GJ’s bid for upset denied

The Grand Junction High School soccer team had the top-ranked team in the state on the ropes for one half.

The Tigers, ranked last in the 32-team Class 5A state playoff bracket, gave the No. 1 seed, Rangeview, all it could handle through the first half of Tuesday’s first-round playoff game.

The Raiders kicked their offense in gear in the second half, however, to take a 4-1 victory in Aurora.

“We gave them a game, and that was kind of a goal,” Tigers coach Hal Templeton said.

Raffi Coté got the Tigers (8-7) on the board with a first-half goal.

The Raiders (14-0) got a pair of second-half goals from Kyle Kruetzer and one each from Nick Leidy and Charles Tucker.

“They’re a quality team, of course,” Templeton said. “They’re truly athletic and tactical.”

After Coté’s score, Grand Junction struggled to mount an offensive surge.

Durango, the other Southwestern League team to qualify for the 5A state playoffs, lost its first-round game 3-2 to Liberty in Colorado Springs.

Class 4A and 3A teams open playoff action today.

Montrose, the Southwestern League champion and the 15th seed in the 32-team 4A bracket, plays host to Cañon City at 4 p.m.

Also at home for first-round games are Battle Mountain, which plays Longmont; Western Slope League champion Eagle Valley, which takes on Evergreen; and Glenwood Springs, which faces Alameda.

Steamboat Springs is on the road against Wheat Ridge.

Hotchkiss is playing its first-ever home playoff game in the 3A bracket. The eighth-seeded Bulldogs meet Middle Park.

Basalt, the 12th seed, is home against Crested Butte. Ridgway and Aspen meet in Ridgway.

Roaring Fork is at Denver Christian.


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