By Will Petersen
For the Courier
DENVER — It was billed as the rematch and a chance for the Evergreen boys basketball team to stake its claim as an equal with D’Evelyn atop the 4A Jeffco League.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, that didn’t happen. Evergreen lost 72-45 at D’Evelyn on Feb 8 and fell to 8-2 in league play while the Jaguars remained perfect, moving to 10-0.
“It’s a wake-up call. Against our defense they did anything they wanted and we couldn’t stop them,” Evergreen senior Chase Kelley said.
D’Evelyn shot 60 percent from the field (27-of-45), 50 percent from the 3-point line (9-of-18) and outscored Evergreen by double digits in the second and fourth quarters. D’Evelyn’s Luke Stratman finished with 31 points.
“We just lost focus on the defensive end. (Stratman) got a bunch of open looks from three and at the basket,” Evergreen head coach Scott Haebe said.
The final margin could’ve been worse if it weren’t for the play of Cougars senior Colin Elmgreen. He finished with a team-high 18 points and chipped in four assists. He scored the team’s first six points and even gave Evergreen (13-6) an early two-point lead.
“We need to come out and play four quarters against great teams,” Elmgreen said. “It seems throughout the whole year you can pick out one quarter where we didn’t play well defensively or even offensively.”
Against D’Evelyn it was the second quarter that didn’t go well. The Jaguars (18-1) outscored them 22-9 and ballooned a four-point lead into a 17-point margin at the break.
Kelley scored four of his 11 points in the third quarter and senior Andre Lane scored all six of his then as well. EHS got as close as 11 before D’Evelyn pulled away.
While Evergreen was disappointed after the game, players and coaches remained optimistic.
“We’ll refocus and try to finish the season strong. We’ll get some confidence back and then try to make a little run in the playoffs like we did last year,” Haebe said.