DENVER – One building in Broomfield represents the Class 4A basketball capital of Colorado. Just 101 minutes after the Holy Family girls captured the girls state championship, the boys raised their own state crown.

The Tigers knocked down early shots and locked down defensively in the second half to beat Resurrection Christian 53-43 at the Denver Coliseum.

“That’s what’s so special about this team,” Tigers guard Eric Quintana said. “We can win in so many ways. We have guys that can score in all three levels and we have beasts in the paint like Joe [Portillo] and [Grayden Harkness] that can finish down low.”

Holy Family (17-11 overall) started the game with three 3-pointers from three different players. But the long-range attack didn’t last long as the Tigers made two 3’s in the second, but couldn’t score otherwise.

“We just had to do what we do better,” coach Peter Villecco said. “We had way too much one-on-one in that second quarter and that’s because of what they do defensively. They’re very good defensively. They take away a lot of things and we kind of got outside ourselves.”

A quick 6-0 run to start the third got the Holy Family lead back to seven points. Rather than trying to knock anything down from outside, however, the Tigers worked more inside. That strategy translated into the fourth quarter when they became especially patient on the offensive side. They ran about 90 seconds off the clock early in the quarter.

(Doug Ottewill/

The defensive effort was certainly championship worthy as they kept Ty Yoder in check, allowing him to score just 10 points. They also kept him scoreless in the fourth quarter. It was Quintana’s responsibility to chase Yoder around through the course of the game and the Holy Family guard’s competitive nature got the better of him.

“He’s going to be a phenomenal player and I give him all the credit,” Quintana said. “He did his work this year. He put in the work. But I wasn’t going to lose to him this time, but I bet he can win it next year.”

With Rez forced to play the foul game, all the Tigers had to do was knock down most of their shots from the charity stripe. They made 12 of 14 in the fourth to keep the game out of reach.

The Tigers entered the tournament as the No. 17 seed. They never played a home playoff game and registered upset after upset on their road to the state title, their fourth in program history and first since 2014. That included a 27-point win over top-seeded Kent Denver, a 17-point win over No. 8 Colorado Academy and a 24-point win over No. Eagle Ridge Academy.

In fact, the toughest game the Tigers played was in the first round when they edged DSSST: Green Valley Ranch 44-41.

“It was a little alarming,” Gabe Tafoya said. “We weren’t supposed to be 17 and play all these good teams. But we used it as motivation.”

Tafoya led all scorers with 18 points but only scored in the first and fourth quarters. Seven of 18 points came off free throws, six of which he knocked down in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers will lose four high-impact seniors going into next year, but Tajoya will return along with Portillo and Jaxon Grable which could give the Tigers a good core when they make a run at a fifth title for the program.