DENVER — Golden senior Mia Johnson picked the perfect time to play her best game of the season. “I knew D’Evelyn’s plan would be to double-down on Abby (Garnett) and Makena (Prey) because …
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DENVER — Golden senior Mia Johnson picked the perfect time to play her best game of the season.
“I knew D’Evelyn’s plan would be to double-down on Abby (Garnett) and Makena (Prey) because they are our strongest players,” Johnson said. “I felt like if I hit some open shots it would open things up for them.”
Johnson hit a trio of jumper in the first quarter Feb. 27 in the Class 4A girls basketball all-Jeffco Sweet 16 state playoff game at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. The scoring lift allowed the No. 10-seeded Demons get out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter.
“You’ve got to have role players step up if you want to go deep in the playoffs,” Golden coach Mike Osborne said after the Demons’ 49-40 victory over No. 7 D’Evelyn. “Mia stepped up and had a great game.”
The victory marked the third win for Golden (21-5 record) over rival D’Evelyn (18-7) this season.
“We definitely hope for the best,” Johnson said of the Demons’ chances to get to the state semifinals at the Denver Coliseum. “All the teams left are great competitors. We’ll see where the season takes us.”
The Demons did have their Final 4 dreams dashed March 2. No. 15 Widefield defeated the Golden 50-49 to end the Demons’ season.
Golden seniors Abby Garnett and Makena Prey were two big reasons for the Demons’ success this season. The two had combined to score 67 percent of Golden’s points and grab 61 percent of rebounds for the Demons coming into Tuesday’s game against D’Evelyn.
The hot first-half shooting was key to Golden and its 32-16 lead at halftime.
“You are always surprised when a team shoots 63 percent in the first half,” D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson said. “They didn’t miss much. We tried to run our pressure, our zone and our man. They just shredded it all. We threw everything we could at them.”
Johnson finished with eight points and sophomore Elli Garnett pitching in 10 points, including 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final quarter. Golden did just enough to push away D’Evelyn’s comeback attempt in the second half.
“That what huge,” Prey said of Johnson’s three first-quarter buckets. “They had to worry about her (Johnson) and that really opened it up for me and Abby tonight.”
Prey finished with 18 points, but was held to just two points in the second half. Abby Garnett ended up with 10 points before fouling out with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter.
D’Evelyn did make a couple of second-half runs, cutting Golden’s lead to single-digits. Seniors Angi Reed and Bailey Marvel, along with juniors Izzy Lopez and Tori Szathmary led the comeback attempt.
“Olson gets so much out of those kids,” Osborne said. “I was really impress how they came back. Right when we were about to crack we made some plays and did it at the free-throw line late.”
Golden advanced to the state quarterfinals for the second straight year. Last year the Demons’ season came to an end with a loss to No. 1 Pueblo South on the road.
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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