A look at each of the Class 4A Great 8 Matchups scheduled for Friday at the Denver Coliseum:
#8 Colorado Academy (18-7) vs. #17 Holy Family (14-11)
to see players: CA – George Buyer, 6-0, jr. (16.9ppg, 2.0spg); Jason Bratis, 6-7, Jr. (10.4ppg, 7.9rpg); Andrew Koclanes, 6-5, Sr. (8.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 7.6apg). HF – Rocco Bridges, 5-10, Sr. (12.6 ppg); Joseph Portillo, 6-0, jr. (10.0ppg, 4.0rpg); Eric Quintana, 5-8, Sr. (7.6ppg, 5.2apg, 2.2ppg).
what to know: All but one of Holy Family’s 11 losses came against either Class 6A or Class 5A teams. As their Sweet 16 loss to top seed Kent Denver (80-53) showed, the Tigers can play with anyone in 4A. The Denver-based Colorado Academy was a minor school force under head coach Steven Hyatt. The Mustangs made their third straight Great 8 trip and bounced back from a 3-4 start by winning 15 of their next 18.
No. 4 Eagle Ridge Academy (20-5) vs. No. 12 Pueblo Central (19-6)
Time: 8:30 p.m
to see players: ER – Hunter Hill, 6-6, Sr. (18.0ppg, 5.2rpg); James “Kyen” Allen, 6-7, Sr. (12.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 5.0apg, 1.1bpg); Peyton Torres, 6-2, Sr. (11.1 ppg, 5.1 apg). PC – Xavier Davis, 6-4, jr. (14.8ppg, 8.1rpg, 2.7apg, 2.7bpg); LaDamien Davis, 6-2, fr. (9.6ppg, 3.8rpg); Josh Sanchez Jr. (8.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.0psg).
what to know: Brighton’s Eagle Ridge worked their way through a tough schedule that included six games against 4A’s eight top seeds. The Warriors split those games — defeating Lutheran, Resurrection Christian and Colorado Academy — thanks to an explosive offense with five double-digit scorers. Central recovered well from losing Kadyn Betts to Minnesota and made his third straight Great 8A trip after upsetting No. 5 Pagosa Springs in the Sweet 16.
#2 Resurrection Christian (21-4) vs. #23 The Classical Academy (17-8)
Time: 10:15 am
to see players: RC — Ty Yoder, 5-11, so. (17.5ppg, 4.0apg); Cade Crutcher, 6-3, so. (13.0 ppg, 2.7 apg); Jacob Barker, 6-11, jr. (11.0ppg, 5.1rpg). TCA – Jordan Wenger, 6-2, Jr. (19.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 2.2apg, 2.2spg); Mason Smith, 6-3, Sr. (8.7ppg, 4.7rpg); Ben Mullenix, 5-11, so. (5.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.5apg).
what to know: The highest seed left in 4A (Resurrection Christ) takes on the lowest seed left (The Classical Academy) in any bracket in the Colosseum. RC have won 21 of their last 22 games in their quest to bring the program’s first state title back to Loveland. TCA drew back-to-back stunners — wins at No. 10 Sterling (71-59) and No. 7 Eaton (54-51) — in the first two rounds to make the Great 8.
#3 Alamosa (21-3) vs. #6 Lutheran (17-8)
Time: 1:15 p.m
to see players: AL — Luke Christensen, 5-10, Sr. (12.6ppg, 2.8apg); Brant Jackson, 6-4, jr. (12.6ppg, 7.0rpg); Jayr Almeida, 5-11, Sr. (10.1ppg); Kasey Jones, 6-2, Sr. (7.8 ppg, 2.9 apg). LU — Braydon Jacob, 6-0, jr. (20.7ppg, 3.5apg, 2.0ppg); Hunter Caldwell, 6-9, jr. (9.5ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.3bpg); Brendan Kooienga, 6-1, Sr. (8.9 ppg, 3.1 apg).
what to know: The Mean Moose have the tightest defense in the bracket (45.0 points allowed/game). A battle-hardened Lutheran squad whose only loss in the 4A competition is a 61-55 loss at Resurrection Christian No. 2 awaits. The Lions have made the Great 8 in six of Bill Brandsma’s eight seasons as coach and won the 3A title in 2021.
#1 Holy Family (22-3) vs. #8 Delta (19-5)
Time: 19 o’clock
to see players:HF – Fiona Snashall, 6-1, Sr. (11.8ppg, 10.3rpg, 2.8ppg, 2.9bpg); Essynce Contreraz, 5-6, jr. (10.8ppg, 4.6apg, 4.0ppg); Julia Hodell, 5-8, jr. (9.8ppg, 3.9spg). EN – Kylie Huff Jr. (9.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.1ppg, 2.5apg); Taylor Somers, so. (9.0 ppg, 4.1 rpm, 2.2 spg); Tatem Miller Jr. (7.7ppg, 2.7ppg).
what to know: Holy Family aims to reach the mountaintop once again in its fifth straight Great 8 journey – one ending in an undisputed title game (2020), two others in Final Four defeats. They’re getting a red-hot Delta roster that has 17 straight wins, including two playoff games, with a 171-79 aggregate score.
#4 Lutheran (22-3) vs. #12 Berthoud (15-10)
Time: 11:45 am
to see players: LU – Raelyn Kelty, 5-11, Sr. (14.9ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.5apg); Nikki McSpadden, 5-7, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 2.9 spg, 2.2 apg); Joclyn Bassett, 5-8, Sr. (8.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.4apg). BE — Reece Kraljic, Sr. (10.0ppg); Katie Vierra, 5-4, Sr. (9.8ppg, 6.3apg, 4.6ppg).
what to know: A year after ending the season with an upset at the Sweet 16, Lutheran is eyeing a return to the Final 4 for the second time in three years. All three of the Lions’ losses were to teams placed in the top 8 of the 5A tournament, and they have already beaten three teams in the 4A Great 8 (Holy Family, University and Eaton). Berthoud has caught fire at just the right time, winning 10 of his last 13, including an upset in the Sweet 16 against No. 5 Colorado Academy to reach the quarterfinals.
No. 2 D’Evelyn (25-0) vs. No. 7 Riverdale Ridge (22-3)
Time: 8:45 am
to see players: EN — Peyton Marvel Jr. (19.2 ppg, 12.8 rpm, 4.6 spg); Macy Scheer, 6-0, Jr. (15.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.0apg, 2.5spg); Rebecca Taylor, 5-8, Sr. (11.0 ppg, 4.2 spg, 3.3 apg). RR — Brihanna Crittendon, 6-2, fr. (31.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.9apg, 2.9spg, 2.0bpg); Gabby Lord, 5-6, so. (9.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.8ppg); Macayla Stark 5-8, Jr. (6.6ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.5apg).
what to know: Two teams used to knocking out teams – D’Evelyn’s average win margin is 30.5 points/game and Riverdale Ridge’s 32.3 – could produce a match on the track. D’Evelyn’s Strong Attack (61.6 ppg) is second in the 4A bracket to Riverdale Ridge (66.6). The challenge for the undefeated Jaguars? Freshman Brihanna Crittendon, who has already received scholarship offers from several of the top DI programs in the country.
University #3 (23-2) vs. Eaton #6 (19-6)
Time: 4 p.m
to see players: UN – Taryn Kravig, Sr. (14.8ppg, 3.0apg, 2.4ppg); Addison Harding, so. (9.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 2.0bpg); Miranda Wiedemann, 5-11, Sr. (5.9ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.4psg). EA — Tayla Wiedeman, Jr. (13.4ppg, 7.1rpg); Emily Mask, 5-9, Sr. (7.7ppg, 5.6rpg); Blayke Duncan Sr. (6.0ppg, 3.6apg, 2.8ppg).
what to know: The varsity is snapping six- and 17-game winning streaks behind a defense that only allows 30.8 points/game. With two wins over Eaton, the Bulldogs face the challenge of beating a rival three times in one season. Eaton survived an angry Peak to Peak overtime offer to reach the quarterfinals.
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