LAKEWOOD — Ralston Valley senior Zach Akin finished off the always entertaining Jeffco High School Senior Basketball Games on March 17 with a game-winning layup.
Akin’s euro step around a defender and layup gave the Blue squad a 122-121 lead in the finals seconds at the Gold Crown Field House. A last-second 3-pointer by Pomona senior Owen Wright didn’t fall for the White team to give the Blue the victory.
“I was on defense and looked up at the scoreboard. We were down by one. I like, we better get going,” Akin said of the final few possessions. “It was a messy play, but we got the win.”
The White squad coached by Standley Lake’s boys coach Tyson Schrecengost led after every quarter. Silas Von (Standley Lake) was named the White MVP. Chase Miller (Chatfield) and Von both had 20-point plus games. Wright had 11 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Blue team’s rally in the fourth quarter.
Eight different players scored in the final quarter for the Blue team. Green Mountain’s duo of Cooper Francy and Luke Davis both scored five points in the final quarter to give the rally some steam.
“Once the game got into the 110s we kind of stopped paying attention to the score,” Evergreen senior Zach Cothran said of the final quarter when the Blue squad put up 28 points. “We just kept going. A lot of it was Luke Davis and Cooper Francy. That Green Mountain group kind of went crazy and we just followed them.”
Cothran had a monster game with 29 points, including four 3-pointers, in being named the Blue team’s MVP. Davian Bryant (Columbine) and Akin both went over 20 points in the victory.
“It was super fun. A lot of these guys I play with during the summer,” Cothran said. “It was nice to be on the same team as them again. To see all the dunks by Davian was crazy. It was a good time.”
Bryant missed a lot of the middle of the season after breaking his left wrist in a non-league game, but the high-flying Rebel was on the court and scored 20 points in the opening half.
“We were definitely going a little harder in the fourth quarter to make that run in the end,” Akin said of the Blue team taking the win.
The Blue team was coached by Ralston Valley’s Chris Braketa, who was named the 5A Jeffco League Coach of the Year after guiding the Mustangs to an undefeated record in conference play.
“It’s awesome,” Akin said. “It’s a great way to end the high school season. Playing with everyone and then getting the win. It was good last game for sure.”
The game started off with Bill Hanzlik — former Denver Nugget and co-founder of the Gold Crown Foundation with Ray Baker — tossing up the opening tip while wearing his vintage University of Notre Dame basketball jersey on St. Patrick’s Day.
It was the fourth year of the annual event put on by the Gold Crown Foundation.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.