The Pueblo Chieftan

PW girls receive No. 3 seed in state basketball playoffs

Both South-Central League champions have received first-round byes and No. 1 seeds in the Class 4A state high school basketball brackets released Sunday by the Colorado High School Athletics Association.

The South boys and defending state champion South girls are No. 1 seeds in their respective 48-team brackets and will play Friday in the round of 32 at the Southwest Motors Events Center. The East boys also will host a regional on Friday at Centennial High School. The Eagles are a No. 2 seed.

And to top it off, the Pueblo West girls, a Final Four participant a year ago, received a No. 3 seed and will host a regional starting on Friday.

Five of the six S-CL boys and girls teams made the tournament field. Only the winless Pueblo County boys and Central girls failed to make the field.

The first round of the girls tournament starts Tuesday, while the boys will open first-round play on Wednesday. There will be eight different regions in each bracket that will open play on Friday in the round of 32. The Sweet 16 will be played Saturday with those winners advancing to the Great 8 at the Denver Colisum on March 8.

The Final Four will be played at the Events Center on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder on March 14. Championship games will be played March 15 in Boulder.

The South boys will get the winner of Wednesday’s game between Mitchell and Palmer Ridge on Friday.

“Thomas Jefferson and Denver South are on our side of the bracket and we’re going to see some athleticism down the road,” Johnson said. “The winning streak (22 games) and winning the league was good. None of that really matters now. We’re starting fresh.”

The East boys will get the winner of Wednesday’s Evergreen-Palisade game.

The South girls will get the winner of Tuesday’s winner between Durango and Cheyenne Mountain on Friday.

The Colts are coming off their second loss of the season, falling to East 52-49 in the S-CL finale last Friday at the Events Center.

“We figured the loss would drop us a spot in the overall picture and that’s what happened. We are the No. 3 seed overall,” South head coach Shannan Lane said. “The kids have started their second season. They are ready to start this playoff run. They know what it takes.

“We had our best practice of the season Saturday. They are ready. One game at a time. Five ‘W’ mission. Five wins to a state championship. That’s what it takes.”

Meanwhile, the Pueblo West girls get the Niwot-Palisade winner on Friday at Jerry Kersey Gym.

Three S-CL girls teams will host first-round games on Tuesday with East hosting Harrison, Pueblo County hosting Vista Peak Prep and Canon City entertaining Delta.

Only one S-CL boys team will be at home for a first-round game on Wednesday. Central will play host to Delta. Pueblo West will travel to Colorado Springs to take on Falcon and Canon City is on the road at Elizabeth.

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