DENVER -- It’s 31 and counting for D’Evelyn’s girls basketball team.
To say D’Evelyn has dominated the Class 4A Jeffco League in recent years is an understatement. The Jaguars extended their conference-winning streak to 31 games Friday night with a 34-27 home victory against rival Golden (5-6, 1-1 in league).
“We’ve talked about having a target on our back,” D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson said. “We are a lot of other teams’ measuring stick.”
The last league loss for D’Evelyn came to Wheat Ridge nearly three years ago on Jan. 21, 2011. Mallory Seemann was a freshman playing varsity for the Jaguars three years ago and still remembers the loss to the Farmers.
“We know we are going to get every team’s best,” said Seemann, who had seven points in the defensive struggle Friday night against Golden. “Hopefully we can keep it up and keep winning.”
The Jaguars -- 4A state runner-up the previous two years -- ended the 2010-11 season with a five-game league-winning streak. D’Evelyn racked up conference marks of 10-0 and 14-0 the last two seasons.
Despite losing standout Laura Tyree to graduation, D’Evelyn (7-3) is ranked No. 8 in the CHSAANow.com 4A girls basketball poll this week and are off to a 2-0 league record.
Tyree was a key component in D’Evelyn’s success and hasn’t missed a beat at the Division II level. The true freshman is averaging 11.5 points and 3.2 assists per game for Colorado School of Mines.
It was a struggle at times against Golden in the first game of a girls/boys varsity doubleheader Friday. The Demons jumped out to any early 11-4 lead early in the first quarter.
A slight change in D’Evelyn’s full-court pressure defense allowed the Jaguars to go on a 9-0 run to take a 13-11 lead late in the second quarter. Senior Emily Garnier scored on three layups off turnovers during D’Evelyn’s run and senior Rachel Olson hit a 3-pointer for the Jaguars.
“One thing I’ve learned this year is you have to make those little adjustments,” Coach Olson said. “Everyone is really prepping for us. We’ve really worked on a couple of different (defensive) zones. We might not score in the 60s and make 10 3-pointers. We’ll rely on our defense.”
It was a tough shooting night for the Jaguars. D’Evelyn’s leading scorer, senior Malia Shappell, was held scoreless in the first half. Shappell rebounded with a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to finish with a team-high 10 points.
Golden pulled within a point midway through the fourth quarter, but could never manage to take the lead.
“We were right there,” Golden’s first-year coach Shea Scarlett said. “We missed some layups and had our chances. We can play with (D’Evelyn) and we know it. We’ll see them again.”
Golden’s 6-foot-3 senior Haley Blodgett, who has signed to play at Montana State University, was held in check scoring four points. Senior Jessica King led the way for the Demons with 10 points.
“I’m thinking big picture,” Scarlett said. “We just have to get better each game. I’d much rather win a bunch of games in March then this one.”
Golden hits the road for a conference game at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Conifer.
D’Evelyn attempts to keep its league-winning streak alive with a home game at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 against Alameda.