Demons dominate Cougars in overtime

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By Brian Forbes

GOLDEN — The Cougars evolved from flummoxed to fabulous to flattened Jan. 23 against the Golden Demons.

Sloppy defense was Evergreen’s poison in the first half. Great defense and fiery shooting paved the way for a dominating rally that stretched into a big lead in the third quarter.

Then the fourth quarter began and the Demons took over the Cougars like that poor little girl in The Exorcist movie. And pretty soon the Cougars’ heads were spinning.

The green projectile vomit: Golden 75, Evergreen 63.

And that’s after a 14-point lead vanished and an overtime where Evergreen was outscored 13-1.

“At the end of the third quarter, I thought we were in complete control of the game. Complete control,” Cougars coach Scott Haebe said. “We just lost our composure.”

It was hard to imagine late in the second quarter and through the third that Evergreen could lose. The Cougars trailed 32-20 with 5:20 left before halftime only to lead 53-39 just 17 seconds before the start of the fourth quarter.

Chris Hudak was knocking down 3-pointers, David Schultz was grabbing rebounds and scoring inside and the Demons couldn’t buy a basket – shooting just 2-for-15 in the third quarter. Golden coach John Anderson even picked up a technical foul for arguing, as the Demons seemed one push from going over the edge.

Then everything changed.

The Cougars couldn’t bring the ball up the floor to save their lives, the Demons couldn’t miss and every timeout, substitution and admonishment from Haebe couldn’t jerk the Cougars out of their funk.

The Cougars were the deer in the headlights of freight train hauling nuclear waste.

On the strength of a 15-4 run, the Demons tied it at 57 with 3:29 remaining and took the lead a little less than a minute later, forcing the Cougars to rally.

Kurt Dieter (12 points) was sent to the free-throw line with 15.2 seconds remaining and the Cougars down by one. He made the first but missed the second and the game went into overtime tied at 62.

The Cougars turned the ball over 10 times in the fourth quarter and another four times in overtime. The Golden Boys? The Demons turned the ball over just three times in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

“We just kept turning the ball over,” Haebe said. “As well as we played on the defensive end to begin the second half, then in the fourth we go back to our old ways: we don’t block out; we give up offensive rebounds.”

The Cougars were outscored 20-9 in the fourth quarter and blown out in overtime as they turned the ball over on their first three possessions and trailed 69-62 before they even attempted a shot.

Hudak led the Cougars with 14 points off the bench. Cam Tucker added 10 and Schultz grabbed 10 rebounds to go with four points.

Evergreen dipped to 8-5, 4-2 in the Class 4A Jefferson County League, while the Demons improved to 11-5 and 7-0.