County Schools Notes: Are you ready for some … basketball?! Coach Jim Porth, Windsor Wizards use football analogies during postseason basketball run
March 1, 2017
Around the county
» Elite 11: Including the Windsor girls, 11 of the original 36 Weld teams are still competing in the postseason this week.
Six of those teams are county squads.
Leading the pack is the unbeaten Highland boys (22-0), which will receive a first-round bye in the Class 2A East Region-Pod D.
The top-seeded Huskies will await the winner of Friday’s game between No. 7 Peyton (18-4) and No. 12 Limon (9-12), which they will play in the regional finals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs.
» Dual dogs: Highland’s boys team isn’t the only Huskies team in the playoffs.
Highland’s girls (16-6) are the 11th seed of 24 2A qualifiers and they will face No. 6 Haxtun (17-4) in the first round of the East Region-Pod E at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Vista Peak High School in Aurora.
The winner faces No. 5 Evangelical Christian (18-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
» Can I get an encore?: After being the 1A girls basketball runner-up last season, Briggsdale is trying to achieve similar success this postseason.
The Falcons (17-5) are one of 22 1A postseason teams. They will receive a first round bye in Region 2-Bracket 3 before facing either Jim Elliot Christian (18-4) or Otis (10-12) at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.
» Reds going for gold: For years, the Eaton girls have been a fixture in the final eight of the 3A state tournament.
The Reds (17-5) will have to overcome a couple big challenges if they are going to get back to that point this year.
Eaton, seeded 13th out of 32 state tournament teams, faces No. 20 Colorado Academy (17-5) at 6 p.m. Friday at Colorado Springs Christian School.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, the winner faces No. 4 Colorado Springs Christian (20-2) and No. 29 Strasburg (10-13) with a berth to the prestigious round of 8 at stake.
» Rebels avoid the road: Weld Central has had one of its best seasons in years, and the Rebels were rewarded with the eighth seed in the 3A girls playoffs.
Weld Central (14-8), seeded eighth, have won four games in a row and will play host to No. 25 Jefferson Academy (15-8) at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The winner takes on No. 9 St. Mary’s (19-3) or No. 24 Resurrection Christian (15-7) at 2 p.m. Saturday, also at Weld Central.
» A welcomed Nightmare: The Northern Colorado Nightmare adult minor league football team is likely to have a roster full of faces familiar to those who have followed local high school football throughout the years.
The organization will flesh out its roster during its final tryout from 10 a.m.-noon at Loveland Sports Park, 950 N. Boyd Lake Ave., in Loveland. There is a $10 fee to try out.
After the tryouts, the team will conduct practice.
WINDSOR — If Windsor girls basketball coach Jim Porth ever wanted to add another item to his coaching resumé, he might consider lending his expertise to the Wizards football program.
His knowledge of the gridiron and his quick-witted ability to apply it to the hardwood is top notch.
Windsor followed up a first-round bye with a 70-41 win against Erie on Friday in the second round of the Class 4A Girls Basketball Championships.
Windsor had seven full days to prepare for that game, and after that dominant outing, Porth compared the situation to a college football bowl game.
"We used the whole bowl game analogy," he said. "We had two extra practices, we had Tuesday off. We wanted to throw some wrinkles in there and get good at some things we weren't good at in the past."
Porth happily leaned on his obvious affinity for football again as his team survived a 49-43 third round win Tuesday against The Classical Academy and prepared for its quarterfinals matchup at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Rifle.
"Rifle is kind of like an option team," Porth said. "They slow it down. They just sloth that (ball) up and down the floor. We don't play against teams like that very often. We want to run."
Windsor (19-6), seeded fifth of 48 original postseason teams, will be in its home gymnasium for the third time in as many state tournament games when it faces the 13th-seeded Bears (22-3) on Friday.
The Wizards have resembled a run-and-shoot offense much more than the ground-and-pound style Rifle employs.
Porth said his team would prefer to get out and push the pace, but if the game slows down, his players are plenty comfortable playing at the much more methodical speed the Bears lean on.
Just to further add to the confidence level Windsor has as it tries to punch its ticket to the state semifinals next week, here's another football term: The Wizards will have the benefit of a home-field advantage … err, home-court advantage.
Although playing at home is ideal in any sport, there just seems to be special meaning when playing at home in football.
But, in so many ways, Windsor's home gymnasium — Reg Figal Gymnasium — has all the bells and whistles of a college football stadium. A frantic student section. Plenty of alumni, parents and residents in the stands. And, perhaps, most unique of all, a fully equipped band that performs tune after tune at a near-deafening volume during every timeout and break in action.
"It's so nice to know that we're going to be playing at home again," Wizards sophomore forward Ally Kennis said. "We'll have our amazing crowd and our amazing band to play for us again. It's just overwhelming."
Bobby Fernandez covers county schools sports for The Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez. Listen to him at 11:35 a.m. each Tuesday and 6:35 p.m. each Wednesday on 1310 KFKA.