Threes and defense propels D’Evelyn girls hoops to win

By Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 12/10/18

DENVER — Don’t be fooled … D’Evelyn’s girls basketball team is still going to put up its share of 3-pointers each game. D’Evelyn made seven 3-pointers against Heritage as the Jaguars …

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Threes and defense propels D’Evelyn girls hoops to win

Posted

DENVER — Don’t be fooled … D’Evelyn’s girls basketball team is still going to put up its share of 3-pointers each game.

D’Evelyn made seven 3-pointers against Heritage as the Jaguars opened up the 10-team Jeffco Jungle Jam Tournament with a 39-27 victory. However, the Jaguars showed Dec. 5 they don’t mind playing some conventional defense too.

A difference from what longtime D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson had throw at opponents in the past — an up-and-down track meet from start to finish — never materialize against Heritage. The Jaguars hit a number of 3-pointers in a half-court game and played a solid half-court defense limiting the Eagles to just nine made field goals.

“This is a bit of a different kind of score at home then we are used to,” Olson said of the low scoring game. “We’ll play a little bit differently this year, but I think it suits our girls well.”

The Jaguars (5-1 record) did use some full-court pressure defense, but not as much teams are used to see from D’Evelyn.

“I think we’ve found our identity early in the season,” Olson said. “We are a good man-to-man and not as gimmicky on defense with blitzing, running and just going crazy.”

Heritage (2-6) actually led 6-3 midway through the first quarter before the 3-pointers started to fall for D’Evelyn. The Jaguars went on a 15-0 run while holding the Eagles scoreless for more than six minutes from the end of the first quarter until a few minutes into the second quarter.

D’Evelyn grabbed a 18-6 lead with senior Izzy Lopez pouring in a pair of 3-pointers to end the first quarter and senior Kylee Fridgen scoring seven straight points during the 15-0 run.

“We came out with the mindset that we had to play our game and not theirs,” said Fridgen, who scored all dozen of her points in the first half. “It worked out.”

Lopez also finished with a dozen points. The senior guard drained four 3-pointers to lead the way from long distance for the Jaguars.

D’Evelyn scored just 14 points in the second half, but it was enough as Heritage was held to single-digit points in three of the four quarters. The Eagles’ leading scorer was junior Kyan Jost with nine points.

“A lot of this is building for the second half of the season,” Olson said of his goal during the tournament after playing a lot of players while still not completely healthy. “It’s about building confidence and depth in our bench.”

D’Evelyn got easy wins over Battle Mountain and Regis Groff to go 3-0 in the tournament.

“We have the motto — Five players, one heartbeat,” Fridgen said. “Five players on the court and we have to play as one. We are getting there.”

One person who might be assigned a different job moving forward this season is Fridgen’s father. The three games played at D’Evelyn on the first day of the tournament were delayed by about 30 minutes after some burnt popcorn in the concession stand set off a smoke alarm. The school to be evacuated and West Metro Fire & Rescue came check to make sure everything was OK before games could get underway.

“Yes. The guy who delayed all the games, that was my father,” Fridgen could say with a smile after the late night finally wrapped up a little after 9 p.m.

Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco

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