LONGMONT – In each of the past three seasons, the Skyline boys basketball team lost in the first round of the state tournament. The four years prior to that, the Falcons didn’t even make it into the playoffs.
Skyline’s postseason drought extends further back in time than that. But after what the current group of Falcons accomplished on Saturday night, they can finally stop chasing their first postseason win in a decade and start hunting for a second.
Hosting No. 27 Wheat Ridge, the sixth-seeded Falcons won 60-48 at home in the second round of the Class 4A state tournament following a first-round bye. Now, their quest for back-to-back playoff victories begins as they advance to next week’s Sweet 16.
“We always play with an edge,” Skyline senior Gage Robertson said. “The last three years I’ve been here we’ve been knocked out in the first round. This year we had a first-round bye and then we finally won this one. We’re excited that there’s going to be a next one and we’re just got to keep on rolling.”
The Falcons have won their last seven games but Saturday’s victory was more difficult to come by than the previous six.
After neither team led by more than a few points through the first three quarters, Skyline (19-5) trailed Wheat Ridge (14-11) by two points, 40-38, to start the fourth quarter. Down 43-41 in the fourth quarter, junior guard Adrian Compian and Hayden Robison hit back-to-back 3-pointers that sent the Falcons on a 10-0 run and gave them the cushion they needed in order to hold on for the win.
Robertson (13.3 ppg) hit four of the Falcons’ eight 3-pointers and led all scorers with 30 points. Compian (11.4 ppg) had 12 points, Robison had nine, and senior forward Austin Robison (14.4 ppg) finished with seven.
“We knew going into this game that it was going to be hard,” Robertson said. “I’ve got to give them props. Those guys are really good.”
Skyline outscored the visiting Farmers, 22-8, in the fourth quarter. The Falcons will play No. 11 The Classical Academy (18-5) in the Sweet 16 on Wednesday.
“When I got here, it was something like 11 straight losing seasons with I don’t know how many wins,” Skyline head coach Tyler Cerveny said. “You’re not going to build this thing overnight and start winning playoff games, and you have to remember that three years ago this was a really young group. Now, they’re grown up and they’ve learned from that experience.
“Yeah, we’re pleased that we got one. But our goal is to keep going. We don’t want to be done yet.”