Less than a minute into the second quarter of Thursday's Class 4A Final Four game between the Holy Family Tigers and Valor Christian, Katie Chavez found herself a little space on the right wing and let fly a 3-pointer from near NBA range.
It was as pretty a shot as you'll see in the high school game, and it splashed down through the bottom of the net, ending a 10-run by the Eagles.
It's a shot that Holy Family fans have seen Chavez hit countless times over the past four years. Unfortunately for the Tigers, those shots were few and far between on this night, as Valor Christian rolled to a 63-30 victory.
The lopsided loss in her final game does nothing to dampen the luster of her stellar high school career, however. A speedy 5-foot-7 guard, Chavez helped Holy Family win a pair of 3A state championships during her first two years, then led the team to the Great 8 last year — the Tigers first in Class 4A.
This year she was the steady hand and veteran leader that allowed Holy Family to make another deep run, reaching the semifinals despite having only three seniors on the roster.
"Honestly this entire journey has been a blessing, with this group of girls it's been a blast," said Chavez, who was named the 3A player of the year following her sophomore season. "Obviously it wasn't the way we wanted it to end, but we had a great run.
"This group of girls made it the best journey I could have ever asked for."
Holy Family coach Ron Rossi, who has led the Tigers to six state championships, had nothing but admiration for Chavez after the game.
"Think about what she's gone through," Rossi said. "She's won two state titles, all-state her freshman and sophomore years. Junior year comes back and makes the Elite 8 and gets beat by (Valor). Leads her team to the Final Four (this year).
"What a great career. Broke all the scoring records at our school, broke all the 3-pointers. Set the assists record. Probably set the steal record, too, but I don't know on that one."
Chavez's basketball journey doesn't end at CU, however. She's headed to Carleton College in Minnesota, where she'll join the Knights hoops team. She'll also be reunited with her older sister Lindsey, who was also a state champion during her time at Holy Family.
"I don't know if she'll be playing basketball," Katie Chavez said. "Maybe I can convince her to play with me."
John Rosa: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org