Golden dominates Conifer on the inside in non-league victory

Dennis Pleuss
Posted 12/13/16

GOLDEN — Inside the 3-point line belonged to Golden’s boys basketball team Dec. 9.

The Demons, ranked No. 4 in the CHSAANow.com Class 4A boys hoops poll, limited Conifer to just two made 2-point field goals in the non-league game against …

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Golden dominates Conifer on the inside in non-league victory

Posted

GOLDEN — Inside the 3-point line belonged to Golden’s boys basketball team Dec. 9.

The Demons, ranked No. 4 in the CHSAANow.com Class 4A boys hoops poll, limited Conifer to just two made 2-point field goals in the non-league game against former 4A Jeffco League foes.

“That 1-3-1 (zone defense) is pretty special,” Conifer coach Eric Valerio said after his Lobos suffered a 62-45 loss at Golden High School. “It’s tough with a young group to play against that type of defense. They are so long they take away the passing lanes. They are pretty athletic for their size.”

The one concern Golden coach John Anderson pointed out after the victory was Conifer made 11 3-pointers, eight in the second half, to keep the Demons from completely running away with a lopsided victory.

“Part of our problem right now is every team we’ve played has shot very well from the 3-point line. It’s a concern. We’ve got to be able to contest those with our length,” Anderson said after his Demons improved to 5-1 on the season. “Playoff basketball and league basketball is won in the trenches. I think we’ve got that. We’ve just got to be able to extend.”

Golden’s lone senior, Kayden Sund, had a stretch late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter where he scored eight straight points for the Demons. Sund, who has signed with Chadron State College, buried a pair of 3-pointers and grabbed a steal with Golden’s half-court trap defense that turned into a dunk on the other end.

The outburst by Sund gave the Demons their first double-digit lead which they never surrendered.

“I just wanted to go out there and build a good lead so our bench guys could play,” said Sund, who finished with a team-high 12 points. “We had a bunch of guys swinging up tonight and really wanted to give them a chance to play to get some good quality varsity minutes.”

Ten Demons scored in the third victory this week for Golden. Juniors Riley Stoner (10 points), Joe Madsen (9 points), Adam Thistlewood (8 points) and Jake Niss (8 points) provided a nice scoring balance that Anderson likes to see.

“Everybody knows about Adam and Kayden. Those guys can go off on any night,” Anderson said. “The scoring tonight is what I want to see. A lot of guys with six to nine points. Teams are going to take away our main guys and other guys are going to have to step up.”

There was a solid Friday night student section for Golden. The atmosphere almost felt like a conference game against Conifer, a team the Demons used to play twice a season during league play.

“It’s kind of a rivalry because (Conifer) always wants to come out and beat us,” Stoner said. “We wanted to come and play has hard as we can to do our best to whoop them.”

Golden closes out play before winter break playing in the three-day Rocky Mountain Winter Showcase tournament late next week at Windsor and Brighton high schools. The Demons open conference play against at rival Wheat Ridge on Jan. 5.

Conifer (1-4 record) was led by juniors Seth Sankey (10 points) and David Jacobson (nine points) in the loss. Senior Abe Martin also added eight points coming off the bench.

“That’s a fantastic team,” Valerio said of Golden. “Personally, I think Anderson is one of the best coaches in the state. I love playing against him because I know how good he is. It’s a challenge and he always has his guys ready.”

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