2A Playoffs Breakdown
- Brush vs 16. Moffat County, Saturday 1:00 pm
Brush held on to the number 1 overall seed with an impressive victory over Eaton and the rest of their loaded league. Moffat County secured the Western Slope North title with a little help, needing both Aspen and Coal Ridge to lose, which happened. Moffat County played a tough schedule early on Losing games to Rifle, Steamboat Springs, and Gunnison, they finished the season winning 3 of their last 4. The problem is the drew Brush in the first round who has been dominating all year. They have only scored under 40 points twice. Brush has averaged 47 ppg. and their defense has been just as dominate allowing only two games over 25 points and none over 30. Moffat County has averaged 26 ppg. and Moffat County will need its defense to step up to have a chance at slowing down Brush. These two teams did not play a common opponent, but Brush has been challenged all year and in one of the toughest Leagues in 2A and will walk into the next round.
- Faith Christian vs 9. Bayfield Saturday 1:00 pm
Bayfield needed to win this past weekend to make sure they didn’t get jumped by any teams below them and they took care of business by beating Pagosa Springs. Bayfield early on played 3 New Mexico teams one of which is undefeated in 5A, and they lost to them only by 3. Bayfield also has loses to #1 Paonia (1A) and to Gunnison and Montezuma-Cortez who finished 1st and 2nd in the Western Slope South League. Faith Christian had a solid season and finished second behind Kent Denver in a very tough Colorado League. Faith Christian lost an early season game to Florence which depending on how you look at it could be a bad loss but Florence is still a playoff team. They then lost again to Kent Denver #2 seed. Faith Christian has averaged 34ppg. and Bayfield has averaged 32 ppg. This looks to be a great game, Faith Christian has been on a nice roll since losing to Kent Denver and Faith Christian defense has been very tough only giving up over 20 points once and that was in their loss to Kent Denver. Bayfield has also been on a roll since their back to back losses. think this game turns into a high scoring affair and will be decided by whoever’s defense shows up first and makes a big play. I think that Faith Christian defense will just be too much to handle.
- Lamar vs 13. Eaton, Saturday 1:00 pm
Lamar had a great season their one loss was to #1 seed Brush, besides that one loss they had a few tough league matches but otherwise ran through league play. Eaton had some good early season success then they ran into league play. There 3 losses were to league opponents. They lost to Platte Valley, Sterling, and Brush. They were sweating a little bit when wondering if they would get into the playoffs but I figured they were a lock. Both of these teams played very tough schedules; If you count 1A playoff teams Lamar played 6 playoff teams and only lost to 1 of them. Eaton played 5 playoff teams only winning 2 of them. Lamar and Eaton played 3 common opponents they were Brush, La Junta, and Manitou Springs. Both teams lost to Brush but Eaton played Brush to a closer looking contest. Eaton beat La Junta by 3 and Lamar beat La Junta by 25, Eaton beat Manitou Springs by 21 and Lamar beat Manitou Springs by 7. This could be the big upset of the first round if Lamar Defense does not show up. Lamar averages 23 ppg. and Eaton averages 37 ppg. where the big difference comes is defense Eaton gave up over 20 points 3 times and all three were losses, Lamar gave up over 20 points once and it was a loss. I figure this game is going to be a defensive struggle, Lamar must get its ground game going and make Eaton play their style or risk being upset. Both teams are battle tested and this does not look like a 4 vs 13 matchup, but Lamar physical style play will be the deciding factor in this game.
- Gunnison vs 12. Sterling Saturday 1:00 pm
Gunnison’s one loss was to #2 seed Kent Denver the first game of the year. Since that loss they have been almost unstoppable, scoring over 30 points in every game since that loss to Kent Denver. I am almost wondering if they would have played them later on could the game have been different. Sterling finished in 3rd place in a tough league, their four losses where to good teams Elizabeth 3A, Strasburg, Brush and Platte Valley. Sterling’s early season loss to Elizabeth and Strasburg were two good losses only losing by 14 and 21 to quality teams. After that they strung four victories together before losing two straight to end the season. Sterling including 1A played 5 playoff teams winning 2 of them and Gunnison including 1A played 5 playoff teams winning four. The key for Sterling will be trying to slow down Gunnison’s offensive attack featuring their rushing attack. Gunnison has averaged 40 ppg. and Sterling has averaged 20 ppg. Gunnison’s defense has been equally impressive besides their loss to Kent Denver they have managed to keep every opponent they played under 16 points. Sterling defense has allowed 50 twice in two games and allowed 20+ in 5 games. So Sterling will need their defense if they want to win this game. If Gunnison keeps playing the way they have been they should run through this game and into the next round.
- Strasburg vs 14. Florence Saturday 1:00 pm
Strasburg had a great season not losing a single game and dominating League play only giving up 33 points. Florence on the other hand has been very streaky. Winning their first 3 games 2 of them over 3A opponents and the other over Faith Christian I figured this team would be in the top 6 most of the season, then they lost to Lewis Palmer and that changed their season. Since that loss they won two games and that was to the bottom of the league. Florence at the end of the season had their defense disappear and offense started to struggle. Florence averaged 20 ppg. and Strasburg averaged 49 ppg. Florence needs its defense to come back to the way it was playing at the beginning of the year when they were dominating, in the first 6 games they were only allowing 10 ppg. compared to the tail end where they were allowing 32 ppg. Strasburg need to keep dominating both sides of the ball only giving up 20 points once and over 10 three other times. Strasburg needs to bring it’s A game when it comes to stopping the run and it will walk away with a victory.
- Platte Valley vs 11. Bennett Saturday 1:00 pm
I believe Platte Valley for being a 6 seed is very underrated. Their only losses were top ranked teams. A 26-22 loss to 3rd seed Strasburg, a 28-26 loss to 4th ranked Lutheran (3A) and a 34-28 loss to 1st seeded Brush. Besides the losses they have dominated everyone else. Only giving up 26 points to Sterling last week they had held everyone else to 14 points or less. Bennett finished second in their league and got into the playoffs. They have already lost to Platte Valley earlier this season and get a chance to avenge the loss. Bennett played 3 playoff teams and lost all three so they have not shown if they are a real contender or not. Platte Valley has played 7 playoff teams including 1A and 3A. They won four of them. Like I said earlier Bennett and Platte Valley played earlier in Bennett where Platte Valley won 36-7. I don’t think there will be much of a change this time around either. Platte Valley has shown year in and year out that they are a great playoff team and will show it again this year.
- Montezuma Cortez vs 10. St. Mary’s Friday 7:00 pm
This game is a toss-up. Montezuma Cortez has 2 loses to quality teams. An undefeated New Mexico team in 5A (Colorado’s 4A) and to Gunnison 5th seeded. St. Mary’s has two losses to quality teams as well Lamar 4th seeded and La Junta 15th seed. Both teams are very good and like to score points. Montezuma Cortez has averaged 36 ppg and St. Mary’s has averaged 32 ppg. I expect his game to turn into a shootout. Montezuma Cortez will have home field advantage as well and it will be a long drive for St. Mary’s down to the southwest corner. Defensively Montezuma Cortez has allowed over 25 points 3 times but looked great in the games they didn’t, allowing less than 13 points per game. St. Mary’s allowed over 20 points once. Montezuma Cortez needs it defense to really step up and if they do Montezuma Cortez could be heading to the second round. If not I could see this game turning into a shoot out and both teams scoring over 30 points would not surprise me.
- Kent Denver vs 15. La Junta Saturday 1:00 pm
If you had to think of a team just as dominate or more dominate than Brush I would say it would be Kent Denver. They have scored over 39 points in every game and beat some good teams in the process including Gunnison and Faith Christian. The most points Kent Denver has allowed was 12 points and was to Gunnison. They have rolled through everyone and I am sure they are ready to get into the playoffs. La Junta finished in second place in the Tri-Peaks League. They did that by beating St. Mary’s and Florence. La Junta had a rough start to the season by losing to Alamosa early on but rebounded nicely and made it to the playoffs. I do think that there run is going to be over this weekend. Kent Denver is a machine this year and will be tough for this La Junta squad to stop. La Junta will need it defense to brings it A game if it’s going to have a chance. Kent Denver though will win this game and move into the next round.