DENVER — D’Evelyn’s boys basketball team might have had the win Jan. 15 to jumpstart its season.
The Jaguars (6-8, 2-1 in Class 4A Jeffco League) upset then No. 10 ranked Green Mountain in an overtime thriller at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. D’Evelyn was able to pull away in overtime to grab a 68-62 victory.
“I’ve been waiting for this team to show up and put it all together,” D’Evelyn coach Dan Zinn said. “It wasn’t all together today, but we were a heck of a lot closer than we’ve been. On both ends of the court we were getting done what we wanted to get accomplished.”
Senior Sandy Dinegar (23 points) and junior Luke Kjellsen (22 points) carried the offensive load for the Jaguars. D’Evelyn held a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter thanks to Dinegar’s 14 points before halftime.
“They both are playing well,” Zinn said of Dinegar and Kjellsen. “Both have multiple facets to their game that makes it hard for them to be stopped.”
Kjellsen did most of his damage in the second half. The junior’s 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Jaguars the lead back after Green Mountain (9-4, 2-2) went on a 12-0 run.
“Green Mountain is a really good team,” Zinn said. “We had the first-quarter run, but basketball is a game of runs. We were able to withstand their run.”
The Rams had the ball in the final seconds of the fourth quarter with a chance to win it in regulation. However, an acrobatic driving shot by freshman Jaylin Hardwrict (16 points) didn’t fall and the put-back attempt by senior Matt Schlieper didn’t drop in.
“We have to finish,” Green Mountain coach Mike Puccio said. “There was a lot missed at the rim tonight.”
It was all Jaguars in the overtime period. D’Evelyn made just one field goal, but was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line to close out the win. Kjellsen finished 13-of-16 from the free-throw line, all in the second half.
“I had a rough beginning the season with free throws. I was shooting something like 40 percent,” Kjellsen said. “I knew if we were going to win big games we had to make free throws.”
D’Evelyn students there were in attendance rushed the court to celebrate with its players after the big conference win.
“We’ve had a rough go of it. I think our effort was kind of lacking,” Kjellsen said of the 4-8 record coming into Wednesday’s game. “Tonight I think we showed as a team that we can play four quarters of basketball hard and we can beat anybody.”
Green Mountain has dropped 3-of-4 games since Winter Break. Junior guard Darius Padilla has been out with a health issue for all three of the Rams’ losses since the start of the new year, which has contributed to the Rams’ turnover problems.
“We miss him,” Puccio said of Padilla. “But it’s got to be next man up. You can’t just stop winning games because Padilla is out. He does bring a lot for us, but it’s got to be next man up.”
Dennis Pleuss is a media specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com
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