this. This game was close throughout. Faith Christian was just a tiny bit better.
  • Up next: Eaton wraps up its season with a 13-10 record, and the Reds have plenty of young talent that should carry the program even further in future seasons.
No. 4 Vanguard 67, N0. 29 Strasburg 60
  • Key stat: This was just the sixth game Vanguard has played all season decided by single digits.
  • Takeaways: Wow! Would anyone have expected this game to be this close, as the Indians hung with a 21-2, highly seeded and highly regarded Vanguard team? Sure, it wasn’t a win. But, it was still a very impressive showing for a gritty, relentless Strasburg team.
  • Up next: Strasburg heads into the offseason after a 12-12 season in which it consistently defied expectations, including in the season finale.
No. 2 Sterling 63, No. 31 The Academy 33
  • Key stat: This game was all about the start and the finish. Sterling outscored The Academy by a combined 42-16 in the first and fourth quarters.
  • Takeaways: No surprises here. The state title-contending Tigers won in a manner, and with a margin of victory, similar to that of their dominant regular season. Sterling jumped on The Academy early, 21-9 after one quarter, and never looked back. Even though today’s regional title game is no gimme, the talented Tigers may not receive a suitable challenge until the latter rounds of the state tournament next weekend at the University of Denver’s Hamilton Gym.
  • Up next: Sterling plays host to No. 18 Alamosa at 1 p.m. today in the tournament’s second round. Alamosa beat No. 15 Platte Valley 57-48 on Friday.
Sterling's Tucker Myers shoots over Resurrection Christian's Sparky Morris on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Sterling's Tucker Myers shoots over Resurrection Christian's Sparky Morris on Jan. 15 at Resurrection Christian High School in Loveland. (Photo by Joshua Polson)
No. 18 Alamosa 57, No. 15 Platte Valley 48
  • Key stat: Platte Valley led only once the entire game, 5-4 in the first couple minutes. After that Alamosa never gave up the lead.
  • Takeaways: Although the Broncos stuck with Alamosa for most of the game, the Mean Moose always had an answer when Platte Valley got close. Unfortunately the season is done for the Broncos and their star senior Bryson Becker.
  • Up next: Platte Valley heads into the offseason after a 16-7 season.
No. 10 Centauri 68, No. 23 University 52
  • Key stat: Centauri outscored University 27-12 in the fourth quarter after leading just 41-40 through three quarters.
  • Takeaways: Tough way to end the season for the Bulldogs. University just couldn’t slow down the Falcons’ offense in the final quarter. Still, this shouldn’t detract much from the Bulldogs’ surprisingly impressive season. A year ago, University finished 8-12 and didn’t even stiff the state tournament. The Bulldogs should be back here in coming years. They have limitless potential, aided by the talents of standout freshman swingman Tayt Chacon.
  • Up next: University heads into the offseason after a 14-9 season.
University High boys basketball coach Bobby Ervin chats with his team during a timeout against Platte Valley on Feb. 1 in Greeley. (Michael Brian/mbrian@greeleytribune.com)
University High boys basketball coach Bobby Ervin chats with his team during a timeout against Platte Valley on Feb. 1 in Greeley. (Michael Brian/mbrian@greeleytribune.com)
No. 11 Resurrection Christian 78, No. 22 Grand Valley 56
  • Key stat: This game was dominated by two huge runs from Resurrection Christian including an 18-0 run to end the first half.
  • Takeaways: It seemed as if the Cougars took this game a little too lightly at first. Grand Valley got out to a 7-0 lead to start the game before Resurrection Christian finished the first quarter up 14-7. Then again in the second quarter, Grand Valley cut the deficit to three points before the Cougars went on that 18-0 run. They never looked back after that.
  • Up next: Resurrection Christian will face host No. 6 Coal Ridge at 1 p.m. today. Coal Ridge defeated Jefferson Academy 47-41 on Friday.
No. 3 Manual 85, No. 30 Frontier Academy 68
  • Key stat: Manual had three players score 15 or more points: senior Jaedon Bowles (22 points), junior Jaden Stoffell (20) and junior Mekhi Mcgee (15).
  • Takeaways: The Wolverines kept themselves within striking distance of an upset all game long. It’s just tough to climb out of a hole against a top 3 seed on the road in a playoff atmosphere. Frontier Academy trailed 21-14 after one quarter and 40-26 at halftime.
  • Up next: Frontier Academy won’t advance, as it finishes its season at 11-13.
Valley Viking Villains
By Quinn Ritzdorf, qritzdorf@patriotplaybook.com
The Valley wrestling team couldn’t care less if you don’t like them, they don’t mind being the villains of the Patriot League. And its wrestling style resembles that of Vikings — brutal, aggressive and unforgiving. Here’s a look into the wrestling room of the Valley Vikings:
The Playbook: Valley Viking Villains
The Playbook: Valley Viking Villains
Get your wrestling fix
By Quinn Ritzdorf, qritzdorf@patriotplaybook.com
With the wrestling season being over, we know many of you are looking to get your wrestling fix anyway you can. Well, no need to fear, we got you covered with highlights from the Class 3A Wrestling Championships. Enjoy :)
Highlights of the Class 3A Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Feb. 21-23.
Highlights of the Class 3A Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Feb. 21-23.
Valley alum tosses no-hitter for CSU
Bridgette Hutton — a Colorado State senior and 2015 Valley graduate — threw a no-hitter in a 16-0 win by the Rams’ softball team over Idaho State on Thursday.
The game was part of the Colorado State Classic tournament.
Hutton (4-2) struck out four and walked three. Colorado State is 12-4.
Valley alum and Colorado State senior softball player Bridgette Hutton
Valley alum and Colorado State senior softball player Bridgette Hutton
Playbook Prime Performance
Boys
Bobby: Gotta go with the Resurrection Christian offense, collectively. No Patriot League team matched the Cougars’ 78 points points Friday. That offense was firing on all cylinders, and everyone was pitching in.
Quinn: Axel Henry. The Sterling junior doubled his season scoring average with with 20 points in a dominant 63-33 win over No. 31 The Academy in the first round of the playoffs.
Girls
Bobby: Faith Fetzer. The Platte Valley senior helped assure the Broncos’ special season continued. She filled up the box score, scoring eight points on 4-for-7 shooting to go with six rebounds, three steals and two assists in the Broncos’ lopsided win.
Quinn: Addie Randel. The Eaton junior also doubled her season scoring average by leading the team with 13 points. She also led the team in assists and steals, four apiece, to help get the Reds to the second round of the playoffs with a 48-33 win over No. 28 Coal Ridge.
Patriot League Trivia
Of the 11 current members of the Patriot League, how many times have two Patriot League teams met in a state basketball tournament finals game, boys and girls? Bonus: In what years did those all-Patriot League matchups take place and who were the two teams involved in each of those matchups?
Scoreboard
Friday’s State Basketball Tournament Matchups — Round of 32
Girls
No. 17 Salida 58, No. 16 Resurrection Christian 54
No. 8 Platte Valley 43, No. 25 Kent Denver 22
No. 5 Eaton 48, No. 28 Coal Ridge 33
No. 21 University 50, No. 12 Moffat County 41
No. 7 The Academy 63, No. 26 Brush 49
Boys
No. 12 Faith Christian 57, No. 21 Eaton 54
No. 4 Vanguard 67, N0. 29 Strasburg 60
No. 2 Sterling 63, No. 31 The Academy 33
No. 18 Alamosa 57, No. 15 Platte Valley 48
No. 10 Centauri 68, No. 23 University 52
No. 11 Resurrection Christian 78, No. 22 Grand View 56
No. 3 Manual 85, No. 30 Frontier Academy 68
Coming up in Monday's edition of The Playbook
The opening weekend of the state basketball tournaments wraps up today. We’ll take a look at today’s results and reveal who will still be in contention during the winter season’s final weekend.
Thanks for reading! See you Monday!
Bobby Fernandez, The Playbook Publisher
Quinn Ritzdorf, The Playbook Reporter
Trivia answer: Three times. The Platte Valley girls beat Eaton 44-34 in the 3A 2001 finals. University’s boys beat Eaton 44-43 in overtime of the 1996 3A title game. The Eaton boys beat Valley 61-45 in the 1987 AA finals.
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