GOLDEN — The formula Green Mountain’s girls basketball team is using this season has been pretty flawless so far.
The Rams — No. 4 in the latest CHSAANow.com Class 4A girls basketball rankings — go deep into their bench to keep opponents facing wave-after-wave of defensive pressure and have to deal with Green Mountain’s constant ball movement on offense.
“I absolutely love the balance,” Green Mountain coach Darren Pitzner said after the Rams’ 53-35 road victory Jan. 18 against Golden. “Everyone tries to take away something that you do every game. There is always someone who can step up.”
Green Mountain has only one player — freshman Jayda Maves — averaging double-digit points … and Maves isn’t even a starter.
Seniors Riley Shoemaker, Maddie Phillips, Kasey Klocek along with junior Courtney Hank and sophomores Shea Murphy and Avery Oaster all are hovering below the 10-point per game mark for the Rams.
Phillips ended up with a team-high 12 points against the Demons (3-9, 1-3 in 4A Jeffco). Oaster (9 points), Hank (8 points), Maves (8 points) and Klocek (7 points) headed another game of remarkable balance for Green Mountain.
“Our bench is so deep we can go to anyone and rely on them,” Phillips said.
Phillips did most of her damage in the first half with 10 points by halftime as the Rams opened up a 25-13 lead at the break.
“Maddie was a monster,” Pitzner said of the Rams’ lone player who scored double-digits. “Maddie is smooth as silk around the basket. She has a nice soft touch and is hard to guard.”
Golden did have a nice little run to start the second half to cut Green Mountain’s lead to 27-20, but Green Mountain answered with an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter to get the lead back up to double-digit points for good.
Green Mountain (12-1, 4-0) has the task of trying to slowdown Golden senior Elli Garnett, who signed last month to continue her basketball career at the University of Northern Colorado. Garnett has 40 points earlier this year against Sand Creek.
“I was at part of the game when Elli went for 40 (points),” Pitzner said. “I’m proud of the girls. We had five different girls guard her at times. She got off few open looks.”
Garnett finished with a game-high 17 points, but it wasn’t enough against Green Mountain.
“I think it’s fun to play against someone as good as she is,” Phillips said of playing against Garnett. “It’s good competition and it gets us going.”
Green Mountain hopes to keep it going this week. The Rams are on the road against Evergreen on Jan. 22. The Cougars (7-4, 3-0) appears to be the lone roadblock in the Rams’ way when it comes to zeroing in on a conference title.
“Evergreen is diverse and has some balance like we do,” Pitzner said. “Their posts are crazy fast and athletic. It’s good going to be a good challenge for us.”
Dennis Pleuss is a media specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com
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