Dove Creek's girls basketball team is a win away from the 1A state tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs took second at the 1A District 1 tourney in Olathe last Saturday.
Dove Creek (13-9) dispatched Vail Christian and Plateau Valley 48-29 and 37-27. The Lady Bulldogs lost to Norwood 49-23 in the district title game. But Dove Creek is setup in the 1A Western Regional against Stratton (12-10) Saturday morning with the winner advancing to state.
"We're pretty excited for where we're at," Dove Creek coach Jim Buffington said. "We're excited to be in the regional tournament with a one game playoff to get to the state (tourney)."
Juniors Madison Young, Jessica Guynes and Shelbie Knuckles led the Lady Bulldogs at districts. Playing three games in three days can be physically draining. A worn our Dove Creek squad ran into a buzzsaw with Norwood (20-1) in the title match.
"We had a let down in the championship game. Of course Norwood, they'll make you look bad," Buffington said. "We always have trouble with Norwood. They're well coached, they got some good players, they always have good offensive patterns, they play very tough defense and we just didn't play very well that game."
It was 2010 when Buffington last took a team to state. He feels it would be great experience for his young girls to play in the state tourney this year. Especially, with the entire Dove Creek starting lineup returning next season.
"It would mean great momentum for us to win that game and get to the state tournament," Buffington said. "No matter what we do up there, the experience of being in a venue like that, is very valuable. This team hasn't been to the state basketball tournament. It would be a new experience for them."
Stratton finished fifth in the seven-team 2A/1A Union Pacific League.
However, the Lady Eagles won the 1A District 7 tourney.
"I don't know much about Stratton at this time," Buffington said. "Hopefully, I'll have a little film on them to get a better idea of what we're going up against. What they do offensively, what they do defensively."
Tip off between Dove Creek and Stratton is Saturday at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Springs High School.
The Colorado High School Activities Association 1A State Basketball Championships are next week at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield.