BOULDER — Arapahoe and Chaparral’s trips into Saturday’s Class 5A state championship were like night and day.
Arapahoe cruised to its finals berth; Chaparral had to scrap until its final shots. But no matter the style of the top-seeds’ Final Four wins, all bets are off 8 p.m. Saturday at the Coors Event Center. The Warriors and Wolverines both understand how big a fight a state title will require, given the weigth of the game.
It is each school’s chance to capture its first state basketball championship of any kind.
“We’re ready for it,” Chaparral guard Cory Calvert said. “This is what we’ve been working towards all year.”
Calvert was key to the Wolverines’ (24-3) semifinals victory over Highlands Ranch. The Brigham Young University-bound guard made six free throws in the final 43 seconds to seal his team’s 54-50 victory. Calvert finished the night with a game-high 25 points.
The Warriors’ (25-2) Final Four finish was much less dramatic, a 66-41 rout of Rangeview. Arapahoe’s defense did much of the work, holding the Raiders to single digits scoring in three periods. On offense, two players dominated most of the Warriors action, with Zach Kocur recording a game-high 22 points and Shane Jensen 19.
Arapahoe making it to the finals stunned some in 5A. Many believed the team a long shot after leading scorer Tim Haas broke his foot at the end of the season.
“The people that ruled us out after we lost him, it was just more fuel for the fire,” Kocur said.