The Colorado high school basketball season ended less than three days ago, but now is as good a time as any to look back on some of the key moments:
* It has been said many times by many different people, and I will add my input to the discussion. The tip-in by Josh Adams that won the Class 5A boys championship for Chaparral
was the best game-ending effort I've seen in my 20-plus years of covering prep sports in Colorado.
The difficulty of the play, and its finality, were second to none. Numerous prominent sports web sites took notice and posted the video yesterday. As of today on YouTube, the video had more than 122,000 views. If you haven't seen it, see the bottom of the story for the embedded video.
And check out the MaxPreps Colorado boys basketball brackets
, plus the girls playoff brackets
* The other highlight somewhat lost in a busy final day was Denver Christian
coach Dick Katte winning his eighth state title in his 48th and final season leading the Class 2A Crusaders. His last team was perfect, too, at 26-0.
Katte finishes with a career record of 876-233, and the eight championships tied him with Denver East's Rudy Carey in second place in the state record books. Ron Vlasin had nine during his career at Merino, Littleton and Arapahoe.
Those are just numbers, though, and certainly won't be how I remember Katte. To borrow a phrase from Scott Stocker, my former colleague at the Rocky Mountain News, Katte was a gentleman and a scholar. Yes, he was a great coach, too, but I've never met a better individual in or out of the coaching ranks. You will be missed, coach.
* The Faith Christian (Arvada)
boys basketball team joined some select company by winning its fifth title in a row, matching the feat of Merino (coached by Vlasin) from 1976-80. The Eagles lose seven seniors, but key players have graduated every season during the record-tying run, so expect them to be among the favorites as they go for No. 6 next year.Caliche (Iliff)
is close behind, after the Buffaloes won their fourth Class 1A championship in as many years.
* This year, for the first time in a long while, marked a season when the top boys talent in the state essentially matched that of the girls. Colorado has continually developed premier Division I girls recruits, but this season the state had 10 boys players who will play at the highest level in college
. That's at least double what the state usually produces on the boys side.
* One of those players, Colorado Springs Christian
standout Nate Engesser
, who will play at the University of Denver, added his name to the state record books. During his final game at the Class 3A state tournament, Engesser scored 43 points to push his career total to 1,902 points. That total is good for eighth place in career scoring. The boys state leader is Brian Wood of Buena Vista (2,551).
* Doherty (Colorado Springs)
senior Kim Cerjan
has been selected as one of 16 finalists by CBS Sports to possibly participate in the American Family Insurance 3-point shooting contest that will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Mens Final Four in New Orleans. To be selected, Cerjan, who shot 44 percent from 3-point range this season, must be voted one of the top four. To vote, go to the High School Slam page on Facebook
* For those craving more high school hoops, a couple of all-star events are coming up on the calendar. The Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State Games will be played March 25 at Arvada West High School. The five games featuring only seniors, representing each of the five classifications, are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Also, The Show
boys and girls all-star games sponsored by the Denver Nuggets are set for April 6. The girls game will be played at 3 p.m., with the boys game following after the Nuggets game ends that night.