D’Evelyn rallies from double-digit deficit

D’Evelyn rallies from double-digit deficit to edge Golden in OT
Posted on 01/05/2022
This is the image for the news article titled D’Evelyn rallies from double-digit deficit to edge Golden in OTwritten by:  Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Sports Information

DENVER — The path for boys basketball teams in Class 4A Jeffco League can be like driving on the roads of Colorado at night during a winter snowstorm … the journey can be long and treacherous a times, but if navigated correctly you can get to your destination.

The 16-game conference schedule is at just the beginning, but D’Evelyn (5-2, 2-0 in 4A Jeffco) navigated its first icy curve with a come-from-behind 74-62 overtime victory. The Jaguars stayed undefeated in conference play with the home league victory over Golden (4-4, 0-1).

The Demons took a 42-32 lead with 3:47 left in the third quarter when senior Richie Pruett made a free throw, giving Golden its largest lead of the game. However, D’Evelyn battled back behind seniors Max Grant (20 points), Bodhi Anderson (17 points), Troy Benko (14 points) and Braeden Scheer (14 points) to rally for the win.

Grant did most of his damage in the fourth quarter pouring a 10 points. His biggest play was making a driving layup and then quickly stealing the inbound pass for another layup for essentially a 4-point play.

“That was cool,” Grant said play midway through the fourth quarter that cut Golden’s lead to 54-53. “I got the layup and then hid behind the guy, snuck in there and finish again.”

Junior Nick Vacanti drained a huge 3-pointer for the Jaguars with just over a minute to play in regulation-time to tie things up at 60-60.

“We haven’t been a very good perimeter shooting team,” D’Evelyn coach Will Gosch admitted. “Tonight it was nice to see guys able to share the ball and when we needed guys knocked down shots they did.”

In the first minute of the 4-minute overtime period the hot outside shooting continued for the Jaguars. Scheer made his fourth 3-pointer of the night and Anderson canned his third shot from long range to open up a 66-60 lead in overtime. 

“I think we had some momentum going into overtime,” Grant said. “We started out with two quick 3s and it was over from there.”

D’Evelyn was without leading scorer in junior Elijah Gusmus, but Gosch was pleased with how his team adapted and finished with four players in double-digit points.

“The kids stepping up for guys who weren’t here just shows that we’ve got some depth. That’s nice to have,” Gosch said. “Everyone should be back when we play Alameda.”

Golden was also a little shortened too and received a scare with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter. Pruett injured his pinky finger on his left hand going after a loose ball and missed about a minute of action.

“It was dislocated for a quick second. It’s the first time that has ever happened to me,” Pruett said of the untimely injury late in the fourth quarter. “I thought I just jammed it and then I looked down at it. Luckily, D’Evelyn’s trainer was able to pop it back it and I was able to go.”

Pruett finished with a game-high 23 points. Seniors Zach Weiler (14 points) and James Lacey (12 points) had nice games, but it wasn’t enough.

“This is our first league taste against one of our best league opponents,” Pruett said. “I think the next time we play them we’ll be a different team and hopefully get the win at home.”

Golden is scheduled to be back on the court against rival Wheat Ridge for another big league game at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7. D’Evelyn is on the road against Alameda International that same night in an attempt to start 3-0 in league.

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