DENVER – Thanks to Betts, the Grandview Wolves will be playing for a girls basketball state championship.

No, it’s not 2019 or even 2022. This is very much the 2023 Class 6A girls basketball playoffs but it has a familiar feeling with Grandview again reaching a state title game.

That’s because Sienna Betts made some clutch blocks and sank some clutch free throws which made all the difference in the Final 4 clash with Cherry Creek. The Wolves got a 31-28 win over their Centennial League counterpart and will return to the Denver Coliseum on Saturday to play for the state title once again.

“We’ve worked so hard in every practice ,” Betts said. “We believed in ourselves when no one else did.”

It’s not that there wasn’t belief, but there was a bit of a feeling that the Wolves (18-9 overall) might be taking a step back. They entered the postseason as the 11 seed and had to get wins over No. 6 Fountain-Fort Carson, No. 3 Highlands Ranch and No. 2 Cherry Creek to get back to the championship game.

To make things all the more interesting, Grandview split the regular season meetings with Cherry Creek with each team getting double-digit wins. There was no chance that would be the case in the state semifinals.

“I had a feeling it was going to come down to something late,” Grandview coach Josh Ulitzky said. “We know each other pretty well and we know what our strengths and weaknesses are.”

It was far from a perfect performance from either team as neither shot as a high as 35% from the field. Grandview held Cherry Creek without a basket for the first seven minutes of the third quarter and jumped out to a 22-14 lead. But a foul on Betts followed by a technical helped the Bruins (22-5) get to within three points.

A Tianna Chambers basket with 1:37 left in the game got Cherry Creek up 28-27. But that was the last point the Bruins would score on the day. Betts and Isa Dillehay each knocked down two free throws and Cherry Creek had two chances to knock down a game-tying 3-pointer, but neither shot fell.

And as a result, Grandview is in its fifth title game since 2017.


(4) Monarch 51, (8) Arapahoe 49

(Doug Ottewill/

For just the third time in program history, Monarch girls basketball will play for a state championship. The Coyotes survived another upset bid from No. 8 Arapahoe to win the game 51-49. They’ll now face Grandview for the 6A state championship Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.

Natalie Guanella led the way with 19 points while Amelia Rosin had 13 and Caroline Walley added 12.

“They played like pros tonight,” coach Mike Blakely said. “I thought they stay calm when they got down and they battled through the whole thing.”

There were 16 lead changes throughout the course of the game and regardless of who came out the winner, there was going to be a well-tested team heading into the state championship game on Saturday.

“It’s a big confidence booster,” Guanella said. “We don’t have that much time to prepare since the game is tomorrow but we know we can pretty much beat anybody.”

That’s a good attitude to have considering the test of ahead of them. The Coyotes (26-1) survived a near legendary performance from Arapahoe sophomore Gianna Smith, who led the Warriors with 19 points.

Next up is perhaps a bigger test in Sienna Betts who scored 16 points to help Grandview beat Cherry Creek and advance to the title game.

“They’re both great players,” Guanella said. “Different players on our team are going to have to step up and we just have to keep playing together.”

The 6A girls basketball state championship game is scheduled for a 1:15 p.m. tip at the Denver Coliseum.