At least one new state champion will be crowned in the small school classifications in girls basketball play this weekend, while a couple of other programs will be looking to end their long journeys toward the state tournaments with back-to-back state titles. Yes, for Colorado Springs Christian (Class 3A) and Briggsdale (1A), there is familiarity with finishing on top, but by no means would that feeling ever get stale.

There are a few Cinderella stories among the 3A, 2A and 1A girls brackets, and most of the season’s favorites have also made their intended destinations.

A few notes on each of the final brackets as play begins Thursday in Denver, Loveland and Greeley.

Class 3A

Teams (in bracket order): No. 1 Peyton (22-0), No. 9 Strasburg (18-6), No. 4 Centauri (17-6), No. 5 Yuma (15-8), No. 2 Colorado Springs Christian (24-0), No. 7 Highland (18-6), No. 6 St. Mary’s (20-4), No. 3 Grand Valley (24-0)

Hot teams: Three teams remain looking to finish the season undefeated with three more wins, including defending champ C.S. Christian who has won 30 straight games dating back to last season. Meanwhile, Yuma and Highland are rolling into the University of Denver with win streaks of six and seven games, respectively. Back in the Great 8 from last year (in addition to CSCS) are Grand Valley, St. Mary’s and Centauri. Of those teams, Centauri has arguably played the best defense in the postseason, allowing just 19.8 points per game in four games.

Hot players: It’s a cold-war type battle for the state’s scoring title between 3A Peyton’s AJ Mannering (33.9 ppg) and 4A Riverdale Ridge’s Brihanna Crittendon (29.3 ppg), as both of their teams are still alive in the postseason. Highland’s Briza Flores (18.9 ppg) had 29 points on 50% shooting Saturday against Roaring Fork. Strasburg’s Natalie Damron (11.4 ppg) notched 18 points in her team’s win against Platte Valley Saturday, going 8 of 14 from the floor. Averaging 8.1 points a game for the season, Yuma’s Jade Lungwitz scored 13 and 12 points in the team’s two regional games this past weekend.

Class 2A

Teams (in bracket order): No. 1 Merino (24-0), No. 8 Mancos (18-5), No. 4 Hoehne (22-2), No. 5 Simla (16-8), No. 3 Burlington (19-4), No. 6 Denver Christian (19-4), No. 2 Rangely (22-1), No. 7 Wiggins (14-9)

Hot teams: Just one team in this classification, Merino, remains undefeated and the Rams are looking for a repeat appearance in the state championship game. Meanwhile, five other teams — Rangely, Hoehne, Denver Christian, Burlington and Mancos — arrive in Loveland with win streaks of eight games or more. Back in the Great 8 from last year (in addition to Merino) are Wiggins, Rangely and Burlington. Of those teams, the Panthers arguably have had the most impressive postseason run so far, outscoring their four opponents by an average of 70.5 to 23. Burlington has also been very consistent on offense in the playoffs, averaging 61.4 points (up from 56 a game during the season).

Hot players: Averaging 5.8 points per game this season, Simla’s Amara Mazerall averaged 14.5 points in her team’s regional games including 16 in an overtime win against Dayspring Christian on Saturday. She also grabbed nine rebounds in each contest. Hoehne’s Janae Ramos had 13 and 16 points, respectively, in her team’s regional games, also shooting an even 50% (13-for-26). Wiggins’ Riley Hunt secured 23 total points and 22 total rebounds in regional play, posting one double-double while coming up just one rebound short of another.

Class 1A

Teams (in bracket order): No. 1 McClave (22-1), No. 8 Kit Carson (15-9), No. 4 Briggsdale (21-2), No. 5 Idalia (18-6), No. 3 Flatirons Academy (22-1), No. 6 Dove Creek (20-2), No. 2 Stratton (21-3), No. 7 Eads (17-7)

Hot teams: No team in 1A can finish undefeated, but five teams — Flatirons Academy, McClave, Briggsdale, Dove Creek and Stratton — will travel to Greeley and the University of Northern Colorado looking to build heavily on win streaks of at least eight games (Flatirons is tops with 19 straight). Incredibly, six of the eight teams in the 2024 bracket also made the field in 2023. Only Idalia and Eads are not repeat programs. McClave’s defense only gave up 25.8 points per game in their four postseason games. The Cardinals allowed about 30 per game on average during the regular season.

Hot players: Briggsdale’s Jenna Krise is just 57 points short of 700 for the season, and she should finish with over 1,900 points for her career. Flatirons Academy’s Emma Cox is averaging 30.4 points per game in February, and 34 in postseason play. Freshman Anna Wollert led Eads to regional victories with two double-doubles, posting 31 total points and 29 total rebounds. Idalia’s Jaylyn Kechter (13.2 ppg) had 21 points and 18 points in the Wolves’ regional play.