Senior Lauren Betts, left, and the Grandview girls basketball team celebrate after the final buzzer of their 65-51 win over Highlands Ranch in a Class 5A girls basketball state semifinal on March 10, 2022, at Denver Coliseum. The third-seeded Wolves will face No. 1 Valor Christian Saturday at the same venue for the state championship. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | Hustle and defense were two things the Grandview girls basketball team was determined to bring into Thursday night’s Class 5A semifinal showdown with Highlands Ranch, no matter the result.

The third-seeded Wolves excelled at both of those things for a full 48 minutes at the Denver Coliseum and combined with big performances from seniors Lauren Betts and Marya Hudgins it was plenty to get them back into the state championship game.

Betts finished with 22 points and Hudgins 21 as Grandview led from start to finish in a 65-51 victory that got the program to the state championship game for the first time since 2020 — when it was wiped out due to the coronavirus pandemic — and for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

Awaiting the Wolves in Saturday’s 5 p.m. final is top-seeded Valor Christian, which downed Grandview’s fellow Centennial League team, No. 5 Arapahoe, in the earlier semifinal.

Senior Amaya Charles and freshman Sienna Betts added 11 points apiece for coach Josh Ulitzky’s Wolves in the semifinal, which they led from start to finish against the Falcons, who had their 17-game winning streak snapped and lost in the semifinals for the four consecutive season.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

(3) GRANDVIEW 65, (2) HIGHLANDS RANCH 51

Score by quarters:

Grandview  19  14  17  15 — 65

High. Ranch  8  14  15  14 — 51

GRANDVIEW (65)

Amaya Charles 3 2-2 11, Sienna Betts 4 3-6 11, Gabrielle Cunningham 0 0-3 0, Marya Hudgins 7 5-5 21, Lauren Betts 8 6-8 22, Paetyn Lewis 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 16-24 65.

HIGHLANDS RANCH (51)

Tori Baker 2 1-2 5, Katie Johanning 1 1-2 4, Emily Hovasse 8 2-2 21, Alex Pirog 6 0-0 12, Taylor Ray 0 0-0 0, Ezra Simonich 3 2-2 9, Maddie Groth 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 6-8 51.

3-point field goalsGrandview (5): Amaya Charles 3, Marya Hudgins 2; Highlands Ranch (5): Emily Hovasse 3, Katie Johanning, Ezra Simonich. Total fouls — Grandview 10, Highlands Ranch 17. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.

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