DENVER -- D’Evelyn’s one-two punch of junior Grant Witherspoon and senior Ty McGee was enough to win Round 2 with rival Golden on Friday night in boys hoops action.
Witherspoon and McGee combined for 37 points in a 68-50 victory in a Class 4A Jeffco League showdown of two teams ranked in the top-10 of the 4A boys basketball CHSAANow.com poll on D’Evelyn’s home court.
“When we got off Christmas Break we didn’t look ahead from anyone we had to play, but we’ve been talking about Golden for three weeks straight,” Witherspoon said. “We worked our butts off for this moment.”
Golden scored a 77-67 victory from D’Evelyn in the championship game of the 2013 D’Evelyn/Golden Preview Classic back on Dec. 7.
Early on Friday night it looked like it could be a repeat with Golden jumping out to an early lead just like it did a month ago.
“For some reason Golden always comes out so focused and we not really there. I’m not sure what it is,” D’Evelyn coach Troy Pachner said. “I think today it wasn’t lack of effort. We just were a little overhyped. It was a great crowd for the first time this year and guys were a little tight.”
After trailing 8-4 after the first quarter, D’Evelyn picked it up offensively with Witherspoon leading the charge. The junior scored 11 points in the second quarter as the Jaguars took a 25-24 lead going into halftime.
It was more of the same in the third quarter. McGee scored eight of his 17 points and Witherspoon added seven of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter. D’Evelyn outscored Golden 24-11 in the third quarter.
It wasn’t all McGee and Witherspoon. Senior Brian Smith finished with 11 points, including two 3-pointers. Seniors Nate Flack, Trent Walker and junior Christian Denton finished with five points each.
“We have two exceptional players (McGee and Witherspoon), but I think the fallacy is that is all we have,” Pachner said. “They might set the table, but we had other kids hit shots. I’m proud of how we played tonight.”
Sophomore Nick Capaul’s 17 points off the bench led Golden. Sophomore Ryan Blodgett had a quick start scoring all eight of the Demons’ first quarter points, but he cooled off and finished with 10 points.
“We could have had a pretty good lead in that first quarter,” Golden coach John Anderson said. “We just tried to force it inside too many times. We were too impatient.”
Another thing that hurt the Demons was the loss of junior guard Ryan Thistlewood, who didn’t play in the second half after suffering an injury. Thistlewood scored six points before leaving the game.
It’s highly likely Golden and D’Evelyn will be in the mix for the Class 4A Jeffco League title when the conference schedule winds down six weeks from now. Golden (8-3,1-1 in league) was ranked No. 7 in this week’s CHSAANow.com 4A boys basketball poll, while D’Evelyn (7-2, 2-0) sat in the No. 8 slot.
Friday night was the second of what will for sure be at least three meetings on the hardwood between Golden and D’Evelyn.
The third meeting and second league battle will be Feb. 11 at Golden High School.
“Our goal is obviously a league championship,” Anderson said. “We’ve got to take care of business for that game to mean something toward the end of the year. The rubber match will be back at our place and we’ve got to be a lot better.”
Of course there is always a chance the two rivals could face each other in the 4A state tournament.
D’Evelyn continues its 14-game league schedule on the road against Alameda at 7 p.m. Jan. 15.
“It’s going to be a tougher league this year than last year, but we feel real good about ourselves,” Witherspoon said.
Golden gets back into action when it hosts Conifer at 7 p.m. Jan. 15.