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Huskies enter state as No. 6 seed

Daily file photo/Shane MacomberBattle Mountain's Devon Abbott rejects a bump from Natalie Schoon of Cheyenne Mountain during last year's state semifinals at the Denver Coliseum. The Huskies return to the state tourney Friday and Saturday as the No. 6 seed.
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EAGLE-VAIL ” It’s here. It’s really here.

After assorted numbing trips to Delta, Pueblo, and Steamboat Springs, the high of winning districts and the low of losing at Moffat County, Battle Mountain is going to the show ” the 4A state tournament.

Yes, this is the third year in a row for the Huskies, but it’s still going to be special when the Huskies take the court Friday and Saturday in the Denver Coliseum.

“It’s finally become a reality now,” said senior Jen Thul, one of four Huskies who went to the Barn on Brighton last year. “I’ve been thinking about it all season and preparing for it all season. Now, we have to go there and do what we have to do.”

Pool II

As expected, Battle Mountain is the No. 6 seed. While the Huskies entered as the No. 4 team last year, this is the same seed they had in 2005 when they went to the semifinals.

The Huskies (23-2) open Friday at roughly 9:30 a.m. with No. 3 Regis (22-4), followed by a long break until they face No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain (24-2) at about 6:30 p.m. Pool play concludes with No. 7 Cherokee Trail at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. (As always, we issue the standard time disclaimer that matches start at 8 a.m. both days and roll continuously.)

Going by seed, Regis is the game the Huskies would like to have in their back pocket before facing Cheyenne Mountain later in the day. Of course, things don’t always go to plan as was the case at Saturday’s regionals in Pueblo West. There, Battle Mountain lost its first game to lower-seeded Montrose, but rallied for two wins.

“All the games are going to important and none more so than the other,” Huskies coach Brian Doyon said. “We just dealt with coming out (at regionals) and losing the first game, and then coming back and playing the top teams even stronger. In that regard, every game is important and we need to play well the entire time.”

Regis is the Continental League Champion and has a myriad of common opponents with Battle Mountain. The Raiders beat Mullen (3-1), Palisade (3-0), Moffat (3-2), Steamboat (3-2) and Montrose (3-2). They lost to Rock Canyon, 3-0.

Next on the hit parade is Cheyenne Mountain. The Indians won the Colorado Springs Metro League with an 8-0 mark and have a 3-0 over 5A Doherty as well as a 3-1 victory at Cherokee Trail earlier in the season.

While the Indians are the favorite, they won’t seem larger than like to Battle Mountain. The two teams met in last year’s semifinals.

“It helps a little,” Thul said. “Obviously, they’ve gotten a lot better since we played them. They’re a different team. But we prepare for different team every time we go out we go out to play a different game. You just take them as we come.”

The Huskies want to make their Saturday match against Cherokee Trail meaningful. If Pool II breaks right, even with an 0-2 record, this can still be a consequential game. The Huskies were 0-2 in 2005 and still made a run to the semifinals. A split on Friday and a win against No. 7 Cherokee Trail would likely put the Huskies through to the semifinals.

The Coliseum

As the Huskies found out the last two years, playing at the Coliseum is like a circus. Five games are going on at once with whistles from other courts blowing, loud cheers at strange times and marching bands echoing all over the place.

The senior crew of Thul, Devon Abbott, Alexa Corcoran and Kori Landauer are trying to impart this image to the newer players on the team to get them ready.

“It’s obviously a big deal, but we just have to go there and play our game,” Thul said. “A lot of us have played club which is kind of like a tournament situation. There are other games going on. We’ve been working in different environments to get used to it. We just have to try to zone all of that out.”

After the Huskies take on Regis, count on the crew to still around for the fourth match of the day ” Cheyenne vs. Cherokee, an opportunity for the team to scout its next two opponents.

Allowing 90 minutes for each match, the Huskies should face Cheyenne at around 6:30 p.m. But Doyon expects it to be a longer wait and is planning accordingly.

“You just take them away from the building and get them out,” Doyon said. “We’ll go back to the hotel. We’ll let them hang out and rest for a little while. Most of them probably won’t have slept as well the night before just being in a new environment. We’ll take them back and get them a nap and lunch.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

4A State Tournament

Pool I (seed)

Berthoud (1) 26-0

Montrose (4) 18-8

Mountain View (5) 22-4

Longmont (8) 21-5

Pool II (seed)

Cheyenne Mountain (2) 24-2

Regis (3) 22-4

Battle Mountain (6) 23-3

Cherokee Trail (7) 21-5

Friday’s Games

Montrose vs. Mountain View, 8 a.m.

Battle Mountain vs. Regis, 9:30 a.m. (approx.)

Berthoud vs. Longmont

Cheyenne Mountain Cherokee Trail

Montrose vs. Longmont

Regis vs. Cherokee Trail

Berthoud vs. Mountain View

Battle Mountain vs. Cheyenne Mountain, 6:30 p.m. (approx.)

Saturday’s Games

Mountain View vs. Longmont, 8 a.m.

Battle Mountain Cherokee Trail, 9:30 a.m. (approx.)

Berthoud vs. Montrose

Cheyenne Mountain vs. Regis

Semifinals ” Pool I ” No. 1 vs. Pool II ” No. 2, 2:30 p.m. (approx.)

Semifinals ” Pool II” No. 1 vs. Poll I ” No. 2, 4 p.m. (approx.)

Championship, 7 p.m.


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