A year ago, the Frederick boys basketball game was stewing in an unfamiliar locker room at Thompson Valley, painfully ruminating over what could have been.
The Warriors had just been eliminated in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament, and in the immediate aftermath it was difficult to not consider the one play here or there over the course of the season that would have resulted in the extra wins that could have given Frederick a more favorable seed.
This year, Frederick left nothing to chance. After finishing the regular season riding an eight-game winning streak, the Warriors were rewarded with a No. 4 seed when the Class 4A state tournament pairings were released on Sunday.
Frederick will enjoy a first-round bye before facing the winner between Greeley Central and Glenwood Springs on Friday on a neutral floor at Wasson. Longmont also received a No. 4 seed and will await the winner between Discovery Canyon and Vista Peak.
In the girls 4A bracket, Silver Creek received a No. 4 seed in the Tanya Haave region and will face either Valor Christian or Kennedy on Friday at D'Evelyn.
"I think the Tri-Valley didn't really get the recognition it deserved," said Frederick coach Larry Frank, whose club earned the No. 2 seed out of the conference. "I'd put our top five up against the top five from any league. I think it will be a good matchup for us whether it's Greeley Central or Glenwood."
This is the fourth consecutive year in which Frederick has reached the postseason, but the No. 4 spot marks the team's highest postseason seed, and it is the first time during that stretch the Warriors will enjoy a first-round bye.
"I'm satisfied with a No. 4 (seed)," Frank said. "We have some veteran leadership and a good group of kids who have played in the state tournament, but we haven't had any success. We haven't been able to get out of the first round. Now ... hopefully we can move on and take the next step."
Erie, Mead, and Silver Creek also earned bids to the 4A boys tournament. Mead was awarded a No. 7 seed and will host Fort Morgan in a first-round game on Wednesday. Erie and Silver Creek each received No. 9 seeds and will hit the road for Wednesday's first-round games, with Erie slated to make the long trip west to Eagle Valley while the Raptors visit Pueblo West.
In the 4A girls bracket, Silver Creek will be joined by Northern League rival Longmont in addition to Mead and Erie. The Trojans were given a No. 5 seed and will host Vista Peak on Tuesday. Mead and Erie also will begin their postseasons on the road, with the Mavericks taking on Weld Central and Erie battling against Widefield.
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