Preps: Football playoffs cruel for Longhorns
The Aspen times
The state football playoffs dealt a cruel hand to the Basalt Longhorns.
After closing the regular season with a hard-fought 20-14 victory at rival Aspen, the Longhorns were on the bubble for the 16-team field in the Class 2A postseason.
Their fate rested in the wild-card points formula to help determine the top 16 teams for the playoffs.
There are 11 automatic qualifiers including the league winners and league runner-ups from every 2A conference except the Western Slope North, which had only one automatic qualifier — league champ Moffat County.
The remaining five positions in the postseason are determined by wild-card points.
When the final numbers were crunches, the Longhorns missed the 2A state playoffs by a fraction of a point.
The Basalt High School football team (5-4 on the season and second in the Western Slope North) finished with 58.000 power points as the No. 17 team in 2A.
They accumulated more wild-card points than two teams in the field, but those teams were automatic qualifiers to the postseason.
The resulting 2A state bracket will send No. 16 Manitou Springs (3-6) to No. 1 Bayfield (8-0) on Saturday.
Kent Denver (9-0) is the No. 2 seed, set to host No. 15 The Academy of Westminster (7-2).
No. 3 seed Platte Valley of Kersey (8-1) will host No. 14 Gunnison (5-4).
The No. 4 seed is La Junta (9-0), host for a first-round game against No. 13 Alamosa (4-5).
Here are Saturday’s other first-round 2A matchups:
No. 12 Faith Christian (6-3 at No. 5 Sterling (7-2);
No. 11 Strasburg (6-3) at No. 6 Alameda (8-1);
No. 10 Eaton (5-4) at No. 7 Bennett (7-2);
No. 9 Brush (6-3) at No. 8 Moffat County (7-2).
The Moffat County-Brush winner will play the winner of Manitou Springs-Bayfield.
In Class 1A, two-time defending state champion Paonia is the No. 3 seed, hosting Ellicott on Saturday afternoon.
No. 12 Cedaredge will play at No. 5 Crowley County in Ordway.
Meeker, the No. 10 seed in 1A, will travel to Bailey to play Platte Canyon.
Buena Vista is the No. 1 seed in 1A. The Demons will host No. 16 Centauri on Saturday.
When the dust settled from the first two rounds of the state soccer playoffs for boys, two teams from the Western Slope League remaining alive in the field of eight remaining teams.
No. 4 overall seed Vail Mountain School defeated Crested Butte 3-0 and then topped The Vanguard School of Colorado Springs 3-2 in the second round.
Vail Mountain (15-1-1) will take on No. 5 seed Pagosa Springs (17-0-0) at 1 p.m. Friday at Vail Mountain School’s field in East Vail.
Pagosa Springs beat Dawson School of Lafayette 3-0 and then topped Jefferson Academy of Broomfield 4-2.
Coal Ridge (11-5-1), the No. 18 seed, pulled back-to-back upset wins to reach the state quarterfinals.
Coal Ridge beat No. 15 Denver Christian 5-0 and then shocked No. 2 seed Liberty Common of Fort Collins 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals and a Friday match at No. 10 seed Salida (14-3-0). That game is set for 5 p.m. in Salida.
Basalt and Aspen lost tough first-round games in Denver last weekend.
The Longhorns lost 3-2 to Sheridan. Aspen lost 2-0 to No. 1 overall seed Kent Denver.
Kent (16-0-1) subsequently beat Sheridan in the second round to reach a quarterfinal date with Peak to Peak of Lafayette (12-5-0).
The other teams in the quarterfinals are Fountain Valley (13-2-2) and KIPP Denver Collegiate (14-3-0).
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Aspen again is led by senior Christian Kelly at No. 1 singles and Alex Mosher at No. 2 singles. The pair held down those same spots last season, when the Skiers finished sixth overall.