DENVER – Resurrection Christian knew that advancing to the Class 4A girls basketball Final 4 was going to require a sound defensive effort more than anything.

The Cougars decided the second quarter of their 53-44 win over Pagosa Springs was the best time to turn up that defense. They allowed the Pirates to score just two points in that eight-minute stretch and went into the locker room with an eight-point lead.

“You have to play four quarters,” junior guard Olivia Klein said. “We went in at halftime and said that we needed to finish. We had to play two more quarters.”

And stretched the lead out to 14 by the end of the third and were able to withstand a better shooting effort from the Pirates in the fourth.

Klein led all scorers with 15 points and felt comfortable shooting the ball in her first trip to the Denver Coliseum.

“I thought it was fun,” Klein said. “It was different but at the end of the day it’s just muscle memory so it’s mostly fun.”

The win gives the Cougars another shot at Holy Family. The Tigers won the regular season game 56-50 and have been itching at another shot at the defending state champions.

“We call this season our revenge tour,” Klein said. “Hopefully this is our final one and we can check that box.”

A win over the Tigers would put Rez Christian into a state championship game for the first time in program history. Last year, they lost in the Sweet 16 to Lutheran.

Riverdale Ridge 67, Colorado Academy 36

(Dan Mohrmann/

Brihanna Crittendon scored 19 of her game-high 26 points in the first half and Riverdale Ridge left very little doubt of this result as it pulled away from Colorado Academy early.

This is the first appearance in the Final 4 for the Ravens. They were a game shy of reaching it last year, but lost to eventual state runner-up D’Evelyn in the 2023 Great 8.

They weren’t going to leave anything to chance in this go around. They outscored the Mustangs 18-8 in the first quarter, then took a 35-31 lead into halftime. Crittendon accounted for more than 50% of the scoring for the team at that point and when CA’s defensive focus shifted to even more to her in the second half, the other Ravens were more than happy to step up.

Brooklyn Charlo scored 20 points and Cimonie Martinez added nine.

“I have all my trust in my teammates,” Crittendon said. “We’ve worked so hard for this moment. I have trust in them and they have trust in me. We work as a family. When we play together, we win.”

The Ravens will get a crack at playoff revenge as they’re set to take on D’Evelyn next week at the Denver Coliseum. It’s a rematch that they’ve been thinking about for a long time.

“Ever since we lost,” Crittendon said. “Ever since we left the Coliseum last year it’s been what we’ve been thinking about.”

They have a little less than a week before they can stop thinking about it and get down to the business of trying to reach the state title game.