D'Evelyn's Jungle rains (threes) all over Golden

Daniel Williams

LAKEWOOD - In the jungle it just rains, and rains, and rains.

No, not the jungle defined by Wikipedia as: land covered in dense vegetation. The one we are referring to is D'Evelyn High School's gymnasium, “The Jungle,” home of the Jaguars.

And that jungle rains three pointers like they are going out of style and that storm swallowed up Golden last Friday night.

D'Evelyn beat Golden 71-34 at D'Evelyn High School, in a 4A Jeffco league matchup.

The Jaguars hit 12 three pointers, four of those by junior Malia Shappell, and they attacked the Demons early and never let up. Shappell finished with 16 points.

“It's always a team effort every night; we just come out and play hard. But it's not only in games; we practice really hard so it is easy in games,” Shappell said.

D'Evelyn outscored the Demons 35-11 in the first half, and while their offense was clicking, their full court press suffocated Golden's offense, never allowing them to get comfortable. The Jaguars forced nearly 40 Golden turnovers.

“We were really good tonight. We jumped on them early, it's what we like to do,” D'Evelyn coach Chris Olson said. “We like to put a lot of pressure on teams and get after it.”

But even in the loss Golden was impressive. Down double digits the Demons came out in the second half with intensity and ready to play.

And while they were a longshot to get back into Friday's game they know that they still have a long season left, and as one of the youngest teams in 4A Jeffco they have a lot of room for improvement.

Golden junior Maddie Murphy took her team's deficit as an insult and in the second half she was a monster. Murphy finished with a stat line of eight points, three assists and three rebounds, but her defense and leadership in the second half shined brightly.

“I think if we would have had the same intensity in the first half as we did in the second half it would be a different story,” Murphy said. “We are a young team and I think the nerves got to us a little bit. But I am proud of the way we kept fighting.”

Although the final score was lopsided Golden is already thing about their rematch with D'Evelyn on Feb. 12.

Golden also has one of the best home court advantages in their league and they think their building with a combination of better perimeter defense and their next meeting could be a different story.

“When they are hitting three's like that they can beat anybody on any night. Then they are shooting 60 percent from the field like that it is tough,” Golden coach Mike Mendoza said. “But we get them again later in the season and we have a good home court advantage as well.”

D'Evelyn (10-1, 2-0) will host Evergreen Friday at 7 p.m.

Golden (4-7, 1-1) hosts Green Mountain Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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