Cougar boys hoops staves off D’Evelyn’s late run

Cougar boys hoops staves off D'Evelyn late run
Posted on 01/09/2019
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By Alissa Noe

 — When it comes to streaky basketball, sometimes a team’s runs are just too little, too late.
On Thursday night at Evergreen High School, the Cougar boys basketball team stayed strong as the visiting D’Evelyn Jaguars ignited a charge from behind the arc in the second half to erase a major deficit. Evergreen won 52-45.

For Evergreen, a win like that was a long time coming.
“I was (happy) for probably about 75 percent,” Cougar head coach Jeff Dolan said. “I knew this was going to be a tough game. D’Evelyn, they’re well-coached, and they scared me because they press — which they didn’t do too much tonight, but I was a little worried about that. I thought we shot the ball well, finally. We just need to learn how to finish games. I think it’s just our immaturity right now.”

Sophomore Griffin Lauritano led the Cougars with 16 points, and D’Evelyn senior Dan Brady led his Jaguars with 17. It was D’Evelyn junior Cam Jahr, however, who sparked the turning point of the game.

After D’Evelyn went down by as much as 22 points, 38-16, midway through the third quarter, Jahr had had enough. In the final three and a half minutes of that frame, he drained three triples to help bring the score to 42-25. In the fourth, senior Evan Willis caught on to that trend as he, Jahr and Dan Brady continued the offensive barrage against the Cougars.

“I just think the team needed a lift, and I was there to supply it. That gave the rest of the team a lift, and that created a great comeback when we were down,” Jahr said. “I think we needed that. I think we need to carry that on throughout the whole entire game as a team because if we do, we’ll be unstoppable.”

With the win, Evergreen improved to 7-2 before a 55-48 loss to Golden on Saturday. The Cougars struggled at the free throw line and couldn’t contain the Demons’ offense, even though Dolan said his team came in “very prepared.”

“I think we wanted to get a good start on league, show everybody else in Jeffco that we’re here to compete and also keep our win streak going into the second half of the season,” Lauritano said.

So far, the Cougars are off to a pretty good start in 4A Jeffco play.

As for D’Evelyn, head coach Dan Zinn was thrilled to see a fight in his boys that had been somewhat lacking up to that point. It’s something he hopes the Jaguars can capitalize on moving forward.

“It’s nice to have a group of kids that doesn’t quit. They all keep on fighting. I don’t think we showed up in the first part of the game, and we dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t climb out of,” Zinn said. “I think we woke up, we started to believe that we could play with these guys, and we don’t like to lose. It’s a competitive group, and they want to win. They want to win badly, and they’re going to fight for it.”
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