Boys Basketball Action
By George Snyder
Spurred on by the inspired leadership by their coach, Paul Hanson, the Gilpin County boys basketball team sharpened their talons and dug them deep into the Denver Waldorf Spartans 43-37 last Friday at the Eagles gym. With the victory, they clinched the last seed in the 5280 League post-season tourney. It was the young Eagles third win of the season and sent them into a match with first place Denver Jewish Day School on Monday.
As usual when young teams square off, the game was gutsy, if not artsy. Both teams pressed each other, and Gilpin got the better of the effort, attempting an amazing 98 field goals in the game. However, the Eagles didn’t find their claws until the second quarter. Waldorf won the first quarter 10-6, but the game turned halfway through the second quarter when a 3-point attempt fell off the basket and dropped into the hands of unguarded Ty Schmals who put the ball back for a two-point tally. Strangely, this rather routine event seemed to inspire the Eagles. They began to take more shots, and as a result, they got more offensive rebounds and put-back shots.
In the next two periods, the Eagles stormed past the Spartans by a 27-14 margin, building a seemingly safe 33-23 lead as the fourth quarter opened. Then in rapid succession, three Eagles fouled out and Waldorf began to have more success. With Coach Hanson directing traffic, the Eagles were able to hold on and fight their way through Waldorf’s press, only to have their shooting grow cold. With a minute left the lead was cut to 5 points, and when freshman Tyler Eldridge’s free throw hit home with 30 seconds left, Coach Hanson pumped his fist in victory, as Waldorf’s last chance to win slid away. The Spartans did get at least one more try at a goal, but the ball fell short and the Eagles took final control. Later, commenting on the game, Coach Hanson stated that of all the wins his teams had produced in the last two years, he was proudest of this victory because his young team finally dominated another team and every player in the game made a timely contribution.
Chase Boulter, as usual, led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points, and he supplemented those tallies with a team-leading 15 rebounds. Dalton Dziedzic had a memorable night by sinking four 3-pointers, and he wound up with 14 points.
Eagles vs. DJDS in Playoffs
Although they broke the Denver Jewish Day School’s usually deadly full-court press, the Eagles reverted to form on Monday and dropped the playoff game 69-29 at the DJDS gym. They took only 12 shots from the field and scored only four points in the first half. Instructed to take more shots, they made the second half more respectable, but they could not overcome the 34-4 halftime deficit. Chase Boulter had 10 points to lead the Eagles’ scoring. The loss concluded the Eagles’ season at 3-18.
In summary, the young Eagles learned several strategic lessons this year, but the most important lesson was how to take and keep control of a game. With several talented underclassmen, the team has a bright future. At this time the team wants to thank the fans and parents who followed the team throughout the year, and they will give them more to cheer about in the near future.
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