The final week of the regular season found the Cougar basketball team taking a trip down Highway 73 through a blizzard to play host Conifer in the second of two annual mountain contests.
EHS was looking to complete the season sweep of its rival and continue its march towards the 4A state playoffs, beating the Lobos 68-39.
Behind two early 3s from junior Luke Killian and a spirited defensive press that yielded a handful of early steals, the Cougars raced to a 19-5 advantage after one quarter and figured they’d be coasting for the rest of the night.
The Lobos however, led by senior Ben Lack, had other things in mind and fought the Cougars virtually point for point throughout the second quarter with EHS, taking only a 34-19 lead into half-time.
The third quarter played much like the first with Cougars’ hands filling Lobo passing lanes and forcing multiple Lobo turnovers. This fueled the Cougar transition game, and EHS finished with 19 assists on the game to propel it to a 68-39 win. Senior Zach Cothran, who was named Player of the Game, had a game-high 13 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Conifer ended the season 3-17 overall and 2-12 in conference games.
With home playoff game implications on the line, Evergreen played its final regular season game at Golden on Feb. 18, losing to the Demons 58-45.
Buoyed by two early 3s from Killian and a standing-room-only traveling Evergreen student section, the Cougars jumped out to a 15-7 lead midway through the first quarter to put a temporary damper on Golden’s Senior Night festivities.
However, Golden closed strong and finished the quarter down only 15-12. The second quarter saw the momentum swing fully in the Demons’ direction, and they outscored the Cougars in the quarter 17-4 to take a 10-point lead into half-time.
The two Jeffco rivals continued to trade blows in the third quarter with Evergreen getting as close as six points before junior Ethan Scheik received his third foul with minutes left in the quarter.
With Scheik on the bench, Jameson Davis and Jake Rutherford were left to tangle in the paint with the formidable Golden front court, which proved to be an uphill battle. Despite a late rally sparked by eight points from senior Matthew Shipley, the Demons held on for the win.
Evergreen ended the season 12-10 overall and 9-6 in conference play, and plays its first playoff game against Widefield High School in Colorado Springs on Feb. 23.