Wildcats get No. 4 seed for Class 5A basketball playoffs

The Fruita Monument High School boys basketball team is out to prove its worth.

Sunday, the Colorado High School Activities Association released the Class 5A playoff bracket, and for the second straight season, the Wildcats received the No. 4 seed.

Fruita Monument (16-6, 10-0 Southwestern League) hosts the winner of Wednesday’s game between Gateway and Rocky Mountain on Saturday.

No. 1 seed Highlands Ranch (22-1) is the atop the Wildcats’ bracket along with No. 2 seed Fossil Ridge (22-1) and No. 3 Overland (18-5).

“We got what we expected,” Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said. “The guys know the importance of this game is to get some respect.”

Fruita Monument finished the SWL undefeated for the second straight season.

Grand Junction (16-6, 8-2 SWL) won eight of its final 10 games to finish with 16 wins, but received only the No. 8 seed.

The Tigers host No. 9 Chatfield (13-10) on Wednesday night.

“It’s a winnable game,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “They beat us by six before Christmas, but we had 26 turnovers.”

In Class 4A, Palisade didn’t make the field of 32 teams.

“We had our opportunity to make it and we slipped up,” Palisade coach Steve Phillips said. “But I can’t believe there are 10 teams out there that are better than we are.”

There were only three Western Slope teams that made the 4A postseason, led by Western Slope League champion Glenwood Springs.

The Demons finished 18-5, but only earned the No. 20 overall seed, which has them playing against No. 13 Thomas Jefferson (13-10). The game will be held Friday at Pueblo West with the winner playing Saturday against the winner of No. 4 Pueblo West (21-2) and No. 29 Frederick (14-9).

Montrose (15-7) got the No. 22 seed and plays No. 11 Falcon (16-7), and Steamboat Springs (15-7) is the No. 25 seed playing at No. 8 Sierra (16-7).

The Fruita Monument girls team accomplished a longtime goal by earning a first-round home game.

The Wildcats (14-9, 7-3 SWL) received the No. 7 seed and host No. 10 Rampart at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

“I think the seeding was about right,” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “They are 10-13, so they’ll be a challenge for us.”

The Wildcats finished the SWL with seven wins, including five of their final six games, but struggled in the regular season finale, losing 66-43 to Montrose.

“I hope we play better than last Friday,” Schmalz said.

Grand Junction (16-7, 9-1 SWL) received the No. 3 seed and plays the winner of Loveland (16-6) and Cherokee Trail (7-16) on Friday night.

“The nice thing is we get the week to heal up,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said.

Grand Junction won nine of its final 10 games.

In 4A, Delta (17-5) got the No. 19 seed and Friday faces No. 14 Thompson Valley (17-6) at Air Academy. The winner plays Saturday against the winner of No. 3 Air Academy (18-5) and No. 30 Mountain View (12-11).

Montrose (17-6) is the No. 21 seed and plays No. 12 Falcon (16-7) Friday at Pueblo South. The winner plays Saturday against the winner of No. 5 Pueblo South (19-4) and No. 28 Sierra (12-11).


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