BROOMFIELD - The Holy Family boys basketball team has turned into a powerhouse in the Class 3A, and the squad proved its dominance in the Class 3A regional tournament.
Holy Family rolled by Buena Vista, 63-30, and Manitou Springs, 48-21, at the regional tournament last weekend to advance to the state tournament — which will be played at Moby Arena on the CSU campus in Fort Collins. The Tigers, who are the No. 3 seed, will open the state bracket against Eaton on Thursday. Holy Family defeated Eaton 56-47 earlier this season and the boys’ 3A state title game is scheduled for Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
The Tigers advanced to the Great Eight last season, but lost to Kent Denver 29-26 and Holy Family finished the season falling to Valley 54-41 in the third-place game.
This season, Holy Family used its defense to advance out of the regional round. The Tigers held Buena Vista to only seven first-half points on Friday and only allowed Manitou Springs to score five points in the second half.
“We are a defensive team,” Holy Family coach Pete Villecco said. “We emphasize defense and toughness.”
That defensive prowess has been a big reason for Holy Family’s success this season, and on Saturday the Tigers defense was arguably its best all season.
Holy Family only allowed Manitou Springs to shoot 19 percent from the field and outscored the Mustangs 40-9 over the final three quarters. It was the seventh time this season that the Tigers, who go into the state tournament, have allowed fewer than 30 points a game.
Like most of the season it was a team effort for the Tigers. Junior Devlin Granberg led the way for the Tigers with 13 points, while Austin Brown and David Sommers each had nine points. Senior Jarron Sprenger didn’t score any points for Holy Family, but grabbed a team-high eight boards.
“It’s a team effort and the coaching staff preaches defense,” Sommers said. “And (Saturday) it was exceptional. We’ve been working hard at practice and it is paying off.”
Friday it was much of the same for the Tigers, who only allowed the Demons to make two baskets in the first half.
The Tigers jumped out to a 10-4 lead after the first quarter and then pushed their lead to 28-7 at the half. Holy Family also outscored Buena Vista 35-23 in the second half. Sommers led the way with 14 points, while sophomore Nick Kruetzer added 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Ten different players scored for the Tigers in the game.