Arvada West girls hoops defeats Golden in season opener

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 2/16/21

ARVADA — Arvada West junior Amanda Neff started right where she left off last season. Neff buried a 3-pointer from the corner on the opening offensive possession for the Wildcats on Jan. 25 to …

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Arvada West girls hoops defeats Golden in season opener

Posted

ARVADA — Arvada West junior Amanda Neff started right where she left off last season.

Neff buried a 3-pointer from the corner on the opening offensive possession for the Wildcats on Jan. 25 to start the 2021 girls basketball season for A-West. Neff did a little bit of everything during the 55-21 home victory over Golden, including dishing out some handful of nice assists after she went cold from the floor.

“I realized I was struggling with shooting,” said Neff, who finished with 11 points. “Instead of forcing it and trying to take it myself I should see the open players and get some easy baskets.”

It looked easy for the Wildcats at times getting out to a 15-0 lead on the Demons through the first quarter. However, Golden senior Maree Lenz poured in 10 points in the second quarter to trim the Wildcats’ lead to 26-11 at halftime.

“It wasn’t pretty. Maybe I was expecting too much,” A-West coach Brady Meeks said. “The girls knew I wasn’t pleased with that first half. We have to be more consistent with the little things.”

A-West’s defense locked down Golden to a tune of just three points in the third quarter and sophomore Ellie Pugliese got rolling with five points in the quarter. In fact, six different A-West players scored in the third quarter to get the Wildcats back on track.

“There was a change in the energy,” Neff said after halftime when the Wildcats outscored the Demons 17-3 to grab a 43-14 lead going into the final quarter.

The Wildcats had eight different scorers as A-West continued its trend set last year of having a good balanced scoring attack.

“What I love about this group is it’s all nine,” Meeks said. “Every single one of these girls have the ability to do things and create things for this team. It’s a very unselfish group.”

A-West (2-0 record) stayed perfect on the season with a 51-39 home victory over Boulder on Jan. 29. While Valor Christian and Ralston Valley appear to be the frontrunners in the Class 5A Jeffco League, A-West could be a darkhorse to get into the race for the conference title.

“We gave a lot of effort and were passionate,” Neff said. “We struggled with some of the easy things like finishing (shots) and rebounding. I think we’ll be looking good this season if we just settle in.”

Golden (0-2) has a lot of new facing including first-year coach Jonathon Sena. The Demons dove into their 4A Jeffco League schedule this week with games against Alameda, Green Mountain and Evergreen.

Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.

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