St. Mary's girls, CSCS boys earn home court in 3A regionals
St. Mary’s fought for its postseason life a week before the playoffs ever started. Maybe that’s why longtime coach Mike Burkett thinks his girls' basketball team is primed for a return to the 3A state tournament after a two-year hiatus.
For the first time in 10 years, the Pirates were forced to play a pigtail, or play-in game, just to qualify for the Tri-Peaks League tournament. Following a four-game winning streak that culminated with a win over Trinidad to win the tournament March 2, St. Mary’s was awarded a No. 4 seed in the 32-team field and homecourt advantage in regionals, starting Friday.
“I told the girls if we can get through this, we’ll be ready to go,” Burkett said. “Being in a play-in game, that’s pretty scary because everything rides on it. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”
Along with the Pirates (19-4), Colorado Springs Christian School also earned games on its home court in a boys’ 3A regional. The Lions (20-2), who carry a 16-game winning streak into the weekend, are shooting for their fourth consecutive berth in the 3A state tournament.
Other 3A teams from the Tri-Peaks will play regionals on the road: No. 15 Manitou Springs (13-9) heads to Holy Family; No. 14 TCA (17-5) to Denver Science and Technology-Stapleton; and No. 32 Ellicott (10-13) to Centauri.
Boys’ 3A teams to hit the road include No. 14 Manitou Springs (13-9) at Holy Family; No. 20 TCA (14-8) at Brush; and No. 25 James Irwin (14-7) at DSST-Stapleton.
In 2A girls, Vanguard (21-1) won its district tournament and headlines a four-team regional at Fountain Middle School. ECA (17-5) travels to Alamosa, while Peyton (18-4) will compete at a regional in La Junta.
In boys’ 2A regionals, Peyton (19-2) earned the top seed at the Fountain Middle School-based regional, where it hopes to extend its 14-game winning streak by two to advance to state. Vanguard (13-9) not only posted its first winning season in school history, but also advanced to regionals for the first time and will travel to La Junta.