Windsor girls basketball punches its ticket to 4A state title game

LAKEWOOD — Windsor will play for the Class 4A girls basketball state championship Sunday at the World Arena in Colorado Springs.

The No. 3-seeded Wizards defeated No. 2 Green Mountain 70-44 on the Rams’ home court Thursday night. It’s the first girls basketball title game appearance for Windsor since the program won the 4A championship in 1994.

“This means so much. We were so ready and excited,” Windsor junior Alexis Backhaus said. “We’ve been ready since June. We’ve been doing things since then to prepare. This is what we were meant to do this season.”

Windsor senior Kylie Sanger (3) bring the ball down the court while being guarded by Green Mountain sophomore Jayda Maves. Sanger poured in four 3-pointers to help the Wizards to a 70-44 victory in the Class 4A state semifinal. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Windsor faces No. 4 Mullen (16-2 record) in the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday. The Mustangs dominated No. 2 Holy Family 75-50 in the other semifinal.

“Mullen is a really good team,” Windsor junior Olivia Reed said about the title game Sunday. “We are just going to do what we’ve been doing. We’ll stay together and take it on as a team.”

The Wizards (16-1) took on the previously undefeated Rams on Green Mountain’s home court. Green Mountain led 9-8 through a sluggish first quarter for both teams offensive, but Windsor turned it on in the second quarter.

Backhaus poured in a pair of early baskets in the third quarter. Reed powered her way inside to put Windsor up 14-11 with 4:55 left in the second quarter. Then it was senior Kylie Sanger's turn to get going offensively with a pair of 3-pointers before the midway point of the second quarter.

“We are super in shape,” Backhaus said of the Wizards outscoring the Rams 43-26 in the second and third quarters. “We just kept running and pushing. We kept running our offense like we do every game.”

Backhaus (23 points), Sanger (14 points) and Reed (20 points) carried the load offensively combining for 57 points. Backhaus and Sanger poured in three 3-pointers each during the middle quarters. Reed dominated down low to help the Wizards to an eighth straight victory.

“My teammates do a really good job of getting me good looks,” said Reed, who scored most of her points in the paint. “It was awesome.”

Green Mountain's lone senior — Courtney Hank (33) — played her final game of her prep career Thursday night. Hank finished with more to 1,000 points and 600 rebounds during her stellar 4-year career with the Rams. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics) 

It was a heartbreaking loss for Green Mountain (17-1). The Rams were undefeated going into the state semifinal game. Green Mountain’s last loss came a year ago when the Rams lost in the 4A state semifinal against Holy Family.

“Windsor is on a different level for now,” Green Mountain coach Darren Pitzner said. “It’s something our next senior class and our underclassmen can emulate and shoot for. I’m excited about where Green Mountain is going.”

The Rams have a 41-4 record over the past two seasons that included the program’s first state semifinal appearances.

“I’m really excited about the whole Green Mountain community that they’ve got a program from our 2nd-graders all the way up to our seniors to be proud of and motivated to see what they can accomplish,” Pitzner said.

Green Mountain graduates just one senior in Courtney Hank. Last year’s 4A Jeffco League MVP finished her career with more than 1,000 points and 600 rebounds.

“I’ve been lucky to coach a special senior in Courtney,” Pitzner said. “She has been the foundation of the turnaround of this program and the face of this program.”

Green Mountain senior Courtney Hank, left, and Windsor junior Olivia Reed tip things off during the Class 4A state semifinal game Thursday night at Green Mountain High School. Windsor got the road victory to set-up a showdown against Mullen in the 4A state championship game Sunday, March 21, at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)