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  • Mead's Jax Wilke, left, eyes the basket while being closely...

    Brad Cochi/

    Mead's Jax Wilke, left, eyes the basket while being closely defended by Skyview's Robbie Bauderer during their Class 4A playoff game on Saturday night at Mead. The Mavericks won, 63-41, to surge to Wednesday's Sweet 16.

  • Mead's Trey Ward goes for a layup in the Mavericks'...

    Brad Cochi /

    Mead's Trey Ward goes for a layup in the Mavericks' 63-41 win over Skyview on Saturday night.



LONGMONT — The Mead boys basketball team put together an emergent run of three Sweet 16 appearances in four years before its 2017-18 season ended in the second round of last winter’s postseason.

The Mavericks are back among the 16 sweetest teams in the state once again.

Hosting a second-round Class 4A playoff game on Saturday night, the No. 5-seeded Mavericks rolled to a 63-41 victory over No. 37 Skyview. Punching their Sweet 16 tickets after falling just one point short last season, the Mavericks feel like they are back where they belong.

But that doesn’t mean they’re satisfied.

“We still haven’t accomplished much,” Mavericks junior point guard Will Maher said. “We still have a lot more work to do. It’s nice to be back in the Sweet 16 but our goal wasn’t to make it to the Sweet 16. Our goal is to win a state championship.”

The Mavericks, who reached the Great 8 in ’16 and ’17, are averaging 70.9 points this season and 76.8 points over their last four games. The Tri-Valley League regular-season champions have won 20 straight games and got off to another hot start in front of the home crowd on Saturday night.

Totaling 11 made 3-pointers in the game, the Mavericks (21-3) hit four in the first quarter and led the Wolverines (11-14) by a score of 20-8 to start the second. Maher caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his 12 total points in the frame to guide Mead to a 38-19 halftime lead.

“It’s always fun to play at home in the playoffs,” Maher said. “It was a great atmosphere and that definitely helped us get out to the fast start. We shot it well and hopefully we keep shooting well. Everybody contributed and it’s always fun to have a win when everybody contributes.”

Mavericks senior Caleb Ayers, who hit four 3-pointers, tied with Nick Jacobs for the team high with 14 points and Mavericks big man Jax Wilke held his own against Skyview’s 6-foot-8, 275-pound senior Robbie Bauderer.

Junior guard Trey Ward kept the Mavericks’ energy up with an in-traffic dunk in the third quarter and fellow junior Jacob Bartholomew followed it up with a dunk of his own as Mead continued to pull ahead in the second half. The Mavericks alleviated their own concerns about being rusty after receiving a first-round bye and not playing a game since Valentine’s Day.

“That kind of gets you worried a little bit,” Mavericks head coach Darin Reese said. “We were in such a game, practice, game, practice mode that having nine days off felt like a lot. But it didn’t affect us too badly. We were really deliberate and I’m proud of our guys for sticking to things defensively and playing disciplined enough to run our stuff on offense. All in all, it was a really good team effort.”

Mead moves on to face the No. 44 Coronado Cougars, (9-16), who upset No. 12 Palisade (16-8) on Saturday night, in the Sweet 16 on Wednesday.

Brad Cochi: or


Mead 63, Skyview 41

At Mead H.S.

SKYVIEW (11-14)

Medina 3 2-2 8, Musch 1 0-0 2, Fonseca 2 0-0 4, Wardak 0 0-0 0, Aguiniga 1 0-0 3, Kemm 3 2-2 8, Gomez 0 0-0 0, Finley 0 0-0 0, Martinez 0 0-0 0, Gonzalez 0 0-0 0, Pacheco 0 0-0 0, Bauderer 7 2-3 16. Totals 17 6-7 41.

MEAD (21-3)

Sock 0 0-0 0, N. Jacobs 5 2-3 14, Maher 5 0-0 12, Wilhelm 2 0-0 4, Ward 4 1-2 10, Ayers 5 0-0 14, Pelzel 0 0-0 0, Knudsen 0 0-0 0, Wilke 1 0-0 3, Barthalomew 1 1-2 3, McGill 1 0-0 3, KJ Jacobs 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 4-7 63.

Score by quarters:

Skyview               8 11 12 10  — 41

Mead                   20 18 16 9  — 63

3-point field goals — Skyview (1): Aguiniga; Mead (11): Ayers 4, N. Jacobs 2, Maher 2, Ward, Wilke, McGill. Total fouls — Skyview 10, Mead 13.