DENVER — A couple of long-distance buzzer beaters to end the first and second quarters helped lift Holy Family to another girls basketball Final 4.

Sophomore Enyiah Contreraz drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie things up 10-10 at the end of the first quarter against No. 9-seeded Peak to Peak at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday morning.

“For Enyiah that was normal. She does that all the time,” Holy Family senior Essynce Contreraz said. “We practice those all the time for fun in practice. It shows we practice those in the end of the first and second quarters.”

Gracie Ward matched her fellow sophomore with another deep 3-pointer to end the first half to give the top-seeded and defending 4A state champion a 24-15 lead at halftime.

No. 1 Holy Family cruised in the second half to an eventual 52-25 victory in the Great 8 state playoff game, holding the Pumas to 10 points in the second half.

“We have been good defensively all year,” Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said. “Our pressure we put on people. Flying around and sharing the ball. It’s just fun to be back in the Final 4 again. I think it’s six out of the last nine years. It’s just a great feeling to be back.”

The Tigers (23-3 record) are attempting to win their eighth state title since 2008. Holy Family grabbed its first 4A state championship last year under its legendary coach. Rossi guided Holy Family to 3A titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

“After winning state you always have that target on your back,” said Essynce Contreraz, who led the Tigers’ balanced attack against Peak to Peak with 12 points. “At the end of the day, we are going after teams too. They are giving up their best and we are giving them our best. Our goal at the end of the day is to get a repeat state championship. Here we go. Final 4 here we come.”

The Pumas (21-5) did grab an early 10-5 lead in the first quarter. Junior Alexandra Eschmeyer and senior Megan Wagner combined to score 23 of Peak to Peak’s 25 points. However, the Tigers went on a 16-0 run to end the first quarter until midway through the second quarter to take a commanding lead.

“Knowing that you just have to play hard and things are going to work out,” Rossi said of the change after the Tigers trailed early. “It is always hard in the very beginning.”

Rossi pointed to seniors Sawyer Dana and Julia Hodell for having a strong games battling with Peak to Peak’s 6-foot-5 Eschmeyer. Dana finished with 11 points, including a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The Tigers finished with eight 3-pointers during the first of eight 4A Great 8 playoff games at the Denver Coliseum.

Enyiah Contreraz — Essynce’s younger sister — made all three of her 3-pointers in the first half for Holy Family. It mirrored what Enyiah did last year in the 4A state championship game making three 3-pointers in a 49-44 win over D’Evelyn.

“This is her place,” Rossi said of the younger Contreraz sister. “She shines under the bright lights.”

Holy Family will return to the Coliseum on Friday, March 8, to face the winner of No. 5 Pagosa Springs/No. 4 Resurrection Christian in the semifinals.

D’Evelyn 55, University 39

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

The road for D’Evelyn to get another shot at the program’s first girls basketball state title is very similar to last season.

The No. 2-seeded Jaguars took care of business in the 4A Great 8 on Saturday at the Denver Coliseum with a 55-39 victory over No. 7 University.

“It feels like deja’ve,” D’Evelyn senior Peyton Marvel said of facing University and the possibility of getting Riverdale Ridge and Holy Family next week.

The Jaguars defeated Riverdale Ridge in the quarterfinals and University in the semifinals last year before losing to Holy Family in the championship game. D’Evelyn (23-3 record) will get the winner of No. 6 Colorado Academy/No. 3 Riverdale Ridge in the state semifinals Friday, March 8, back at the Coliseum.

“Everyone here has won 20 games. They are all really good,” D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson said of the competition remaining in the state tournament. “You just have to be better than the other team on the day you play them.”

University (21-5) looked to give D’Evelyn a solid test getting out to an early lead, but the Jaguars went on a 31-4 run in the first half to take over of the game. The Jaguars had a comfortable 21-point lead at halftime.

“The way we press and run, we are going to get chances and create turnovers,” Olson said. “The relentless nature of it is what we have to do with our size. We have to run and press. Create some mistakes and take advantage of it.”

Marvel led the way with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

“She (Marvel) is just a competitor,” Olson said of Marvel, who had a double-double in points and rebound by halftime against University. “I would like to take credit, but it is who she is.”

Senior Macy Scheer had 10 points while being hounded defensively the entire game by the Bulldogs. Senior Ingrid Dalla (8 points) and junior Ellie McMann (6 points) helped the Jaguars’ cause, along with seniors Megan Schonberger and Abby Paulson both knocking down 3-pointers.

“When teams are face guarding me and Macy these other girls have to learn that all of us can shoot,” Marvel said. “Teams need to worry about all of us. You can take away me and Macy, but other girls are going to pick it up.”

The Jaguars finished with seven 3-pointers with five different players dialing it in from distance.

“We said coming in, if we could hit six or seven 3-pointers I think we win the game,” Olson said.

Olson would like to bring home the first girls basketball state title next week. The Jaguars were the 4A state runner-up in 2012, 2013 and 2023. Marvel would like to get another crack at Holy Family.

Holy Family has been a thorn in the side for Marvel — four-year starting shortstop and Colorado Christian University softball signee — since her sophomore year when the Tigers defeated the Jaguars in the 4A state softball championship game.

“I just want my revenge,” Marvel said of a possible rematch of last year’s 4A state championship against Holy Family. “I’ve lost too many times to them. I’d be excited to play them again. Hopefully we can get the win Friday and see (Holy Family) on Saturday.”