Prep notebook: Falcon boys basketball fights adversity to No. 4 seed in Class 4A

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Falcon’s best hoops season yet only gets better

After already winning its most games in program history, the Falcon boys’ basketball team reached new heights as the state postseason brackets were announced Sunday morning.

The Falcons grabbed the No. 4 spot in the Class 4A bracket, netting their highest seed ever. Their reward is homecourt through the quarterfinals -- an idea coach Mark Watley hopes will give his team an extra boost.

“I think we can use this tough environment with opposing teams coming into Falcon,” Falcon’s coach said. “It’s a place that is kind of out in the middle of nowhere and people generally get lost when they come to Falcon, so maybe some of that will help us too.”

The Falcons, who lost players to injury and other circumstances, strung together 18 wins for the most in program history, according to Watley. The Falcon coach said he believes his team’s ability to overcome adversity bodes well going forward.

“This season just feels like something special,” he said. “It feels like an opportunity to do something great.”

Watley hopes some of his rotation will be able to return in the postseason, including guards Caine Hall and Rhaven Brown.

Harrison  girls make leap into hoops postseason

The Panthers girls’ basketball team is headed to the state playoffs just a year removed from going 2-21.

Harrison made dramatic strides from its 2016-17 campaign and found itself holding on to the last playoff spot -- No. 48 -- with one week remaining in the regular season. With its postseason fate in the balance, the Panthers then won three straight and received the 44th spot.

It was Harrison’s first playoff berth since 2014.

“As a program and a school we are just trying to get better and better,” said Panthers coach Charles Thomas, the team’s third coach in three years. “Out of last year’s roster I have two new people and everybody else is the same. They just practice harder.”

Finding a bit more consistency on offense has been key, Thomas said. Through 23 regular-season games, the Panthers have scored 1,018 points compared to their 631 last year.

They’ll travel to face No. 21 Pueblo County in the first round Tuesday. The Hornets beat Harrison 38-33 on Dec. 9.

Widefield gets highest seed in five years

The Gladiators snagged the 10 seed in the 4A bracket. With it, they’re promised a home game after a first-round bye.

Widefield secured a top-10 spot in the postseason for the first time since 2013. Coach Mark Munoz said his team will scrimmage Rampart Tuesday in preparation for its second-round matchup between the winner of No. 23 TCA/No. 42 Skyview.

“Hopefully that’ll keep us in that game mindset,” Munoz said.

PPAC has strong showing in state postseason bracket

Turning out in high numbers, seven of the eight teams from the 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference claimed spots in the postseason. Lewis-Palmer was second and Falcon was fourth to pace the conference in 4A. Vista Ridge, the lone 5A school in the league, is the 19 seed.

“That speaks very highly to what our conference is and what we go through night in and night out,” Rangers coach Bill Benton said. “I love the fact that we play in the toughest conference. We’re now ready for whoever comes out.”

Like L-P and Falcon, Palmer Ridge also grabbed a bye in the first round with the 15 seed. Cheyenne Mountain is 28th, Air Academy 36th and Discovery Canyon 38th.

Ice hockey seeds set

Two teams from the Pikes Peak region made the postseason bracket. Rampart, the 20th seed, will face Chaparral Tuesday, while No. 23 Pine Creek takes on 10-seed Kent Denver.

Regis Jesuit grabbed the No. 1 seed.

State bowling champions

Falcon’s Hannah Perry and Doherty’s Caleb Laurence won bowling state titles at the AMF Belleview Lanes in Englewood last weekend. The Spartans, meanwhile, won the team title.

Results were posted on the Colorado High School Bowling Foundation website. The foundation says there are about 300 high school bowlers that participate in the league.