DENVER — One word to describe D’Evelyn’s girls basketball team — GO.
You’ll hear it yelled by longtime Jaguars’ coach Chris Olson almost every time one of his players has the ball after a defensive rebound, steal or made basket by their opponent.
“If you haven’t heard me yell ‘Go’ yet you should watch a game,” Olson joked after D’Evelyn’s up-tempo style led to a 69-20 victory over Faith Christian on Friday night at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. “I’ll yell ‘Go’ every once in a while.”
D’Evelyn, ranked No. 7 in the CHSAANow.com Class 4A girls basketball poll, got steal-after-steal that led to layup-after-layup in the first half against Faith Christian. The Jaguars opened up a 42-11 halftime lead.
The dominating start was a welcome sight after the Jaguars suffered a 25-23 loss Tuesday to Centaurus.
“It’s all about the start for us,” D’Evelyn senior Angi Reed said of the Jaguars’ 25-point first quarter against Faith (3-6 record). “We had a good start here and it carried us throughout the game.”
Reed accomplished a rare feat. Her game-high 20 points actually matched the Eagles’ scoring output for the whole game. The fact that Reed didn’t play in the fourth quarter made the accomplishment even more impressive.
“We needed to see the ball go through the basket a few times,” Olson said.
Freshman Lexi Szathmary (15 points), juniors Kylee Fridgen (12 points), Tori Szathmary (nine points) and Bella Scaturro (six points) also had strong offensive nights for the Jaguars.
All of Fridgen’s points came off 3-pointers as she poured in four from beyond the arc. Tori Szathmary scored all nine of her points in the third quarter.
“When we get contributions from everyone we’re pretty good,” Olson said.
D’Evelyn (7-2) has nearly a three-week break until its next game. The Jaguars open conference play at No. 2 Golden on Thursday, Jan. 4.
D’Evelyn will have its work cutout for its when it begins Class 4A Jeffco League play next month. Golden, Evergreen and Valor Christian are holding down three of the top-6 spots in the CHSAANow.com 4A girls basketball poll.
“Jeffco is so good,” Reed said. “No matter who you start with it’s going to be a good game. It will be a good wakeup call for what we’ll have to do the rest of the year.”
Also, six of eight teams in 4A Jeffco currently have winning non-league records. Don’t look for anything different style-wise from the Jaguars when conference play begins.
“This is our only shot,” Olson said of his undersized team playing its high-pressure and up-tempo style. “We have to play Valor, Evergreen and Golden each twice and all have bigs. We can’t get into a half-court game. We have to press and get steals on the other side of the court. Hopefully we make some shots. It’s who we are and who we’ve been.”
Olson says he believes 4A Jeffco is better than last season when three Jeffco teams advance to the Great 8 and Evergreen came away with the state title.
For right now, the Jaguars welcome a little bit of a break from running up and down the basketball court.
“We are looking forward to some rest,” said Reed, who noted the Jaguars were without seniors Bailey Marvel and Anna Bane because of illness and injury against Faith. “This (win) is a good one before break.”