LAKEWOOD — It was one final time to play basketball with your friends and even some old foes on the hardwood Thursday night at the Gold Crown Fieldhouse.
“Getting to play with my teammates (McKenna Nichols and Brooklyn Seymour) one more time and play with people who have been competitors for four years was nice,” Ralston Valley senior Sydney Bevington said after the conclusion of the girls’ Jeffco High School Senior Basketball game. “We needed redemption from that last game. It felt good to get out there one last time.”
Bevington didn’t what her final memory of her stellar prep basketball career be Ralston Valley’s Class 5A state quarterfinal loss to Highland Ranch on March 16. The versatile Mustang led the White squad to a 70-58 victory.
Bevington scored a game-high 24 points. Green Mountain’s Courtney Hank, Columbine’s Adrienne Harnum and Nichols each had 10 points in the victory that was coached by Green Mountain’s girls basketball coach Darren Pitzner.
Golden senior Erika Dowell had a huge final quarter for the White team. The Demon scored all of her seven points in the final quarter.
It wasn’t an easy victory for the White squad that had a solid height advantage on the Blue squad. The White led 28-13 early in the second quarter, but the Blue team coached by Arvada West’s girls basketball coach Brady Meeks chipped away at the lead to keep within striking distance.
“The White team was good. They definitely had the height,” Arvada West senior Alexis Folks said. “I think we did a good job battling with them.”
Folks led the Blue squad with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. She was the only player in double-digits for the Blue team, but the squad had 10 different players score as they tried to rally from the double-digit first-half deficit.
“It was great having the team come together even a lot didn’t know each other,” Folks said. “We came together and worked hard.”
The White team buckled down defensively in the final minutes holding the Blue scoreless for the final two minutes after the White’s lead was trimmed to 63-58 with 2 minutes to play.
“They knocked down a lot of 3-pointers and then we kind of stopped playing defense,” Bevington said. “We figured it out and got the win.”
Bevington and Folks were named the MVPs of the game.
“It was a great experience. Especially being able to play with my teammate (A-West senior Madison Manson) one last time and to have (Meeks) coach us one last time,” Folks said. “It was really fun and a great experience.”
The annual senior basketball games that have been put on by the Gold Crown Foundation since 2018 was canceled last season right as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown all sports around the world.
The crowd was limited this year and everyone inside the Gold Crown Fieldhouse wore masks, but being back on the court was the most important thing for these seniors to close out their high school careers.
“It was the best four years of my life playing with my teammates,” said Bevington, who will continue her basketball career at Santa Clara University. “My coaches and teammates were always there for me. I’m headed off, but I’ll be back. I’m maintain those friendships for the rest of my life.”