Green Mountain girls hoops heating up heading into Winter Break

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 12/20/22

LAKEWOOD — After an 0-3 start to the season, Green Mountain’s girls basketball has righted the ship.

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Green Mountain girls hoops heating up heading into Winter Break

Posted

LAKEWOOD — After an 0-3 start to the season, Green Mountain’s girls basketball has righted the ship.

“It was tough to start 0-3 and we are still missing girls due to injuries and illness,” Green Mountain’s first-year head coach Matteo Busnardo said. “We are just trying to get our rotation down and our personnel. We had a talk after that third loss as a group. We talked about how we have to play a lot better. They have responded.”

The Rams (4-3 record) captured their fourth straight victory in a home matinee Dec. 17 against Chatfield (2-3). Green Mountain held on for a 44-38 victory to keep the momentum going heading into Winter Break.

“This week we focused on Chatfield,” Green Mountain junior Taylor Ellington said. “We knew they were quick and would come out pressing us. We just needed to focus on getting the ball in and being confident with it.”

Ellington was confident with the ball in her hands in the second quarter. It looked like things could go south when Green Mountain senior Jayda Maves picked up her third foul with more than 5 minutes left in the second quarter.

The Rams went nearly 6 minutes from midway through the first quarter until midway through the second quarter without scoring. Green Mountain’s once 11-2 lead turned into a 13-11 lead for the Chargers.

“It’s hard when our best player is on the bench with three fouls,” Ellington said of the situation in the second quarter. “It messes up the momentum and gets into everyones’ heads. We need other people able to take over and score.”

Ellington scored on three diving layups in the second-half of the second quarter and also made a free throw to put up 7 points with Maves on the bench. Sophomore Avery Freedman also drained a 3-pointer to help give the Rams a 21-16 lead at halftime.

“I told Jayda that we needed her in the second half and to be patient,” Busnardo said. “Taylor stepped up into that scoring role and Avery was great.”

Maves returned in the second half and ended up with 15 points. Ellington also finished with 15 points. The two were key in the final minute holding off the Chargers.

Chatfield sophomore Josie Lynch hit a 3-pointer with 2:14 left in the fourth quarter to cut the Rams’ lead to 38-37. However, Maves went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute and Ellington drained a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left to seal the victory.

“For Jayda to be out (in second quarter) and for us to adjust to pull it out shows how hard we play and how much grit the group has,” Busnardo said. “It was a full team effort.”

Green Mountain returns after the New Year to host Glenwood Springs on Jan. 4.

“We’ve got to stay hungry,” Busnardo said of the mentality he wants his girls to having during the break. “With how Green Mountain has done in the past we know team are coming for us, especially in league play. It will be good to have a week off and get some rest, but when we come back we have to pick it up right where we left off.”

Chatfield still has some action before heading into Winter Break. The Chargers head to Phoenix to play three games in the 2022 Nike Tournament of Champions. Chatfield faces St. Mary’s (AZ), Lone Peak (MT) and Huntington Beach (CA) over a three-day stretch from Dec. 19-21.

Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.

Green Mountain, Lakewood, basketball, sports

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