NORWOOD – The Norwood Mavericks are State Tournament bound, as both the boys and girls basketball teams join Colorado’s Elite Eight in the 1A State Championship quarterfinals Thursday.
The Lady Mavs hope to continue their so-far winning season as the team heads onto the State Tournament court with an impressive 21-1 record – a record they are expected to improve upon, as they meet the #8 ranked Stratton on Thursday in Bloomfield.
It will be the third time in as many years that the Norwood High School girls squad will be making the State Tourney trip, and coach Greg King expects this team will give a good fight as they face off against the best high school teams in Colorado.
“They work hard, they set goals and they work hard to achieve those goals,” King said of Norwood’s 2012-13 girls basketball team. Harlie Williams, the team’s sole senior player, was recently selected to play on the Colorado All Star team this April at the Pepsi Center. Starters Tracee Campbell, Shania Snow, and Jordan Williams all have state tournament experience as well, and the foursome will provide the team with a solid foundation as they begin the tough journey through the State Tournament brackets.
The girls will no doubt be anxious to atone for their 2012 State Tournament Championship game loss, in which they missed taking home the trophy by a mere five points with last year’s loss to the Pawnee Coyotes.
If the Lady Mavericks win the Thursday match, they will advance to the semifinals on Friday, where they’ll meet the winner of the Wiley vs. Belleview Christian quarterfinal game. The 1A State Championship game is scheduled for Saturday, March 16.
Although the boys have faced more adversity this season, as injuries hampered their regular season record, the Mavericks also step onto the State Tournament stage with solid footing. All five of the team’s starters played in last year’s state tournament match, in which Norwood lost to the #1-ranked Sierra Grande in the quarterfinals. Senior Brad Campbell provides stability and leadership, while Morgan Rummel, Jeff Williams, Clint Watt, and Dakota Winner are all battle-tested and ready to lead the team as they set out on their State Tournament ride, their coach said.
Coach King, a Hall of Fame basketball coach who knows the tough battles that lie ahead for both of his squads, says Norwood’s teams are ready to face the challenges of playing at the State Tournament level. “We’re not going to change how we approach it – this is a business trip. We’ll have fun with it, but when you set goals to get there, you better be ready to make some noise and bring back some trophies,” he said.
Norwood Schools’ athletic director Keith Williams says these teams’ return to the State Championship this season is a testament not just to the players and their coaches, but also to their parents and the Norwood community.
“It takes a lot of work for these athletes to get to where they are,” he said. “You don’t just show up in November and get there – you put in a lot of work, and now, these kids are reaping the benefits of all of that work.”
Meanwhile, Telluride High School’s basketball teams both ended their seasons at the Regional Tournament in Alamosa last weekend, as Sanford overwhelmed the boys 58-34 and the girls succumbed to Evangelical Christian 39-30.