DENVER — Two defensive stands by Golden in the final minute proved to be the difference in a Top-15 Class 4A boys basketball showdown. Golden — No. 15 in this week’s CHSAANow.com 4A boys hoops …
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DENVER — Two defensive stands by Golden in the final minute proved to be the difference in a Top-15 Class 4A boys basketball showdown.
Golden — No. 15 in this week’s CHSAANow.com 4A boys hoops rankings — got a pair of huge defensive stops late to steal a 62-60 road victory against D’Evelyn on the Jaguars’ home court Feb. 12.
The loss dropped D'Evelyn to 24th in the hoops rankings, as of Feb. 15.
D’Evelyn junior Dwayne Johnson wasn’t able to get a jumper just outside the key to fall with about 30 seconds left and the Demons (6-2, 4-2 in 4A Jeffco) leading 61-60.
“As a team we have to play great defense,” said Golden sophomore Alan Acevedo, who had Johnson one-on-one on the final two offensive possessions for the Jaguars. “He (Johnson) was very good and we just had to stop him.”
After Golden junior Luke Anderson made 1-of-2 free throws with 16 seconds left to extend the lead to 62-60, D’Evelyn had one final chance to send the game into overtime.
The Jaguars (5-2, 3-2) tried to get the ball into Johnson, who finished with a game-high 19 points, but Acevedo knocked the ball away on an entry pass for Johnson.
“With about a minute to go we told Alan don’t let Johnson touch the ball,” Golden coach Luo Vullo said. “Alan got right on him. They did a good job to pull this one out.”
The Jaguars were able to grab the loose ball, but a driving layup by D’Evelyn junior Max Grant wouldn’t fall and the Jaguars couldn’t get another shot up before the final buzzer sounded.
“We take away experience,” said D’Evelyn coach Will Gosch, a former assistant at D’Evelyn who spent a few years at Bear Creek before returning to D’Evelyn to take over the head coaching job. “Not having the spring and summer to go over situations like this tonight hurts.”
The Jaguars trailed by 6 points heading into the fourth quarter, but went on an 11-0 run to grab the lead. Golden didn’t score until nearly 4 minutes into the final quarter when junior Richie Pruett hit a 3-pointer to get the Demons back on track.
Junior Logan Brewer had a pair of buckets for the Demons in the final quarter as D’Evelyn’s defense held Golden to just three make field goals in the final 8 minutes.
However, Golden was a solid 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final quarter to take the win.
“These kids have fight in them. They don’t stop,” Vullo said. “They are super coachable. They are young and inexperienced.”
Sophomore Aliou Diallo led the Demons with 16 points. Acevedo, Brewer and Pruett also finished in double-digits to put Golden on a 3-game winning streak heading into its final two conference games.
Golden closes out its league schedule next week against Standley Lake (Monday) and Conifer (Wednesday). The Demons get a chance to redeem themselves from earlier conference losses against Evergreen and Green Mountain before the start of the postseason, but both of those game won’t be counted in the conference standings.
“We want to get enough wins to get enough RPI points to get into the state tournament,” Vullo said. “If we get into the tournament we could be popping on all cylinders.”
The 4A Jeffco League has shown off its depth so far this season. Evergreen, Golden, Green Mountain and D’Evelyn were all inside the top-15 of the 4A rankings.
This week will be huge for D’Evelyn. The Jaguars hosted No. 16 Green Mountain on Monday before hitting the road to face No. 4 Evergreen on Wednesday. D’Evelyn’s final conference game that will count toward the league standings comes Friday at home against Littleton.
“We love it,” Gosch said of the tough schedule next week. “We want the best competition. We love that we have Green Mountain on Monday. Then we get Evergreen at Evergreen. I think we will only get better.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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