Carter Basquez’s looping lay-in beat the clock and thus saved the season for Smoky Hill during last week’s quarterfinals at the Denver Coliseum.

Down 62-61 after Mountain Vista’s Oliver Junker finished off a 3-point play with 4.4 seconds remaining, the Buffaloes went the length of the court to advance to the final weekend of the high school basketball season.

With time about gone, Lorenzo Contreras took the inbounds pass and fed Basquez around the top of the arc. The Buffaloes sophomore got around one defender with a dribble, then pulled himself up and around a pair of outstretched hands in the paint. An easy finish — it wasn’t.

Too far right of the backboard to play it at the rim or off the glass, his right-handed flick fell somewhere between an exaggerated layup and the game’s forgotten hook shot. Whatever works to survive as the Final Four is now set in the 6A, 5A and 4A classifications.

All games will be played back at the Coliseum.

Class 6A

No. 4 ThunderRidge vs. No. 8 Eaglecrest; Friday 5:45 p.m.: The Grizzlies (21-5) held their first two opponents in the playoffs under 50 points, then got a game-winning basket in overtime from Tommy Wight in their 62-60 win over No. 5 Rock Canyon.

Eyeing a chance to play Saturday for their third state title in four seasons, they bring with them a stingy defense and a dynamic, three-headed offensive attack of Charlie Spann (19.4 PPG), Wight (14.9), and Andrew Crawford (14.2) against Eaglecrest (20-6).

The Raptors beat No. 1 Fruita Monument behind 18 points and 13 rebounds from 6-9 center Garrett Barger (12 PPG, 6.6 RPG) and 15 points from their leading scorer, Ladavian King (17.3).

No. 6 Valor Christian vs. No. 7 Smoky Hill; Friday at 7:15 p.m.: The Eagles (24-2) have been the most dominant team in the bracket so far, beating their first three opponents by 21 PPG.

Cole Scherer (21.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.2 APG) has 73 points, 28 rebounds and 18 assists in these playoffs for Valor Christian.

Kevin Sylla (13.4 PPG) scored 21 over his last two playoff games for the Buffaloes (20-6).

Class 5A

No. 1 Northfield vs. No. 4 Mesa Ridge; Thursday at 4 p.m.: The Nighthawks (24-2) rallied from nine points down heading into the fourth quarter of the quarterfinals game against No. 8 Mead, beating the Mavs 61-52.

Justus Michael (16.7 PPG) had 14 in that win and has averaged 16.3 PPG this postseason.

Northfield will need to knock out the defending champs to advance to Saturday’s finals.

The Grizzlies (24-2) have been led by senior Tevin Riehl (18.7 PPG), who has scored 56 points on 61% shooting in these playoffs.

No. 2 Vista PEAK Prep vs. No. 3 Windsor; Thursday at 12:45 p.m.: The Bison (22-4) beat the Wizards (22-4), 65-48, Dec.14. The teams have split four meetings dating back to 2020.

Madden Smiley (16.8 PPG) had 31 points in Windsor’s quarterfinals win over No. 6 Lewis-Palmer.

Kyree Polk (12.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG) had 17 points and 16 boards in the Bisons’ quarterfinals win over Ponderosa.

Class 4A

No. 1 Kent Denver vs. No. 5 Colorado Academy; Friday 12:45 p.m.: Neither team has had a close game in the postseason so far.

Caleb Fay (21.2 PPG) has 80 points in three playoff games for the Sun Devils (24-2), which included 34 points on 12-of-14 shooting in Round 1.

George Buyers (16.7 PPG) has 53 points this postseason for the Mustangs (21-5).

Kent Denver leads the series 22-6 dating back to 2006.

No. 2 Resurrection Christian vs. No. 3; Friday 4 p.m. Lutheran: Lutheran leads the series 13-8 dating back to 2005, with its latest win over Resurrection Christian coming Jan. 13, 70-64.

The Cougars (24-2), however, beat the Lions in last year’s semifinals, 64-53. In that meeting, Rez’s Ty Yoder (12.8 PPG) and Lutheran’s Braydon Jacob (21.2 PPG), both who have been good in these playoffs, tied for a game-high 17 points.

In the quarterfinals, Rez beat No. 7 DSST: Montview by 18. Lutheran (23-3) won by 34 over No. 6 Riverdale Ridge.