LAKEWOOD - Arvada West came back from a 17-point deficit to record the first victory of the season in a 60-51 defeat over the Bears Saturday at Bear Creek High School.
The Wildcats went wild offensively scoring 29 fourth quarter points, digging themselves out of a giant hole that included a 30-17 halftime deficit.
With a never quit attitude spurred on by a rousing halftime speech by head coach Joe Bahl, A-West chipped away at what looked like insurmountable Bear Creek lead.
“I told them that we weren’t out of this thing yet and if we kept working we could get back into this game,” Bahl said.
Behind gritty defense that turned into quick offense the Wildcats had three double digit scorers who were all key figures in the comeback.
Senior Madison Brown led A-West with 14 points and six rebounds, and classmate Amy Hayes had 12 points and played scrappy defense the entire contest.
But it was sophomore Ally Ochs who made eight clutch free throws that were really the difference down the stretch.
Ochs’ defense was all-state-caliber and it led to five steals. And while she made only one field goals in the game, she attacked the basket repeatedly which got her to the three throw line six times where she made eight of her 12 free throws she attempted.
“Coach told us to keep working and we just found a way to come together and get it done,” Ochs said.
Senior Amber Gray led Bear Creek 18 points and junior Edina Krusko added 10 points.
Despite the tough loss the Bears remain a solid team that aspires to finish in the top three in 5A Jeffco.
Bear Creek (5-4, 1-2 in 5A Jeffco) won their first four games of the season but they have lost four of their last five games.
They will try to keep their record over .500 when they host Ralston Valley Friday at 7 p.m.
A-West (1-7, 1-2) may only have a single win but that is partially because of their non-league schedule.
The Wildcats have played ThunderRidge, Cherry Creek and Fairview already this season, but they say they are battle tested and can compete with any team in 5A Jeffco now that league play has arrived.