LAKEWOOD — Green Mountain boys basketball finished off a stretch of three victories in four days in style Friday night.
The Rams dominated rival D’Evelyn to the tune of 87-65 on Senior Night at Green Mountain High School. Senior Austin Beeson drained four 3-pointers during the Rams’ 31-point second quarter that gave Green Mountain a comfortable 53-30 halftime lead.
“It felt like we were playing every night,” Beeson said of the busy week. “We were pretty tired, but it is pretty fun when you feel like you can run up and down the court, and keep making 3-pointers.”
Green Mountain finished 13-for-28 from 3-point range for an impressive 46 percent from deep. Beeson had six 3-pointers to help him pour in a career-high 26 points in front of the biggest home crowd of the season the Rams.
“I can’t remember even as a sophomore when I would suit up for varsity games with it every having this many people in the gym,” Beeson said of the large crowd for the girls/boys varsity doubleheader.
Fellow senior AJ Maher hit a trio of 3-pointers on his way to 11 points. Senior Ameer Dowdell came off the bench for 14 points for the Rams.
“To the offensive credit, it all starts on defense,” Green Mountain coach Mike Puccio said of the Rams’ offensive output. “We get stops on defense and are able to run. It was fun to see tonight.”
D’Evelyn seniors Liam Smith, Taj Kumar and Robby Ziemian all had double-digit points for the Jaguars (9-11, 6-3 in Class 5A/4A Jeffco League), but Green Mountain (13-8, 9-1) had too much firepower in its fourth straight win.
“It was a tough week, tough week emotionally,” Puccio said of facing Golden, Wheat Ridge and D’Evelyn in the span of four days. “We went really light last night with ice baths.”
Green Mountain was cool under pressure needing a win to secure second place in the conference standings behind Dakota Ridge (14-6, 9-0). The Eagles clinched the league title on Wednesday night with a road win at D’Evelyn.
“We are playing our best basketball right now which is what the goal was,” Beeson said of the Rams winning 9-of-11 games since Winter Break.
Green Mountain will host its first game of the mini-tournament Monday. The Rams will face Standley Lake (12-8, 8-2) at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12. A win over the Gators could set up a rematch against Dakota Ridge, who handed Green Mountain its lone league loss of the season.
“There is nothing else we would rather have,” Beeson said of facing Dakota Ridge before the state tournament.
The Rams were No. 18 in the CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index before the start of play Friday night. With the top-16 seeds hosting first-round playoff game of the 32-team state tournament, the Rams are on the bubble on hosting the opening round postseason game Wednesday, Feb. 21.
“You got to play them eventually,” Puccio said of the Rams getting a middle of the pack seed that would give Green Mountain one of the top seeds in the second round of the state tournament. “This season has been crazy as it is with our football guys coming in so late. It has been a roll coaster of emotions, but this team is resilient. We were 1-5 with our backs against the wall to start the season.”
D’Evelyn closes league play with a road game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Golden. The Jaguars will play games Monday and Thursday as a part of the 5A/4A Jeffco League mini-tournament. A win over the Demons would likely give D’Evelyn a second shot at Dakota Ridge on Monday on the Eagles’ home court.