The hours of practice and hours of practice after practice have come down to this – the final week of the boys basketball season for eight teams each in Class 3A, 2A and 1A. The tournaments will take place March 7-9 at different sites in the state. At stake is state championship glory. These are the moments where high school players become legends in their respective communities for years to come.

Who will step up in the question. The opportunities are there now it is time to see who will seize the moment.

Here are some matchups to look at in each class of the respective eight-team tournaments:

Class 3A (Denver University’s Hamilton Gym)

Highland (20-4) vs. The Vanguard School (23-1), 10:15 a.m., Thursday

Highland has been rolling, winning 15 games in a row, including two wins last weekend over Bennett (70-41) and Strasburg (63-57). The Huskies have a trio of solid scorers in junior Sawyer Morgan (17.6 ppg), and seniors Jacob Wares (14.6 ppg) and Carson Steinke (14.5 ppg). When these two teams meet something must give as The Vanguard School is riding a 14-game winning streak. Vanguard moved to the Great 8 by trouncing Cedaredge (83-47) and SkyView Academy (72-51) last weekend. Vanguard’s lone loss this season is to fellow Great 8 squad Banning Lewis Academy (56-50) on Jan. 19. Vanguard’s offense is fueled by junior Cameron Rowney (19.2 ppg), senior Nathan Morris (12.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and junior JJ Wetters (12 ppg).

Centauri (18-5) vs. Yuma (19-4), 8:30 p.m., Thursday

Centauri has plenty of momentum after handling Timmath (50-30) and Manual (61-37) in convincing fashion in region play weekend. Junior Carson Bagwell sets the pace offensively for Centauri, scoring 12 points game and grabbing nearly five rebounds a contest. His teammates Chaz Holman (9.3 ppg) and Troy Sowards (8.2 ppg) also provide some punch. Yuma, however, will be a tough out for Centauri. Yuma rolls into the Great 8 after wins against Liberty Common (64-43) and Windsor Charter Academy (56-50). If Yuma wants to be playing for a gold ball on March 9, it is going to have to get a strong effort from sophomore Brody Sheffield’s who is averaging 19.6 ppg. Sheffield isn’t alone in the offensive firepower as senior Cristian Duarte (13.6 ppg) and Jonathan Thomson (13.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg) also carry plenty of weight.

Class 2A (Blue Arena, Loveland)

Heritage Christian (21-2) vs. Limon (19-5), 1:15 p.m., Thursday

This game could go a long as to who plays for a 2A state crown come March 9. HC, which is based in nearby Fort Collins, enters the tourney on a 12-game victory binge, including a 68-60 win over Las Animas last Saturday. The Eagles’ top scorer is Raul Bertinato, who is scoring a team-best 17.2 ppg. The senior is also averaging a team-best 8.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Junior Levi Hermsen is at a 12.6 ppg clip for HC. This is familiar territory for Limon. The Badgers are always playing for state titles in seemingly every sport. Limon defeated Akron (45-25) and Mancos (65-46) to advance out of regionals. The Badgers come out swinging offensively with seniors Jordan Rockwell (19.1 ppg), Treyton Marx (10.3 ppg, 11.4 rpg) and Mason Jaques (10.3 ppg). The winner of this game advances to play the victor between top-seeded Simla and Fowler, on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Crowley County (23-0) vs. Sanford (20-4), 8:30 p.m., Thursday

Crowley County has been perfect this season and the Chargers will try to maintain perfection against an always gritty Sanford squad. Crowley is coming off two convincing regional wins last weekend, including its final game – a 64-44 victory over Byers. Crowley is being paced by Gunner Hughes. The junior is having a fantastic campaign, scoring 21 ppg, pulling down 8.9 rebounds and dishing out 3.8 assists. Elijah McNeil also is scoring 11.4 ppg for the Chargers. Sanford will counter with Cash Caldon (16 ppg), Trason Gartell (10.6 ppg) and Ben Sittler (10.3 ppg). Sanford, which claimed a dramatic 62-60 overtime decision over Loveland Classic last weekend in a regional final, have won 16 games in a row.

Class 1A (Bank of Colorado Arena at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley)

Stratton (19-5) vs. Flatirons Academy (17-7), 5:30 p.m., Thursday

Stratton will try to move on past this game with the balanced scoring of Cyler Notter (12.5 ppg) and Von Isenbart (12.4 ppg). Stratton is riding a modest five-game winning streak, including a 59-53 decision over Otis in the regional finals. Flatirons beat Nucla 67-55 in the regional finals to get to the Great 8. Flatirons’ top scorer is sharpshooter Pistol Chavez (20.1 ppg). Jude Meyer (11.3 ppg) and Parker Wilson (10.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) also add to the punch Chavez provides. The winner of this match-up takes on the winner between top-seeded McClave and Idalia.

Denver Jewish Day (18-3) vs. Sierra Grande (18-5), 8:30 p.m., Thursday

DJD has had a stellar season and advanced to the Great 8 by winning its final seven games in a row. The Tigers’ offense is balanced and strong with scoring coming from Kennan Winnerman (16.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Solly Bielsky (14.8 ppg) and Lev Friedman (12.4 ppg). Can this trio keep things rolling for the Tigers? Sierra Grande will try and halt DJD’s momentum. Sierra Grande counters with a trio of double-figure scorers in Brian Ontiveros (16.6 ppg), Jadyn Martinez (13.4 ppg) and Aron Ojeda (11.8 ppg). Sierra Grande enters the Great 8 after disposing of Wiley (67-42) and De Beque (51-38) last weekend.