Steamboat boys lacrosse earns No. 14 playoff seed

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— The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team earned the 14th seed in the Colorado state lacrosse playoffs. Steamboat will open postseason play Saturday at home against No. 19 Denver East. A game time has yet to be determined.

“You never know how it comes out,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said about the seeding process. “That’s a pretty good draw for us. Until we start talking about it, I don’t know much about them.”

The 14 seed is the highest in program history. The Sailors have been the No. 16 seed in each of the previous three seasons. A total of 24 teams make the state tournament. The top eight seeds receive byes.

Should Steamboat win its opening round game, the brackets are reseeded with the No. 1 seed playing the lowest remaining seed.

Arapahoe is the top-seeded team, followed by Cherry Creek, Kent Denver, Columbine and Mullen.

Drawing the No. 14 seed may be a bit surprising for those who have followed the team this year. The Sailors finished the regular season 14-1, including 5-1 against Front Range teams.

Hiester previously had said the Sailors could be in position for a top-10 seed.

Steamboat has lost in the playoffs the last three years by a combined nine goals.

Denver East went 9-6 this year and finished third in the Front Range League. The Angels are led by a trio of players — Luke Boardman (34 goals, 12 assists), Dylan Horvath (18 goals, 10 assists) and Ben Barocas (12 goals, eight assists).

The two schools share three common opponents. Each team lost to seventh-seeded Rock Canyon and beat Valor Christian and Grandview. Denver East scored 27 goals in those three games while giving up just 23. Steamboat scored 35 goals in the three games and gave up just 23.

“They have a couple of very good players,” Hiester said. “I haven’t seen them play, but the fact they’re in the playoffs, at this point, you have to play well to win.”

Steamboat was rusty Monday when the team wrapped up the regular season with an 8-5 win against Golden. Hiester said he was happy simply to get the game in coming off spring break. He said the team will use this week in practice to get its stick skills back and hopefully prep for the first playoff win in school history.

“All the pieces are there. We’re playing well, and we’re a good lacrosse team. This is a good draw for us.”

Steamboat was the only Mountain League team to make the state playoffs.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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