For the first time in program history, the Mead High School girls basketball team has made it to the Final Four in the class 4A tournament.
Head coach JR Sagner explained that at the beginning of the season, the team outlined their goals on a whiteboard. Making it to the final four and the Denver Coliseum — where those games are hosted — was one of those goals.
“The girls are pretty excited to check that one off,” he said.
The Mavericks are going into the Final Four at 21-5 overall and 7-2 in league. They are ranked fifth in the tournament.
“We’re excited where our program has grown from,” Sagner said. “I mean, four years ago this program won six games. The work and the effort that the kids put in in the off season and the summer is really kind of starting to show itself, so it’s fun to be part of.”
In the Great 8, the girls beat the Severance Knights 64-46 on Friday at home. Earlier in the season, the Mavericks had won against Severance by more than 40 points, so Sagner said the challenge was keeping the team focused knowing that the outcome would likely be closer this time.
He highlighted the performances of junior Kyra Haan and senior Maddox Boston, who scored 25 and 21 points in the game respectively. Boston topped the team for rebounds with seven followed by Haan with six.
“Really it was team basketball,” Sagner added. “We have a team that averages quite a bit of points — in the 40s — and if we can do that defensively we’re in pretty good shape.”
The Mavericks face the undefeated and No. 1 ranked Windsor Wizards at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Denver Coliseum. The girls have fallen twice to Windsor this season, losing 58-46 in January and 60-38 in February.
“We’re excited to get another shot at them,” Sagner said. “We lost twice to them but feel like we competed both times. So I think we’ll have some game plans put in place and we’ll be ready to go.”
Sanger said the team is getting ready for the game with a focus on preparing for the defensive pressure Windsor will be bringing. He added that he feels confident about their chances for this game.
“I think our coaching staff and our kids feel the same on this,” Sagner said. “We said when we lost to them the first time that we all want to see them again in the Final Four. This is the side of the bracket we wanted to be on.”
If Mead is victorious, the girls will return to the Coliseum on Saturday for the championship against either No. 2 Mullen High School (19-6) or No. 6 Green Mountain High School (24-2), who play first on Thursday.