Familiarity is the theme for the Class 3A boys’ state tournament as all four quarterfinal matchups represent a rematch between the clubs. Sterling has two wins over Strasburg, Lutheran downed Colorado Academy, Faith Christian edged Manual in their meeting and Alamosa went 2-1 against Bayfield during the season.
Games open at 10:15am Thursday morning at Hamilton Gym on the campus of DU. Semifinals are Friday with the championship round on Saturday. No consolation bracket will be played. All contests can be seen through a live video stream at nfhsnetwork.com.
Colorado Preps will provide in-game updates and final scores of each contest.
#1 STERLING TIGERS (24-0)
COACH: Mike Holloway
STATE TITLES: 2017, 2011, 1984
LEAGUE: Won Patriot title (10-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Resurrection Christian 62-53 for title
REGIONALS: Beat Ridgway Academy 80-35 & Delta 62-22
STREAK: Won 24 straight this year and 29 overall
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 5-0 / wins over Lutheran, Manual, Bayfield and Strasburg (twice)
NOTES: Tigers are the defending state champions and are favored to win the title again this year. Their 29-game overall winning streak is the longest in school history. Their 85-point combined margin of victory at regionals last week was easily the best in the 3A division. Beaten quarterfinal opponent and league rival Strasburg twice this season by a combined 71 points. Only one game the entire year decided by single digits as they rallied past Resurrection Christian 62-53 in the district finals. Six players have double figures in three-pointers made.
#9 STRASBURG INDIANS (18-6)
COACH: Kyle Bollers
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Placed fourth in Patriot league (6-4)
DISTRICTS: Beat Platte Valley 53-45 for third place
REGIONALS: Beat Pinnacle 57-46 & DSST-Stapleton 62-53
STREAK: Won 3 straight and 6 of last 7
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 1-2 / beat Byers (2A), lost twice to Sterling
NOTES: Program is making their first ever appearance in the 3A state tournament. Their last state appearance came in 2005 in the Class 2A division. Indians were one of four lower seeds to pick up regional championships while playing away from home last week. Every loss this season is against a team that made the 32-team 3A post-season bracket. Many players on the roster have state championship experience from the gridiron as the school has landed the last two Class 1A football titles. Indians feature five players with double figures in three-pointers made.
#12 LUTHERAN LIONS (18-6)
COACH: Bill Brandsma
STATE TITLES: 2011, 1986, 1985
LEAGUE: Won Metro championship (9-0)
DISTRICTS: Beat Manual 66-56 for third place
REGIONALS: Beat La Junta 51-49 & Vanguard 68-50
STREAK: Won 3 and 16 of last 18
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 4-2 / beat Manual (twice) & Colorado Academy, split with Faith Christian & lost to Sterling
NOTES: Lions are one of four teams from the Metro conference in the tournament and matches up with league rival Colorado Academy in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Lutheran won the regular season matchup 60-51. Opened the season at 2-4 but has captured wins in 16 of their last 18 outings. Only four of their losses are against in-state opponents. Third trip to the state tournament in the first four years as a 3A program. Won opening round games in the previous two visits (Grand Valley & Brush).
#20 COLORADO ACADEMY MUSTANGS (15-9)
COACH: Steven Hyatt
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Finished in a 3-way tie for 3rd in Metro (6-3) with Faith Christian & Manual
DISTRICTS: Lost to Machebeuf in fifth place game
REGIONALS: Beat Roaring Fork 48-44 & St Mary’s 62-57
STREAK: Won 2 and split last 12 games
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 1-3 / split with Faith Christian, lost to Manual & Lutheran
NOTES: Only state qualifier to earn single digit wins in both games at regional tournament last week. Fifth state tournament visit in the past six years for the Mustangs. Won three consecutive first round games. Reached the state championship game twice but fell to Colorado Springs Christian in 2015 and Holy Family in 2014. Three of five losses at state tournament are against fellow Metro opponents. Very young ballclub as top six scorers are either sophomores or juniors.
#6 FAITH CHRISTIAN EAGLES (18-6)
COACH: Andrew Hasz
STATE TITLES: (6) 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2002
LEAGUE: Tied for third with Manual and Colorado Academy in Metro (6-3)
DISTRICTS: Beat Kent Denver 68-64 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Centauri 55-51 & Kent Denver 65-33
STREAK: Won 11
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 4-2 / beat Alamosa and Manual, split with Colorado Academy & Lutheran
NOTES: Eagles have six state championships in school history which is tied with Denver South for 8th all-time in Colorado. They captured five straight from 2008-12 which is tied with Merino (76-80) for the most consecutive titles in state history. Program has 19 state tournament appearances including 16 of the last 17; missing only in 2015. Also reached the Final Four 12 times. Opened the season 7-6 before winning final 11 games.
#14 MANUAL THUNDERBOLTS (16-8)
COACH: Omar Henry
STATE TITLES: (11) 1991, 1990, 1988, 1976, 1972, 1966, 1955, 1950, 1949, 1948, 1939
LEAGUE: Tied for third with Faith Christian and Colorado Academy in Metro (6-3)
DISTRICTS: Lost to Lutheran 66-56 in third place game
REGIONALS: Beat Pagosa Springs 74-61 & Coal Ridge 80-77
STREAK: Won 2 and is 6-4 over last 10 games
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 2-4 / beat Falcon and Colorado Academy, lost to Sterling, Faith Christian & Lutheran
NOTES: Thunderbolts won their last state championship in 1991 but the 11 in school history is tied with Denver East for the most all-time in Colorado. Upset the third overall tournament seed last Saturday with 80-77 road win at Coal Ridge. Lost regular season matchup to Faith Christian 44-43 in overtime on February 13th. Jaedon Bowles (23.8) is the third leading scorer in Class 3A and 10th in Colorado overall. He scored 50 points against Pinnacle early in the season and led the way with 37 in last week’s win at Coal Ridge.
#2 ALAMOSA MEAN MOOSE (2-3)
COACH: Brandon Brubacher
STATE TITLES: (5) 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1939
LEAGUE: Won Intermountain Championship (9-1)
DISTRICTS: Lost to Bayfield 57-53 in championship game
REGIONALS: Beat Cedaredge 61-20 & Grand Valley 57-39
STREAK: Won 2 straight and 16 of last 18
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 2-2 / lost to Faith Christian, went 2-1 against Bayfield
NOTES: Moose are in the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season. They played in the state finals in 2016 falling to Colorado Springs Christian. Also lost in the first round to Faith Christian (76-59) last season and picked up the consolation championship in 2015 beating Bayfield 79-55. Counting that game and this season, Alamosa is 9-3 against the Wolverines since the start of the 2014-15 season.
#7 BAYFIELD WOLVERINES (16-7)
COACH: Jeff Lehnus
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Finished second in Intermountain (7-3)
DISTRICTS: Beat Alamosa 57-53 for championship
REGIONALS: Beat Brush 62-41 & Academy 73-46
STREAK: Won 4 and 8 of 10
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 2-3 / went 1-2 against Alamosa, lost to Sterling, beat Ignacio
NOTES: Avenged two conference losses to Alamosa by beating them in the Intermountain District championship to earn the right to play at home in the regional round. Margin of victory last Saturday (37) was second only to top ranked Sterling which beat Delta 62-22. Wolverines are in the tournament for the first time since 2015 when they finished sixth. That year they lost to Colorado Academy in the first round and Alamosa in the consolation finals. In between the Wolverines collected an overtime win against Jefferson Academy.