Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
It could go down as one of the biggest Wednesdays in BoCo basketball in quite some time.
Sure there were a few setbacks, and some games that might have been closer than imagined — see Holy Family and its 48-45 win over No. 44 Wheat Ridge — but the overwhelming theme of the first round of play in the Class 5A and 4A brackets was the upset.
And perhaps none bigger than Centaurus. The Warriors were the last team to make it in the 48-team field in Class 4A and they made the most of their opportunity on Wednesday night with a stunning 53-50 on the road at Elizabeth.
“It definitely wasn’t arrogance, but we had confidence about us and we had been playing a lot better the last couple of weeks and kind of finding our stride,” Warriors coach Travis Maron said. “We had some good scout film and felt like we matched up pretty well.
“It was just a matter of going and playing well and if we kept it close then the pressure would kind of stick on them.”
And Maron is quick to admit that all the numbers associated with his team this time of year — the No. 48 seed or the 9-15 record — can be deceiving.
“We were the 48th team in and we were excited to be in, but we were hoping to go prove to ourselves that we were better than that 48th spot,” he said. “Our record was our record because of who were during the year. We had many ups and downs and many of those were self-inflicted.”
Up next for Centaurus is a lengthy bus ride to Montrose, to face the No. 16 Indians (17-6) on Saturday in the second round.
“It’s a long trip, but I look at it as something the kids will really remember. We’re going up (on Friday), stay the night and have meals together and then play a road playoff game against a top-16 team and that’s something they will never forget,” Maron said. “It beats having to sit at home or trying to go find a local postseason game to watch, instead we get to travel and be part of it and spend more time together.”
One of the other great shockers of Wednesday night was Erie. The 39th-seeded Tigers have shown flashes of brilliance, especially in the final half of the season, and put it all together against Thomas Jefferson in their first round game.
The Tigers (12-12) scored the final eight points of the game against the Spartans to win 50-46 and advance to play No. 7 Silver Creek. The two St. Vrain schools met back in December and it was the Raptors that won 67-60 on their home court.
The rest of the 4A bracket includes No. 20 Mead traveling to D’Evelyn, No. 5 Longmont hosting Cheyenne Mountain and the aforementioned 18th-seeded Holy Family Tigers — who travel to Monument to take on Palmer Ridge.
The stunners weren’t just limited to 4A either. In Class 5A, a lot of people did not have a lot of faith in the Front Range League once the playoffs rolled around, but surprisingly the FRL went 5-5 on Wednesday night (15th-seeded Broomfield earned a bye) and both Fairview and Monarch advanced.
The Coyotes, seeded No. 44, went on the road and dispatched of Legend 70-67 and will have a chance to keep the dream alive in Colorado Springs against Liberty.
Fairview, the league champs, will be on the road for a noon tip at No. 13 Smoky Hill on Saturday. Fifteenth-seeded Broomfield will host No. 18 Fruita Monument at 4 p.m.
In Class 3A, both Peak to Peak and Jefferson Academy are on the consolation side of the Metropolitan League bracket and each are currently on the outside looking in — in terms of RPI — when it comes to making the 32-team regional bracket.
In Class 2A, Dawson has clinched a spot in next week’s regional round by virtually guaranteeing themselves a top four finish in the district. The Mustangs will play District 7 top seed Highland on Friday and either the championship or third place game on Saturday at Frederick.
Finally, in Class 1A, Longmont Christian remains in the mix of District 4. The Warriors played their district semifinal game against Heritage Christian on Thursday night. They must finish in the top three to secure a spot in the regional round.