Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — Mead’s best run in its girls’ hoops history will now head to high school basketball’s biggest stage.
Kyra Haan and Maddox Boston combined for 46 points in Friday night’s Class 4A Great 8 as the No. 5 seed Mavericks cruised past No. 29 Severance, 64-46, and on to the Denver Coliseum.
Haan had a game-high 25, tying a season-high with four 3-pointers as Mead withstood a strong opening from the Silver Knights and then led by double figures throughout the second half. Boston added 21, scoring 20-plus for the sixth time this season.
In the final moments of its third straight landslide victory this postseason, chants of “Final Four, Final Four” rained down from the home student section, which included many members of the boys hoops team that will play its Great 8 game Saturday evening.
Cutting down the net, coach JR Sagner had the final turn on his 30th birthday.
“We’re excited,” Sagner said. “We have told our kids all year, the goal is set on getting to the Coliseum. Once we get there, we know anything can happen.”
The Mavericks’ first trip to the 4A semifinals comes on the back end of a dominating start to their playoff run, which after an opening bye has seen them beat their first three opponents by a combined 59 points.
Severance was arguably the tournament’s biggest surprise as it had propelled through the first three rounds of the bracket as the 29-seed. Beating No. 4 George Washington and No. 13 The Classical Academy on the road, the Silver Knights then opened an early lead Friday to a Mead team it lost to by 44 in early January.
It was short-lived.
“We just took a pause and were like ‘We’re good’,” Haan said. “And then we started moving the ball better and started playing together.”
Haan hit successive 3s in the final minute of the first quarter to give the Mavericks their first and final lead of the night. The junior had three 3s in the half and 14 points to help stretch the advantage to 35-24 at the break. Boston also hit from deep and had 12.
It was more of the same after the break as the two scored all of a 7-0 run in the third that pushed the lead to 18, then all of a 6-0 spurt in the fourth to tick it to 19.
“Honestly it hasn’t hit me yet,” Boston said afterward. “Our student section was awesome. Very loud. We haven’t had something like that in a long time. I’m just really happy to be accomplishing this with my teammates.”
The Mavericks will face 5A/4A Northern League foe Windsor Thursday in the Final Four.
The undefeated Wizards beat Mead twice in the regular season — a 12-point win in late January followed by a 22-point victory on Feb. 15 in the league’s crossover tournament with the 4A Longs Peak League teams.
“We got to adjust to their defensive intensity,” Sagner said. “If we can adjust to their defensive intensity, I think everything else will be OK. We struggled to keep them off the boards the last time we played them. They killed us there, so we’ve been putting a lot of focus on that. I hope we’re a little better and more prepared for them.”