LAKEWOOD — Baylee Galan-Browne won back-to-back Class 4A girls basketball state titles, so celebrating on the court is old hat to the Evergreen senior guard.
Nine days after celebrating on the court at the Denver Coliseum, Galan-Browne had a similar celebration leap and run toward the bench Monday night at the Gold Crown Field House in Lakewood. The Evergreen senior hit the game-winning shot with 7 seconds left in the inaugural Jeffco High School Senior Basketball Game to give the White squad a 78-75 victory.
“I was like OK, I’m really good at last-second shots so this one is going to go in,” Galan-Browne said with all smiles after the victory. “It went in and I was like, OK. That’s cool. I like that.”
The final 30 seconds (see video above) was wild. The Blue team held a 75-73 lead, but a fed by Evergreen senior Kristina Schreiber into the post to Ralston Valley senior Samantha Van Sickle was just what White coach Chris Olson wanted. Van Sickle, who was named the White team MVP with 13 points, made a nice move in the post to tie the game at 75-75 with 27 seconds left.
“The best thing I did was not say anything and just cheer them on,” Olson said. “I just let them do there thing. Having that many great kids was awesome.”
Olson, D’Evelyn girls basketball coach, was filling in for Evergreen coach Amy Bahl who had to miss the game due to a medical issue with one of her young daughters.
Two of Bahl’s former players were key in the game-winning basket. After a miss by Lakewood senior Sassy Coleman, Schreiber grabbed the rebound and fired a pass up court to her former Cougar teammate. Galen-Browne, who will play at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. next school year, pulled up for the 3-pointer that hit nothing but net with 7 seconds to play.
“We just focused on the little things and pressure on defense,” Galan-Browne said of the White team erasing an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Golden senior Abby Garnett, who was named the Blue squad MVP with a game-high 21 points, wasn’t able to get off a shot before the buzzer.
“It was awesome,” said Garnett of the experience. “I was sitting on the bench and talking with some players that I played with in eighth-grade. Coming back and having that chemistry back right away was so much fun. Win or lose it was so much fun.”
Garnett is headed to play at Ohio University.
“It was a great way to end high school for sure,” Garnett said. “It was more fun playing with some Jeffco girls instead of against them.”
The inaugural Jeffco High School Senior Basketball Games were put on by the Gold Crown Foundation, Jeffco Public Schools and 1stBank.
Olson had been big on creating a Jeffco all-star game for several years.
“I’ve been excited for years to put this together,” Olson said. “I’m glad Gold Crown stepped up and Jeffco was with them to get it all together. After this game, girls are going to want to play in it. I want to be apart of it.”