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ThunderRidge, Legend, Rock Canyon and Cherry Creek were awarded first-round byes for the Feb. 24 opening round of the 48-team Class 5A boys basketball state playoffs.Highlands Ranch and Lakewood gained two of the top four seeds in the Class 5A girls state basketball brackets.BoysBrackets in four quadrants were announced Feb. 21 and ThunderRidge was top-seeded in the Chauncey Billups region. Legend was third seeded in the Bill Weimar quadrant and Rock Canyon third in the Ray C. Ball pairings. Creek was a fourth seed in the Billups bracket.Second-round games are scheduled for Feb. 27 with Sweet 16 games set to be played March 2. All early round games will be played at the schools with the highest seed. Great 8 games will be staged at the Denver Coliseum March 5. Semifinal contests and the championship game will be played March 11 and 12 at the Coors Events Center.Area teams that qualified for first-round 5A games were Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista, Westminster, Lakewood, Arapahoe, Legacy, Heritage, Douglas County, Ralston Valley, Castle View, Arvada West and Chaparral.Valor Christian gained the top seed in the Mark Randall quadrant in the 32-team Class 4A boys bracket. The Eagles will be a home to play Glenwood Springs Feb. 26.Other first round games on Feb. 26 involving area teams find Wheat Ridge at Sierra, Fort Morgan going to Holy Family and Silver Creek visiting Golden.GirlsHighlands Ranch is top-seeded in the Sharon Welch quadrant and drew a bye for the Feb. 23 first round. The Falcons will play the winner of the Arvada West-Fort Collins game Feb. 26.Lakewood is the No. 1 seed in the Alice Barron quadrant and also earned a first round bye. The Tigers will face the winner of the Palmer-Rock Canyon game on Feb. 26.Ralston Valley, Horizon and ThunderRidge also drew first-round byes as No. 2 seeds. Cherry Creek was a third seed and won't have to play until the second round of the 48-team brackets.Games through the Sweet 16 will be played at the schools. Great 8 contests will be played at the Denver Coliseum March 4. Girls semifinals are set for March 10 at the Coors Events Center with the title game scheduled for March 12.In the 32-team Class 4A pairings, defending state champion Valor Christian was top-seeded in the Tracy Hill bracket and will host No. 8 Fort Morgan in a first round contest Feb. 26.Golden will travel to Palisade, Elizabeth plays at Montrose, Pueblo West is at D'Evelyn, Stanley Lake faces top-seed Sand Creek, Green Mountain is at Mullen and Silver Creek visits Holy Family in other Feb. 26 first round games.
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