The theme of the 2011 basketball playoffs was "repeat." Of the 10 title winners spanning all five classifications and both genders, five were doing it for at least the third consecutive season.
Most impressive, at least in regards to longevity, were the Broomfield
girls. The Eagles captured their fifth consecutive Class 4A crown by defeating Northern League foe Longmont 48-38 in overtime, a year after overthrowing the Trojans 55-47 for title No. 4.
In 3A, Moby Arena in Fort Collins is becoming a regular site for season-ending celebrations of the
Faith Christian (Arvada)
boys and Holy Family (Broomfield)
girls. Each earned a fourth consecutive 3A title, Faith Christian with a 49-41 win against Jefferson Academy and Holy Family with a 60-51 triumph against Eaton.
"Five is always in the back of my mind," Holy Family junior Stephanie Giltner
said. "But that's something we'll have to start thinking about in the summer."
In the marquee event, Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
outlasted Boulder 63-59 for its third straight 5A championship before more than 11,000 at the Coors Events Center. The Raiders were perceived to have fallen back to the pack this season but surged late in the season to hoist the trophy once again. The Raiders became the first big-school boys program to win three straight since Manual from 1948-1950.
In 1A boys, Caliche (Iliff)
extended its title run to three by walloping Springfield 72-47.
"It's awesome just being a part of this team," senior Cody Paxton
said. NOT A REPEAT, BUT ...
Like Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Highlands Ranch
girls coach Caryn Jarocki gets her titles in threes. The Falcons won from 2000-02 and 2006-08, and perhaps started another championship run Friday night.
The Falcons defeated Regis Jesuit 67-50 in the 5A final, and although the Falcons didn't win last season, definitely fit the mold of a repeat winner with their seventh title since the turn of the century. ENEMIES TO BECOME ALLIES
The Denver Lutheran
boys defeated Lutheran (Parker)
61-48 for the 3A championship, which was a fitting way to go out. The Lights, who hadn't won it all since 1986, will shut their doors next year and consolidate with another the school. That would be Lutheran, which has a more modern campus and can accommodate the combined population. ONLY SIMLA UNBLEMISHED
While 10 programs can add to their trophy case, only one can boast perfection. That is the Simla
girls, who went 26-0 en route to the 1A title. The Cubs' final test was their most stern, but they knocked off Fleming 40-37 to survive unbeaten.
"They look unorthodox at times, but these kids never give up," Simla coach Al Snyder said. SEVERAL HONORED AT SPORTSWOMEN BANQUET
A number of recognizable faces in the preps ranks were honored Sunday night in the Colorado Sportswomen Award banquet at the Marriott Denver Tech Center.
Among the 45 winners were Erie pitcher Mariah Bledsoe, Regis super swimmer Missy Franklin, Wheat Ridge track and soccer star Annie Kunz, Loveland diver Michal Bower, Poudre tennis singles champion Natalie Dunn, Mountain Vista field hockey player Katie Koch, Doherty volleyball player Taylor Simpson and soccer striker Lindsey Horan of Golden. Horan doesn't play for the Golden varsity because of her commitment to the Under-17 National Team. TOP PERFORMANCES* Joel Haywood, Denver Lutheran:
The Concordia-bound senior scored 32 points in the Lights' title-game win against Lutheran. * Xavier Talton, Sterling:
The Tigers' guard led his team to its first championship since 1984 by scoring 22 points in Sterling's 57-38 win against Windsor in the 4A final. * Katelyn McDaniel, Highlands Ranch:
The senior forward/center, headed to the University of San Diego, catapulted the Falcons to the 5A title with 24 points and 13 rebounds (15 and 11 in the second half). * Sarah Talamantes and Taylor Helbig, Holy Family:
The senior guards were four-year starters for the four-time defending champs. They finished their careers with an overall record of 103-5. * Tori Mortensen, Sanford:
Fourteen might not sound like an overwhelming amount of points in a title game, but consider that the Indians defeated Evangelical Christian by a sparse score of 31-28 in the 2A final to capture their first ever crown.RECRUITING NEWS
According to The Denver Post, Mullen junior quarterback Cyler Miles
has 10 offers on the table: Colorado, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Utah, Baylor, Washington, Arizona and Arizona State. That doesn't include the several additional schools who are pursuing him but haven't made an offer. Paul Willis is a regular sports freelancer for The Denver Post and covered high school, college and pro sports for the Rocky Mountain News from 2000-09. You can reach him at email@example.com.