DENVER – For fans watching ThunderRidge and Rock Canyon for the first time in Thursday’s Class 6A boys basketball Great 8 clash, it was a thrilling display of what the Continental League has to offer.

For the Grizzlies and Jaguars, it was just another Thursday.

This was the kind of game that both teams were accustomed to in the regular season and it’s only fitting that they had one more epic showdown at the Denver Coliseum, this one seeing the Grizzlies get a 62-60 overtime win.

The game-winner came as Andrew Crawford attacked the basket, forcing a double team and he smoothly dropped the ball to Tommy Wight with under 10 seconds left on the clock.

“All game on those ball screens they would double me, and I would come off and I’d have nothing there,” Crawford said. “I told Tommy to start diving to down to the rim. He got at least six buckets on that.”

None more important than the final one.

The win gives gets the Grizzlies back into the Final 4 after losing in the first round of the state tournament last year. ThunderRidge won the 5A state title in 2021 and 2022 and is no stranger to playing in the Coliseum on the final weekend of the year.

And there’s a chance that the Jags are their toughest test in the stretch. The Grizzlies held a lead through most of the fourth quarter, but Kasen Lehman knocked down three free throws to tie the game and send it into overtime. The teams traded baskets for the extra period, but it was Crawford dishing to Wight in the closing seconds that kept ThunderRidge’s season alive for another week.

Valor Christian 66, Chaparral 46

(Doug Ottewill/

A second-half explosion of offense has Valor Christian a game away from a state title game. The Eagles turned a five-point halftime lead into double digits in the blink of an eye. Then went on autopilot from that point on to advance to the Final 4.

Ryan Dixon led all scorers with 19 points and survived early foul trouble that had the benefit of keeping him fresh in the second half.

“I got two early fouls in the first quarter,” Dixon said. “I just had to sit and my coach just me rest and get ready for the second half. We brought it. We brought it today.”

Cole Scherer had 19 and Eli Kim had 13 for the Eagles. Gavin Carter led the Wolverines with 19 while Christian Williams had 16.

Valor awaits the winner of Mountain Vista and Smoky Hill, which is the nightcap of the slate of 6A games at the Coliseum. The Eagles beat Mountain Vista earlier in the year and fell to Smoky Hill.

This is the first appearance in the Final 4 for the Eagles since the 2020 when they made the 5A semifinals. Unfortunately they didn’t get to play that game as the tournament ended early because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That won’t be the case this year and the Eagles will get their chance to get to the state title game next weekend.