LAKEWOOD — It was a Class 4A girls basketball top-10 battle between to undefeated teams Monday night at Green Mountain High School.
Green Mountain — No. 3 in the latest CHSAANow.com 4A girls hoops rankings — grabbed sole possession of the lead in 4A Jeffco with a 61-24 win over previously undefeated No. 9 D’Evelyn (7-1, 5-1 in league).
“This game is one of our favorite games to play,” said Green Mountain sophomore Jayda Maves, who led all scorers with 14 points. “We showed what we can do against a good team.”
The Rams (8-0, 6-0) are now two wins away from repeating as conference champs. Green Mountain travels to Littleton High School to face the Lions on Wednesday before wrapping up conference play on Friday this week at home against Standley Lake.
“That would be awesome,” Green Mountain senior Courtney Hank said of having the chance to close out her prep career with 28 straight league wins. “We work really hard in the offseason and we have a lot of good team chemistry. I think plays a big part in how successful we are.”
Green Mountain is on an impressive run in the 4A Jeffco League. The Rams have won 26 consecutive conference games dating back to the 2018-19 season. The last league loss for the Rams was against Evergreen on Jan. 16, 2019.
“The secret is definitely good, hardworking talented kids,” Green Mountain coach Darren Pitzner said. “Credit to our feeder programs that have helped develop these kids. Well-coached teams like Littleton, D’Evelyn and Evergreen will get a little more experience they will be right on our tails. Our girls have to keep the standards high.”
Green Mountain went 12-0 in league play last year on its way to a berth in the 4A state semifinals. The Rams won their final eight league games two years ago and are 6-0 in conference play this season.
“We keep it in our heads,” Maves said of the conference winning streak. “We always try our best to keep our poise and always play our best.”
While D’Evelyn had its struggles Monday night scoring through the first three quarters against Green Mountain’s defense that hasn’t allowed a conference opponent to score more than 26 points in a game this season, the Rams had their issues offensive early on.
Green Mountain held an 11-2 lead with a minute left in the first quarter. Hank, who finished with 13 points, scored 5 points in the final 60 seconds of the quarter to extend the Rams’ lead to 16-2.
“D’Evelyn is so disciplined with its (defensive) pressure,” Pitzner said. “You really have to be composed and disciplined with the gaps and keep your eyes up. Once we took a deep breath and was a little smarter with how we were attacking it then our girls were able to get the looks they wanted.”
Maves got hot from 3-point range knocking down four 3-pointers as Green Mountain pushed its lead to 43-12 through three quarters. Juniors Morgan Falconer, Desi Russell and freshman Taylor Ellington each came off the bench to hit a 3-pointer for the Rams.
“It’s exciting to see our bench come in for a few minutes and take care of the ball,” Pitzner said. “Our starters need those breaks. We need to be a full team that is 11 players deep. That’s the kind of depth we need to make a run (at state).”
Juniors Olivia Sears and Avery Oaster each had eight points each for Green Mountain.
“It was a great combination with inside and outside,” Pitzner said of the Rams’ offense.
Green Mountain will play D’Evelyn again in a non-league game in the final weeks of the regular season. The Rams have won every game by double-digits and have an average margin of victory of just over 46 points per win.
“It was good to see where we are lacking and what we need to do to get better going into playoffs against good competition,” Hank said.
D’Evelyn will try to regroup in closing out its conference play at home against Evergreen on Wednesday before traveling to Littleton on Friday.