CLASS 4A GIRLS

(2) Valor Christian vs. (1) Broomfield

When: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Coors Events Center.

Records: Valor Christian (23-3); Broomfield (26-0).

Notes: Some people questioned how Broomfield coach Mike Croell was going to keep his team motivated through the regular season grind, knowing how much better they were than anybody in the league. Watching them play on a night-in, night-out basis made that argument silly. The Eagles love to play at a high level every time they take the court. Their their most narrow margin of victory was by 20 over 3A top seed Holy Family … Broomfield is in search of its first trip to the state title game since 2011, when it beat Longmont in overtime to capture its fifth straight title … Since 2002, Broomfield has at least been a quarterfinalist every year and was eliminated in the the semifinals last season to eventual champion Pueblo South … The Eagles go-to scorer is junior Callie Kaiser (14.5 points per game), but if you focus on her, one of Croell’s limitless supply of weapons will burn you. Brenna Chase (12.0), Bri Wilber (11.5), Nicole Lehrer (9.6), Brenna Fankell (7.7) or Stacie Hull (7.3) are capable of offensive explosions … Valor Christian is making its first Final Four appearance and the league-less Eagles played an impressive schedule, with their only losses coming against Monarch (62-60), semifinalist Mesa Ridge (39-38) and Sand Creek — whom they got revenge on in the quarterfinals at the Denver Coliseum. Juniors Caroline Bryan (17.4) and Kendall Bradbury (17.3) will draw a majority of the defensive focus for Broomfield. Bryan went off for 22 in the win over Sand Creek … The winner will play either Mesa Ridge or Pueblo South for the title on Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

CLASS 3A BOYS

(7) Brush vs. (2) Holy Family

When: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: United States Air Force Academy, Clune Arena.

Records: Brush (19-5); Holy Family (22-2).

Notes: To say that Holy Family has a point to prove would be a mild understatement. The Tigers made it to this point last season, entered CSU’s Moby Arena with high expectations, and promptly bowed out after two losses … Coach Pete Villecco’s team heads to the USAFA as the best defensive team in the tournament and if it’s possible to take that defensive effort to a whole new level, they did in the regional round, holding Sterling and Centauri to a combined 56 points … Holy Family’s multi-dimensional offensive attack has not hit on all cylinders over the last month, but there was a glimpse of what it is capable of the last weekend, especially in the second quarter against Centauri … Brush will be the third Patriot League foe the Tigers have faced this season, having beaten both Eaton and University at home in January … The Beetdiggers rolled through their regional games, blasting Clear Creek in the opening round and then posting a 17-point win over Aspen in the Sweet 16 … Senior guard Randy Baker is Brush’s leading scorer at 14.9 points per game, but coach Ken Garcia’s team is balanced. Kyle Rosenbrock and Geoffrey Dunker both are good for nine points per contest … Brush was a state semifinalist last season and defeated Eaton in the third-place game … The winner will meet Denver SS&T or Colorado Springs Christian in the state semifinals on Friday night.

 

CLASS 3A GIRLS

(9) Eaton vs. (1) Holy Family

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: United States Air Force Academy, Clune Arena.

Records: Eaton (19-5); Holy Family (23-1).

Notes: Both of these teams are fixtures in the postseason, and it has been the Tigers who have had the upper hand in most of them … Coach Ron Rossi’s team beat Eaton 54-33 on January 3. In that game — which was 30-4 at the half — Katie Chavez went off for 25 points and recorded five steals with the Tigers patented press giving the Reds fits … The key for the Tigers will be to stay out of foul trouble. Rossi’s depth is not a problem, but even he would admit that having the key players on the court in the state tournament is a must. Just like the Tigers boys, the girls can score in waves, and while most team will focus on Katie and Lindsey Chavez, Megan McGillin, Claudia Pena and Maggie Spitzer are quite capable of putting up big numbers too … The Reds finished tied for second in the Patriot League with Strasburg and a game behind Sterling, which is still in the tournament … Eaton sophomore Bailey Schumacher is coach Todd Hernandez’s leading scorer at just over 11 points per game … The winner will get either Peak to Peak or Lamar in the semifinals on Friday night.

 

(5) Peak to Peak vs. (4) Lamar

When: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Where: Air Force Academy.

Records: Peak to Peak (19-5); Lamar (23-1).

Notes: This is Peak to Peak’s first trip to the quarterfinals. The Pumas have qualified for the Sweet 16 each of the past four seasons, but finally broke through after defeating No. 12 Olathe 49-38 . . . Sophomore standout Michaela Wildbacher has returned to her native Austria, which is a significant blow for the Pumas. She averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 3.4 assists . . . Wildbacher said she will follow the Pumas’ progress via Twitter. . . . The Pumas are led by guard Katherine Kia (16.4 points a game) and center Annette Warner, who has been a dominating inside presence in the presence in the postseason. . . . Lamar’s lone loss was against Manitou Springs n the regular-season finale . . . After routing No. 29 Sheridan in the postseason opener, the Savages narrowly escaped No. 20 Brush 34-32 in the Sweet 16. . . . Seniors Taylor Wertz (16.0 scoring average) and Chelsea Vallejos (15.4) lead Lamar’s attack . . . The winner will take on the Holy Family-Eaton winner Friday night at 7 p.m.

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