There is going to be a handful of new champions crowned come Saturday night.
With only one of the state's five defending boys basketball state champions still alive in the postseason, four classifications will end the season with a different team holding up the trophy. Only Sterling
in Class 3A has the opportunity to defend its title.
That should make this weekend's final run at state that much more exciting. The quarterfinal round for 3A, 2A and 1A takes place Thursday, with the semifinals in all five classifications set for Friday night.
The Denver Coliseum will host the 5A and 4A championship games Saturday, with 3A going at the University of Denver. The 2A and 1A fields will have their championship games at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
Here is a schedule and overview for each classification heading into Thursday:
No. 2 ThunderRidge (25-1) vs. No. 6 Grandview (22-4), 7 p.m.
No. 1 Rock Canyon (24-2) vs. No. 5 George Washington (21-5), 8:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m. Saturday at Denver ColiseumOverview:
Three of the four semifinalists were also in the Final 4 last March. Grandview (Aurora)
is the new addition. … ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch)
won the Continental League title, defeating Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch)
in overtime on Feb. 16. The Grizzlies last made the championship game in 2015, and haven't won a title since going back-to-back in 2002-03. ThunderRidge defeated Doherty (Colorado Springs) 45-43 in the quarterfinals on a Bailey Verk
buzzer-beater to make the Final 4, and will rely on a balanced offense that has three players averaging more than 10 points a game. Senior Kaison Hammonds
leads the team at 15.8 points. … Grandview made sure the Continental League didn't have three teams in the semifinals by defeating No. 3 Chaparral (Parker) 59-53 in the Great 8 behind 18 points from Dayne Prim
. The Wolves have won nine in a row since a January slide that saw the team drop three out of five. Prim averages 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds for Grandview, which has never won a state title. … Rock Canyon is in the same boat, though the Jaguars nearly made their first championship appearance last March before falling 61-60 to Eaglecrest (Aurora) in the semifinals. Rock Canyon's only losses this season came to Chaparral and ThunderRidge, but the Jaguars have had to battle in the playoffs. The team needed overtime to top defending state champion Eaglecrest in the Sweet 16, and the Jags held off 2015-16 state champion Overland (Aurora) by seven points in the quarterfinals. Senior Sam Masten
is one of the state's top scorers at 22.5 points a game, and Tyson Gilbert
adds nearly 16 a game. … Last March, George Washington (Denver)
made its first title-game appearance since 2009. The Patriots fell to Eaglecrest in the title game, but picked up this season where they left off. George Washington has won 14 in a row since a loss to ThunderRidge in early January, though the Patriots needed a Jon'il Fugett
bucket in the closing seconds to edge Smoky Hill (Aurora) 42-41 in the quarterfinals. Three players averaged more than 10 points a game for GW, with seniors Xavier Cooper
(12.7), Fugett (12.2) and Mohammed Diallo
(10.2) leading the way.MaxPreps Colorado Class 5A state bracket
No. 2 Lewis-Palmer (24-2) vs. No. 6 Pueblo West (20-6), 4 p.m.
No. 1 Pueblo South (24-2) vs. No. 5 Longmont (24-2), 5:30 p.m.
3 p.m. Saturday at Denver ColiseumOverview:
The four teams in the semifinals have a combined 10 appearances in the Final 4 since 2015, and each has played for the championship since 2009. … With defending champion Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch) falling to Pueblo South
in the Great 8, a new champion will be crowned. The Colts last made the title game in 2009, but have won 18 games in a row. Pueblo South allowed an average of 29 points in its first two playoff games before topping Valor 59-50. Senior Marcell Barbee
averages 18 points a game, Tonay Aragon
goes for 14.8 and Jeremy Cody
is at 13.1. … Longmont
was in the title game in 2015 and made the semifinals two years a go. The Trojans ran off 20 victories in a row this season before dropping its regular-season finale, but has made the most of its playoff chances, including a defeat of No. 4 Falcon in the quarterfinals. Senior Luke Johnson
leads the team at 19 points a game. … Lewis-Palmer (Monument)
won titles in 2012 and 2013 and made the championship game last March. The Rangers needed a Matthew Ragsdale
3-pointer in the final seconds to avoid overtime and defeat Widefield in the quarterfinals. Joel Scott
, who had 31 points in that game, leads Lewis-Palmer with 19.4 points a game and Ragsdale averages 16.8. … Pueblo West
won the 2016 championship but was eliminated by Pueblo South in the quarterfinals last season. The Cyclones have won their past five games, and two of their losses in the second half of the season came to the Colts. Senior Nieyem'e Smeyer-Williams
leads the Cyclones in scoring at just more than 15 points a game, and Pierre Taylor
averages 13.5 points.MaxPreps Colorado Class 4A state bracketClass 3A
University of Denver
No. 12 Lutheran (18-6) vs. No. 20 Colorado Academy (16-8), 10:15 a.m.
No. 6 Faith Christian (18-6) vs. No. 14 Manual (16-8), 1:15 p.m.
No. 2 Alamosa (20-3) vs. No. 7 Bayfield (16-7), 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 Sterling (24-0) vs. No. 9 Strasburg (18-6), 8:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. FridayChampionship:
6 p.m. SaturdayOverview:
The quarterfinals are all matchups between league teams. Four squads from the Metro League made the Great 8. … Manual (Denver)
pulled off the biggest upset in the second round, eliminating third-seeded Coal Ridge (New Castle). The Thunderbirds, who lost in the first round last season, have one of the classifications top players in junior Jaedon Bowles
(23.8 ppg). … Faith Christian (Arvada)
had to get past another league rival in Kent Denver (Cherry Hills Village) in the second round in a rematch of last year's semifinals. The Eagles, who were the state runner-up to Sterling last March, have won 11 in a row – three of which were overtime victories. Senior Benjamin Hawkins
(19.0 ppg) and the Eagles are always a dangerous opponent in the playoffs. … Alamosa
made the title game two years ago. The Maroons find themselves matched up against Intermountain rival Bayfield
, who defeated Alamosa on Feb. 24 in district play. Three players score right around 11 points a game. … Bayfield was the fifth seed last season but was upset in the first round. The Wolverines lost four of their first six games this season, but have been on a roll as of late. Senior Ryan Phelps
paces Bayfield at 18 points and 13 rebounds a game. … Sterling is the team everyone is trying to knock off. The defending state champions are undefeated, and have had only one victory that came by less than 10 points. Bodie Hume
may very well be the 3A MVP and is averaging 20.1 points a game. … Strasburg
lost to Sterling twice this season, including a district loss Feb. 21. Seniors Brock Lane
(17.2 points, 11.1 rebounds) and Jake Miller
(15.8 ppg) have the Indians ready for the Tigers. … Lutheran (Parker)
upended No. 5 The Vanguard School (Colorado Springs) in the second round. The Lions won the Metro League regular-season title, and Tyler Eldred
leads the team at 14.9 points a game. … Colorado Academy (Denver)
made the title game in 2014 and 2015. The Mustangs lost to Lutheran 60-51 during the regular season, but won five of their final six to make the Great 8. The team has a strong junior class, paced by DeAnte Dennis
(18.5 points) and Alex Mushkin
MaxPreps Colorado Class 3A state bracketClass 2A
Budweiser Events Center in Loveland
No. 2 Yuma (22-2) vs. No. 7 Ellicott (15-9), 10:15 a.m.
No. 3 Byers (19-4) vs. No. 6 Ignacio (19-4), 1:15 p.m.
No. 1 Crowley County (23-0) vs. No. 8 Sanford (19-5), 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Highland (20-3) vs. No. 5 Meeker (20-4), 8:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday
8:30 p.m. SaturdayOverview:
Neither of last year's finalists made the quarterfinals. In fact, only Highland (Ault)
were in the Great 8 last March. … Sanford won three titles in a row from 2014-16, but is the eighth seed for the second year in a row. The Indians took out 2017 runner-up Sedgwick County in the regional championship. … Undefeated Crowley County (Ordway)
is Sanford's first opponent. The Chargers are seeking their first title since 1968, with senior Bradley Carnes-Clabey
providing the offensive power at 16.3 points and 10.4 rebounds. … Both of Yuma's
losses were to out-of-state teams, and the Indians have won 18 in a row. … Ellicott (Calhan)
lost its first three games of the season before turning things back around. The Thunderhawks needed overtime to edge Calhan to make the quarterfinals. … Byers
senior Austin Davis
leads the squad at 17.6 points a game, one of three players scoring in double figures. … Ignacio
has won seven in a row. The Bobcats last made the 2A title game in 2010. … Highland was in the semifinals last March. The team dropped all three of its game in December and has won 18 consecutive games, with sophomore Tate Bessire
averaging 17 points a game. The Huskies downed Del Norte in overtime last weekend. … Meeker
is riding a 10-game winning streak into the Great 8. Three players average in double figures, and a fourth is at just less than 10 points a game.
MaxPreps Colorado Class 2A state bracket
Friday's Quarterfinals @ Butler Hancock Gym, UNC in Greeley
No. 3 Heritage Christian (19-4) vs. No. 6 South Baca (19-4), 10:15 a.m.
No. 1 Creede (20-3) vs. No. 8 Cornerstone Christian Academy (15-7), 1:15 p.m.
No. 2 Front Range Baptist (19-4) vs. No. 7 Genoa-Hugo/Karval (16-8), 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Sangre de Cristo (20-4) vs. No. 5 Peetz (22-1), 8:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday at Butler Hancock Gym, UNC in GreeleyChampionship:
5:30 p.m. Saturday at Budweiser Events Center in LovelandOverview:
The biggest surprise here is that defending state champion Holly isn't in the mix. The Wildcats were undefeated headed into the regional championship game, only to have South Baca
pull off the 80-67 upset. That came just nine days after Holly defeated the Patriots 63-41 in district play. South Baca senior Thomas Manuel
averages 22.5 points and 15.7 rebounds, and teammate Micah Crane
averages 21.4. … Heritage Christian (Fort Collins)
has its most victories since winning 22 games in 2013. The Eagles have three players who average in double figures in scoring, led by Josiah Bowsher
at 14.6. … Creede
won its first 12 games before dropping three of its next five. But the Miners have won their last six, including a two-point victory over Kit Carson in the regional title game. Senior Isaac Borchers
goes for 20.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. … Cornerstone Christian (Westminster)
draws top-seeded Creede first. The Bulldogs won only three games two years ago, but now find themselves in the Great 8. Junior Brandt Vos
leads the team with 17.6 points and eight rebounds a game. … Front Range Baptist (Fort Collins)
was seeded third a year ago at state, only to go two-and-out. The Falcons have three players scoring in double figures, with senior Adam Poole
(14.5) and junior Deric Woods
(13.7) leading the way. … Genoa-Hugo/Karval
endured a midseason slump in which it lost six of eight, but the Pirates have been strong as of late. The team upended Longmont Christian in overtime in the regional title game, and senior Caid Smith
averages 16.5 points a game. … Sangre de Cristo (Mosca)
avenged two losses to Sierra Grande (Mosca) with a victory in the regional finale. The Thunderbirds have done it without a single senior on the roster. … Peetz
has the best record of any team in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs lost their only game of the season to Heritage Christian in district play by one point. Logan Sircy
averages 18.3 points a game.
MaxPreps Colorado Class 1A state bracket