LAKEWOOD — Green Mountain’s girls basketball knows how to deal with things being taken away from them. It was pretty clear March 9 in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament that No. …
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LAKEWOOD — Green Mountain’s girls basketball knows how to deal with things being taken away from them.
It was pretty clear March 9 in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament that No. 31-seeded Battle Mountain wasn’t going to allow the Rams’ inside duo of senior Courtney Hank and junior Avery Oaster to have their way in the paint.
“Great job by Battle Mountain to work hard and collapse on the inside and make us beat them from the outside,” Green Mountain coach Darren Pitzner said after the No. 1 Rams took a 55-32 first-round victory over the Huskies. “Luckily we have the kind of balance that can do that. They made us earn it. Congrats to Battle Mountain on a great season.”
Green Mountain (16-0 record) continued it season thanks to some early 3-point shooting by junior Shea Murphy and sophomore Jayda Maves. The two combined for six 3-pointer in the opening half with both pouring in a dozen points by halftime.
“We knew (Battle Mountain) was going to play a 1-3-1 zone defense,” said Maves, who finished with a game-high 15 points. “We were open and we take our shots when we are open.”
Murphy came into Tuesday’s playoff game with just six 3-pointers on the season. She put in a little extra time working on her shooting from long range for the Rams’ playoff run.
“I’ve built more confidence with my shot this season,” Murphy said. “I went and did some shooting on my own to get prepared for the playoffs so I could knock those down.”
Hank dropped the hammer on Battle Mountain (8-6) to end the first quarter. Last year’s 4A Jeffco League MVP scored eight straight points in the final 2 and 1/2 minutes of the opening half to extend Green Mountain’s lead to 39-11 at halftime.
“When we are more discipline in our possessions that is when you see those nice inside, outside, cutting and dynamic possessions,” Pitzner said. “When we are rushed we get impatient with our shots.”
The Rams were able to work in some time for their bench in the second half. Green Mountain will have a quick turnaround to face No. 15 Thompson Valley in the round of 16 Thursday night at Green Mountain High School.
“Thompson Valley is very quick getting to the basket,” said Pitzner before the Rams defeated the Eagles 76-44 in the round of 16. “They are a tough match-up.”
While Pitzner had his team zeroed in on Thompson Valley, the Rams can draw from their experience last year when Green Mountain advanced all the way to the 4A state semifinals.
“After what we did last year and saw what it took, this year we are so excited and we know what is there,” Murphy said. “We are excited to do it.”
Green Mountain’s state quarterfinal game scheduled for Saturday, March 13, against No. 7 Erie was postponed until Tuesday, March 16, due to the snowstorm that dumped more than two feet of snow in the Green Mountain-area.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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