DENVER – As far as debuts as the Denver Coliseum are concerned, Cherokee Trail didn’t fare so back. Despite leading at halftime, the No. 1-seeded Cougars found a burst of momentum in the third quarter and rode that wave all the way into the Class 6A Final 4, beating the Mustangs 47-39.

They’ll face No. 4 Valor Christian next week with the winner advancing to the state championship game set for March 9.

The first appearance in the Final 4 for the Cougars will come on the heels of their first Great 8 appearance, which naturally provided a few nerves.

“The [nerves] shook off when coach [Tammi Statewright] talked to me and said to calm down,” Delainey Miller said. “I was nervous all day so for this. Her talk to me was amazing.”

Miller finished with a game-high 19 points and if there was a tough rebound to grab, she was right there as well.

The Cougars have been regarded as the top team in 6A all year so anything short of a Final 4 appearance would be a disappointment in the eyes of many. But this is a team that had no desire to disappoint anyone.

“It’s an amazing feeling know that the school hasn’t gotten this far,” Miller said. “It’s amazing making history.”

Mullen shook off a slow start to the game and grabbed a 24-19 lead going into halftime. It was during the break that the Cougars had to take a breath, relax and remember that they didn’t get to the Coliseum by accident. They regained the lead in the third quarter and even as Mullen tied the game in the fourth, they never lost their composure.

Maddy Gibbs knocked down a 3-pointer and Aaliyah Broadus scored on a reverse layup to push the lead to 41-36 with two minutes remaining.

The Cougars held on through that stretch and will return to the Coliseum next week, where first time was a charm for them.

Regis Jesuit 50, Cherry Creek 44

(Doug Ottewill/

Getting to the Final 4 is always a tough ask, but Cherry Creek not having Tianna Chambers on the floor just made it that much tougher.

Not take a single thing away from Regis Jesuit. The Raiders were the better team on Thursday night and their reward is another game on the floor of the Denver Coliseum next week. They’ll get another crack at Legend, a team that dealt them a 15-point loss on Feb. 16.

This time, the stakes will be much different and it’s a situation that could play into Regis Jesuit’s favor. The Raiders make routine trips to the Final 4 and were there as recently as 2021 when they lost to Valor Christian in the state title game.

Legend looked poised in their Coliseum debut in the Great 8 Thursday afternoon, but the intensity will be dialed up for the semifinals.

“We’re going to have to be more composed because we’re playing Legend,” Coryn Watts said. “We know what to expect next game and we’re ready for that.”

Watts and Hana Belibi each broke into double figures for the Raiders. Watts scored a game-high 17 while Belibi had 11.

Addison Beck scored a team-high 14 for the Bruins.