LAKEWOOD — Alameda’s boys basketball will need some help to win the Class 4A/3A Colorado 8 League title. The Pirates suffered a 52-48 road loss to Conifer on Friday, Feb. 1. The loss moved …
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LAKEWOOD — Alameda’s boys basketball will need some help to win the Class 4A/3A Colorado 8 League title.
The Pirates suffered a 52-48 road loss to Conifer on Friday, Feb. 1. The loss moved Alameda (14-4, 4-1 in league) and Conifer (11-7, 4-1) in a tie for the conference title, but the head-to-head victory gives the Lobos an advantage if both end tied in league play.
“The pressure is definitely on right now,” Alameda junior Luis Miera said after the Pirates’s 57-49 victory over Englewood on Jan. 29 edged Alameda International closer to ending nearly a two-decade long drought.
According to Jeffco Public Schools’ league championship archive, Alameda hasn’t won a conference championship in boys basketball since the Pirates claimed the Jeffco 6 League title in the 2000-01 season. The court in the Duane Lewis Gymnasium is actually named Scott Smith, who guided Alameda to that last league hoops title.
“It’s in our heads,” Alameda coach Geremey Gibson said of capturing that elusive league crown. “I tell my players one game at a time. If we take care of one game at a time we’ll be where we need to be in the end. We don’t want to look too far ahead.”
Alameda finishes off its league schedule against Weld Central (Feb. 5) and Riverdale Ridge (Feb. 8) before heading into the Colorado 8 League tournament. The Pirates need to win out and have Conifer lose to either Fort Lupton or Weld Central for Alameda to win the league title.
Englewood (7-8, 3-3 in league) didn’t make the conference game easy in the all-Pirate battle early last week. Senior Thomas O’Connor was on target from 3-point range through three quarters. O’Conner had five 3-pointer and a trio of free throws made after getting fouled on a 3-point shot to score 18 points through three quarters.
“He (O’Connor) was hitting a lot of 3s. We left him open a couple of times,” said Miera, who got the one-on-one task against O’Connor in the fourth quarter. “We decided to go man (defense) and I guarded him up.”
O’Connor didn’t score in the fourth quarter with Miera shadowing him. However, Englewood sophomore Nate Gravagno had an incredible fourth quarter scoring all 18 points for Englewood to finish for a team-high 23 points on the night.
“We just broke down mentally on defense,” Gibson admitted. “We’ve been trying to switch things up because we know teams are going to come at us with our zone. We broke down mentally and we can’t have that.”
Alameda turned to Miera to close out the game in the final quarter on the offense end too. The senior scored 14 points in the final six minutes of the game to finish with a game-high 26 points.
“It was definitely sluggish,” Alameda’s point guard said of the first half. “I was trying to get my teammates involved, but we couldn’t finish around the rim tonight. I figured I should take over the game. A couple of easy buckets, get to the free-throw line and do what I need to do to get this win.”
Seniors Orlondo Aguilar (12 points), Derik Gutierrez (11 points) and Isiah Lawson (eight points) finished out the scoring load for Alameda in its fifth win over the past six games. The only setback over the last two weeks was a non-league loss to Aurora Central.
“The attitude has changed,” Gibson said before the close loss to Conifer. “I think the guys are finally locked in because they know what we are working for.”
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, check out CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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