Girls basketball playoff primer: Holy Family, Broomfield among the teams to follow closely

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Kaitlyn McKenzie, right, and the Holy Family Tigers earned a No. 2 seed in the Class 4A state tournament and will not play until Friday. In 5A, the Broomfield Eagles also earned a bye.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Erie's Anna Hefner, left, has helped her team battle to a No. 21 seed in the 4A tournament, and EHS will host Longmont on Tuesday night.

  • Brad Cochi/

    The Monarch girls are looking to get back on a winning streak at the right time as the 5A postseason begins. Cadence Taht, right, and the Coyotes host Cherokee Trail on Tuesday.



It’s been a good week for the girls’ basketball teams at Holy Family and Broomfield. A couple milestones in the books, a pair of first-round byes in the state postseason — not a bad way to enter the final hoorah.

Over the last 90 hours or so, the Eagles locked up a share of the Front Range League title with a win over Monarch on Valentine’s Day as senior guard Steph Peterson collected the 1,000th point of her career. And a few miles down the road, Tigers coach Ron Rossi celebrated his 500th career win as his team beat Berthoud on Saturday to clinch a share of the 5A/4A Tri-Valley League.

Then came the bracket release on Sunday — and to little surprise, both teams had one of the 16 byes in their respective 48-team fields.

Broomfield is the No. 9 seed in 5A and will host the winner of No. 24 Chatfield and No. 41 Fort Collins in the second round. Holy Family, the 2-seed in 4A, will host No. 31 Littleton or No. 34 Glenwood Springs.

First-round games begin Tuesday followed by the second round Friday.

Rossi called the first-round bye a nice advantage, allowing his team some much-needed rest and a few extra days of practice in preparation. The 2-seed, meanwhile, is good for confidence, he said — not that they should be running low on it.

Over a five-game, eight-day stretch to finish the season, the Tigers beat No. 5 Evergreen, 5A No. 8 Windsor and No. 8 Berthoud for Rossi’s big benchmark victory.

“That whole week was special,” Rossi said.

Holy Family and Broomfield each head into the postseason in the midst of 11-game winning streaks.

Like the Tigers, the Eagles finished strong — best of all, by knocking off No. 5 Fossil Ridge on Feb. 8. In the win, the Eagles overcame adversity with leading scorers Peterson and Courtney Wristen both in foul trouble at the half. They were clutch in the fourth quarter, sinking crucial shots on one end while delivering harassing defense on the other. Certainly did it feel a bit like playoff atmosphere.

“In some point in a big game like this you’re going to have adversity,” Broomfield coach Mike Croell said after the win. “… It was big-time ball. They’re growing up, they’re getting better and that’s all we can ask for.”

Right down the way

On paper, a matchup in 4A between host Erie and visiting Longmont appears to be a case of an experienced team trying to uproot a talented, but inexperienced squad. The No. 44 Trojans’ top four scorers are seniors, while the 21st-ranked Tigers are led by a sophomore and two freshmen.

But, like hot food at 7-Eleven, it’s not what it seems. Longmont’s entire roster played mostly junior varsity prior to this season, excluding top-scorer Annika Wetterstrom. At Erie, on the other hand, Anna Hefner is building off a promising freshman season with 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season.

The tussle begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The winner faces No. 12 D’Evelyn on Friday.

Skyline, Monarch looking to start new streaks

The 22nd-ranked Falcons have lost four straight heading into the 4A postseason. No. 31 Monarch has lost five in a row heading into the 5A dance.

That’s not ideal, but neither was this final nine-day stretch for Skyline: according to their seeding, Skyline played No. 26 Roosevelt, No. 21 Erie, at No. 2 Holy Family and No. 8 Berthoud. Nor these last four games for the Coyotes: At No. 27 Loveland, at No. 25 Legacy, No. 19 Mountain Range and No. 9 Broomfield.

At least, they should be well prepared.

On Tuesday, Skyline will host No. 43 Lewis-Palmer and Monarch will host No. 34 Cherokee Trail.

Lightning charged

Under new coach Dommonique Campbell, Legacy is back in the postseason and looking for its third straight win in the first round. Among the reasons for optimism for the Lightning is junior Halle Mackiewicz, who is the leading junior scorer in Class 5A.

Mackiewicz, who is committed to Clemson for soccer, is averaging 19.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds. She has scored more than 20 points in a game nine times this season. If she can keep that pace and Legacy can play the way it did in a four-point loss to No. 5 Fossil Ridge last month, consider the Lightning a dangerous out.

The district dance

In 1A, 2A and 3A, teams have to work their way through districts before the top teams can qualify for the state tournament. Prospect Ridge and Jefferson Academy are the lower seeds in their quarterfinal games in the 3A Metro District. Dawson and Lyons are the favorite to move on to the semifinals in 2A District 7, while Twin Peaks Charter will face Loveland Classical for a spot in the quarterfinals Tuesday. Longmont Christian is the third seed in 1A District 4 and Shining Mountain is the top seed in 1A District 8. The Lions will play for a spot in the district finals on Tuesday.

Brent W. New: and @brentwnew


Class 5A state tournament

Kaye Garms Region

First round, Tuesday

(33) Lakewood at (32) Liberty

(48) Rock Canyon at (17) Dakota Ridge

(40) Castle View at (25) Legacy

(41) Fort Collins at (24) Chatfield

Second round, Friday

Lakewood/Liberty winner at (1) Highlands Ranch

Rock Canyon/Dakota Ridge winner at (16) Grand Junction

Castle View/Legacy winner at (8) Windsor

Fort Collins/Chatfield winner at (9) Broomfield

Rhonda Blanford-Green Region

First round, Tuesday

(36) Bear Creek at (29) Arapahoe

(45) Arvada West at (20) Prairie View

(37) Poudre at (28) Denver South

(44) Fairview at (21) Fountain-Fort Carson

Second round, Friday

Bear Creek/Arapahoe winner at (4) Cherry Creek

Arvada West/Prairie View winner at (13) Rangeview

Poudre/Denver South winner at (5) Fossil Ridge

Fairview/Fountain-Fort Carson winner at (12) Mountain Vista

Bobbi Brown-Vandenberg Region

First round, Tuesday

(34) Cherokee Trail at (31) Monarch

(47) Eaglecrest at (18) Fruita Monument

(39) Rocky Mountain at (26) Far Northeast

(42) Adams City at (23) Doherty

Second round, Friday

Cherokee Trail/Monarch winner at (2) Regis Jesuit

Eaglecrest/Fruita Monument winner at (15) Denver East

Rocky Mountain/Far Northeast winner at (7) Horizon

Adams City/Doherty winner at (10) Ralston Valley

Alice Barron Region

First round, Tuesday

(35) Columbine at (30) ThunderRidge

(46) Douglas County at (19) Mountain Range

(38) Brighton at (27) Loveland

(43) Grand Junction at (22) Chaparral

Second round, Friday

Columbine/ThunderRidge winner at (3) Valor Christian

Douglas County/Mountain Range winner at (14) Legend

Brighton/Loveland winner at (6) Grandview

Grand Junction/Chaparral winner at (11) Vista PEAK

Sweet 16, Feb. 26

Elite 8, March 1

Semifinals, March 7

Championship, March 9


Class 4A

John Mraule Region

First round, Tuesday

(33) Golden at (32) George Washington

(48) Cheyenne Mountain at (17) Sierra

(40) Widefield at (25) Weld Central

(41) Fort Morgan at (24) Thomas Jefferson

Second round, Friday

Golden/George Washington winner at (1) Air Academy

Cheyenne Mountain/Sierra winner at (16) Sand Creek

Widefield/Weld Central winner at (8) Berthoud

Fort Morgan/Thomas Jefferson winner at (9) Mesa Ridge

Jenny Coalson Region

First round, Tuesday

(36) Palisade at (29) Palmer Ridge

(45) Mead at (20) Canon City

(37) Falcon at (28) Durango

(44) Longmont at (21) Erie

Second round, Friday

Palisade/Palmer Ridge winner at (4) Pueblo South

Mead/Canon City winner at (13) Skyview

Falcon/Durango at (5) Evergreen

Longmont/Erie winner at (12) D’Evelyn

Tricia Bader-Binford Region

First round, Tuesday

(34) Glenwood Springs at (31) Littleton

(47) Northfield at (18) Discovery Canyon

(39) Pueblo Central at (26) Roosevelt

(42) Conifer at (23) Pueblo County

Second round, Friday

Glenwood Springs/Littleton winner at (2) Holy Family

Northfield/Discovery Canyon winner at (15) The Classical Academy

Pueblo Central/Roosevelt winner at (7) Greeley Central

Conifer/Pueblo County winner at (10) Green Mountain

Tracy Hill Region

First round, Tuesday

(35) Coronado at (30) Standley Lake

(46) Regis Groff at (19) Thompson Valley

(38) Harrison at (27) Battle Mountain

(43) Lewis-Palmer at (22) Skyline

Second round, Friday

Coronado/Standley Lake winner at (3) Pueblo West

Regis Groff/Thompson Valley winner at (14) Mullen

Harrison/Battle Mountain winner at (6) Montrose

Lewis-Palmer/Skyline winner at (11) Ponderosa

Sweet 16, Feb. 26

Elite 8, March 1

Semifinals, March 7

Championship, March 9


Class 3A Metro League District

Quarterfinals, Tuesday

(8) Jefferson Academy at (1) Lutheran

(5) Prospect Ridge at (4) Colorado Academy

Semifinals, Thursday at Manual HS

Championship and third-place game, Saturday at Manual HS


Class 2A District 7

Pigtail, Tuesday

(9) Loveland Classical at (8) Twin Peaks Charter

Quarterfinals, Wednesday

Loveland Classical/Twin Peaks Charter winner at (1) Heritage Christian

(5) Dayspring Christian at (4) Lyons

(7) Gilpin County at (2) Dawson School

Semifinals, Friday at Frederick HS

Championship and third-place game, Saturday at Frederick HS


Class 1A District 4

at Northeastern JC, Sterling

Quarterfinals, Wednesday

(3) Longmont Christian vs. (6) Prairie

Semifinals, Friday

Championship and third-place game, Saturday


Class 1A District 8

at higher seed

Semifinals, Tuesday

(4) Front Range Baptist at (1) Shining Mountain

Championship and third-place game, Saturday at Legacy HS