ARVADA — Richie Pruett played in a handful of varsity games as a sophomore last season for Golden’s boys basketball team. Pruett scored 20 total points last season. He topped that Jan. 25 in the …
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ARVADA — Richie Pruett played in a handful of varsity games as a sophomore last season for Golden’s boys basketball team.
Pruett scored 20 total points last season. He topped that Jan. 25 in the Demons’ season opener pouring in a game-high 23 points as Golden took a 72-63 road victory against Arvada West.
“He (Pruett) has grown and matured. He has gotten a lot better,” Golden coach Lou Vullo said. “He is totally committed and bought in. He is much improved. There are a lot of guys here that are the exact same way.”
While the Demons graduated eight seniors from last year’s Class 4A Jeffco League championship team, Golden still is held in high regard. Golden was ranked No. 5 in the CHSAANow.com 4A boys basketball preseason poll.
“We knew going in that we have talent,” Pruett said.
Some returning talent is sophomore Alan Acevedo, who was an impact player as a freshman last year. Acevedo had a solid game against the Wildcats scoring 19 points despite struggling at the free-throw line going 4-for-10.
Golden made sure Acevedo had the ball in his hands down the stretch run after A-West cut the Demons’ nearly 20-point lead to single digits in the fourth quarter.
He (Acevedo) is super crafty and what I’m really proud of him is he worked on his body,” Vullo said. “He has gotten a lot stronger. That is going to help us down the stretch.”
Sophomore Aliou Diallo also had a nice game with 10 points and junior James Lacey pitched in eight points for the Demons who don’t have a single senior on the squad this year.
“It was what I expected. A little bit sloppy,” Vullo said. “We are young and inexperienced, but coming out and beating a 5A team that is pretty scrappy is good.”
A-West was led by the trio of Eli Ross, Zion Thomas and Carson Nichols. The three all reached double-figures, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Golden. The Demons were able to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length to close out the victory.
With the Jeffco Public Heath Department allowing just 50 people in gym due to the COVID pandemic to start the prep basketball season, it was a bit of a surreal atmosphere.
“With all the summer and fall stuff we did with no fans really prepared us for this,” Pruett said of playing in nearly an empty gym. “At the end it comes down to how we play. Not how the fans would influence how we play.”
With just 14 regular-season games, Vullo has stressed to his squad that they need to start fast and almost be in mid-season form right now.
“We want to make sure we stay together, get our practices in and stay healthy,” Pruett said. “We want to finish these six weeks out on top and get ready for playoffs. Get ready for a state run.”
Golden (2-0 record) has a couple of big games to end this week. The Demons host Green Mountain (1-1) on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and then hit the road to face Evergreen (1-1) on Friday, Feb. 5.
A-West (0-2) gets into conference play this week with games against Bear Creek, Pomona and Dakota Ridge.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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