DENVER – Most banners are hung for championships.

In the Resurrection Christian gym, however, a banner hangs that reads “Undefeated” for the 2020 boys basketball team’s incredible season. Yet, those Lions weren’t champions.

They never got the chance to be.

In 2020, the Resurrection Christian boys basketball team was the No. 1 overall seed and reached the Class 3A Final Four in 2020 before the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a tragic end to an otherwise magical campaign, but this year’s Cougars team is determined to make things right for their predecessors who appeared destined to win their program’s first state title.

On Friday at the Denver Coliseum, the No. 2-seeded Cougars (22-4) won 68-44 over No. 23 The Classical Academy (17-9) in the Class 4A Great 8 to advance for the first time since the 2020 team.

“That was obviously the Coach (Bruce) Dick era and we’re partially doing this for us and for this crowd and for our students and faculty not, but we’re also doing this for the 2020 team in all honestly,” Cougars head coach Ryan Yoder said. “We’ve talked about that over the last few years and how they were the No. 1 team and were undefeated and they never got the chance to play for a title. So, we’ve always said that if we had the privilege of winning one, we’re going to say we did it for us and we did it for them.”

Added Lions senior Ty Yoder, “I know our 2020 team would have gotten a championship, but I guess we’ll have to do it for them.”

Ty Yoder (17.6 ppg) certainly did his part on Friday, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 19 points to combine with Cade Crutcher’s 20 for well over half of the Cougars’ points. Jacob Barker was the Cougars’ third player to score in double figures with 13 points.

Resurrection Christian led 27-22 at halftime despite and incredible effort by Jordan Wenger, who is fourth in all of Class 4A averaging 19.6 points per game. Wenger went 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 15 points in the first half for The Classical Academy.

But in the second half, the Cougars, who have won 11 straight games, held Wenger to two points and eventually outscored the Titans by 16 points in the fourth quarter to pull away.

“Our three keys were to contain No. five (Wenger) and make it really hard to him,” Yoder said. “In the first half, the guy was unbelievable. Five for five from three and we were on every one of them. I think he had two in the second half. We wanted to outrebound them and be super patient on offense. I feel like our team executed our team brilliantly.”

Resurrection Christian will play the winner of No. 3 Alamosa and No. 6 Lutheran in the Final Four next Saturday.


(6) Lutheran 65, (3) Alamosa 56 (OT)

(Dan Mohrmann/

The Lutheran boys basketball team won the Class 3A state title in 2021 but despite the recency of that title, not a single player on this current roster was even a bench player for that championship run.

Still, the Lions showed plenty of championship poise on Thursday.

Against No. 3 Alamosa (21-4) in the Class 4A Great 8 at the Denver Coliseum, the sixth-seeded Lions (18-8) came from behind to force overtime and eventually pulled off a 65-56 overtime victory and punched their ticket to the Final Four.

“It’s awesome for them,” Lions head coach Bill Brandsma said. “I’m excited for the boys to experience this. None of the guys were on the bench two years ago when we made that run and this is the stuff you remember forever. This is all new but, obviously, we didn’t come this far just to get this far.

“We’ve been working on in-game situations in practice and yesterday, ironically, we worked on being down three with a minute and 15 (second) left and I think it was a minute and three today and we were down three. The guys were composed in that, they were resilient, and they’ve been that all year. I’m just proud of them. They showed nothing but fight so I tried to just get out of the way and let them play.”

Lutheran junior Braydon Jacob, Class 4A’s third leading scorer averaging over 20 points per game, led all scorers with 19 points. Lions junior Lalo Gonzales scored 12 and Tucker Monroe added 10 points for the Lions.

The Alamosa Mean Moose had four players – Kade Jones (13), Luke Chritensen (11), Brant Jackson (10) and Jayr Almelda (10) – score in double figures.

Lutheran will face No. 2 Resurrection Christian in the Final Four next Thursday.

Alamosa has won five total boys basketball state titles but last claimed the championship in 1992.