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Cougars can’t catch up to Rams

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Green Mountain pulls away in the 4th quarter

By Tim Donohoo
For the Courier
LAKEWOOD — The opportunity was there for the taking. Evergreen junior Marcus Cassin willed in a driving layup with 2 minutes, 49 seconds left in the third quarter to cut the Green Mountain lead to three. But that would be as close as the Cougars would get as the host Rams sealed a 50-38 victory with a 21-12 game-ending run on Jan. 10 at Green Mountain High School.
“The key to the game was when we cut the lead to three (29-26),” said Evergreen coach Scott Haebe, “we just kind of lost it after that. We lost our composure and our poise a little bit. We had a couple of bad turnovers and gave up easy looks down at the other end.”
Green Mountain led 12-6 after one quarter. Both teams tallied 10 points in the second quarter as the Rams led 22-16 at the intermission. Junior Nathan Haas led the Cougars’ scoring attack with six points in the first half.
The Rams’ largest lead of the third quarter was 10 points after sophomore Austin Fritts nailed a long 3-pointer to give Green Mountain a 29-19 advantage at the 4:38 mark. That is when the Cougars tried to mount a comeback. Evergreen went on a 7-0 run to cut the Rams lead to 29-26.
“We were struggling offensively today and when we cut  their lead to three points then we needed to buckle down,” Haebe said. “We kind of let up for a couple minutes and they ran it back up to 10 or 12 points and then (senior) Lucas (Weidner) got hot for us and cut the lead to seven points.  (It was) just too little too late.”
The end of the third quarter had the Rams on top 36-29. Evergreen remained within seven at 43-36 with 3:43 left. Weidner scored the Cougars’ final 12 points, including all nine Cougar fourth-quarter points. But the Rams sealed the victory with a 21-12 run during the final 10 minutes of the contest, including 7-2 down the stretch.
Weidner led Evergreen (5-6, 1-1 4A Jeffco) with 12 points and Haas added 11 in the loss.
Fritts led the Rams with 12 points. He also grabbed five rebounds. Green Mountain improved to 5-5, 2-0 in league play.