D’Evelyn girls clinch 5A/4A Jeffco League title

No. 3 D’Evelyn girls clinch 5A/4A Jeffco League title
Posted on 02/08/2023
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Written by: Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Sports Information

LITTLETON — D’Evelyn became the first girls basketball team in the state to reach the 20-win mark this season on Wednesday night.

The Jaguars — No. 3 in the Class 4A CHSAANow.com rankings — continued their perfect season with a 45-31 road victory against Dakota Ridge. Even more significant, D’Evelyn (20-0, 10-0 in league) officially clinched the 5A/4A Jeffco League title win the victory.

“This means a lot,” D’Evelyn junior Peyton Marvel said after she dropped a game-high 25 points in the victory. “We talked about it at the beginning of the year that it was one of our big goals to win league. It’s only our fifth league title in the program’s history. It’s awesome to be a part of it.”

The Jaguars were a little surprised that they could take home the league plaque. D’Evelyn still has a conference game left Friday night against Green Mountain (14-6, 8-2), but the Jaguars have a 1-game lead over Littleton (15-5, 9-1) with one league game left and D’Evelyn holds the tiebreaker over the Lions.

“We honestly didn’t expected it,” Marvel said of Patrick Simpson — Executive Director of Athletics and Activities for Jeffco Public Schools — presenting the league plaque to the Jaguars following the victory. “We thought we might get it on Friday, but it was awesome.”

It’s the first girls basketball conference title for the Jaguars since D’Evelyn won four straight 4A Jeffco champions from 2012-2015.

“When you win a couple, then you have to watch Valor, Evergreen and Green Mountain win them it’s a motivating factor,” D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson said. “You just want to get back on top.”

Valor won four straight 5A Jeffco League titles and are closing in claiming the 6A Jeffco title this season. Evergreen won back-to-back 4A league titles in 2018 and 2019. Green Mountain had reeled off three 4A conference titles in a row 2020-2022. D’Evelyn ended the Rams’ string on Wednesday night.

With the addition of the 6A classification for the current 2-year cycle, D’Evelyn is actually playing in the mix 5A/4A Jeffco League and will play in the 4A tournament that starts up in less than two weeks.

“There is a little bit of pride being the smaller school against the bigger schools,” said Olson, who coached Green Mountain’s boys soccer team to a league title 27 years ago when the Rams had just moved up to the largest classification. “It is a little extra motivating factor and special for the kids.”

After Friday night’s game against Green Mountain, the Jaguars complete their regular-season schedule with games Feb. 15 and Feb. 17 as a part of the end-of-season tournament.

It’s likely D’Evelyn would grab a top-4 seed for the 32-team 4A state tournament that is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 21.

“I love it,” Olson said of facing tough competition in Green Mountain and a mix of the other top-4 teams in the conference next week before heading into playoffs. “It will be fun and keep things competitive down the stretch. That is what you want.”

Dakota Ridge is right on the bubble to make the 32-team 5A state tournament. The Eagles were No. 34 in the RPI standings before Wednesday’s loss to D’Evelyn. Dakota Ridge closes out its league schedule at Pomona on Friday night before its two extra regular-season games Feb. 15 and 17.

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