Holy Family boys basketball coach Pete Villecco knew he had a solid group coming into this season and that the Tigers would be good.
He didn't know they would be quite this good.
After going undefeated in the Tri-Valley League and finishing fifth in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) standings, the Tigers (19-4) played their way to a first-round bye in the Class 4A state tournament. The wait is over and the Tigers will enter the playoff fray on Saturday, hosting No. 28 Falcon (12-12) when the second rounds of the 4A and 5A state tournaments get under way.
"They're a scary team," Villecco said. "They're very athletic and they have a really quick point guard. They also have a six-eight kid who is solid. But we feel like we have momentum heading into the postseason and we've practiced really well this week. Saturday is going to be hard, and we're aware that we'll have to play well but we're happy to be playing at home."
Also ready to play after a first-round bye in 4A, No. 9 Mead will host No. 24 Skyview and No. 10 Silver Creek will host No. 23 Palmer Ridge. Coming down the home stretch of the winningest season in the program's history, the Silver Creek boys are definitely ready to get going.
"We knew the league that they play in and we're semi familiar with them over the years, and we've seen them in some offseason tournaments over the years," Raptors head coach Bob Banning said. "We think that our regular season and our non-league schedule has prepared us for this game."
Also in 4A, No. 21 Longmont will travel to face No. 12 Golden after the Trojans beat No. 44 Frederick, 72-34 in the first round on Wednesday. As dominant as they were in the first round, the Trojans expect to have their hands full with Golden, a team that defeated them 49-39 on Dec. 7.
"We saw them earlier in the season and they're good," Trojans head coach Jeff Kloster said. "They're really big, which is something that we are not, so we'll have to figure something out."
In Class 5A, No. 28 Boulder hits the road to face No. 5 Rock Canyon. Paced by a 30-point night from senior Luke Wilson, the Panthers defeated No. 37 Mullen by 11 points in the first round on Wednesday. Also playing their way into the second round, the No. 43 Broomfield Eagles will take on No. 11 Fort Collins in a Front Range League playoff rematch.
In Class 2A, the Dawson School boys will take on Dayspring Christian Academy in the semifinals of the District 7 tournament on Friday. A Mustangs win would likely result in a title match against top-ranked Highland on Saturday.
In Class 1A, the top-seeded Longmont Christian boys will face No. 5 Fleming in the District 4 semifinals for a the chance to play in the district title match on Saturday.