In the first quarter of Golden’s Jan. 30 Jeffco 4A game at Valor Christian, the Demons put on an impressive show of individual one-on-one moves that didn’t last.
Valor’s defensive press in the second half forced Golden out of its …
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Valor’s defensive press in the second half forced Golden out of its offense and into turnovers. The Eagles handed the Demons their first league loss by pulling out a 62-46 win.
Valor, ranked fourth in the CHSAANow.Com Class 4A poll, improved to 15-1 overall and 8-1 in the league. The Eagles’ only loss this season was a 57-44 setback to the Demons on Jan. 8 in Golden.
Sixth-ranked Golden slipped to12-5 and 8-1 in league play.
“We couldn’t get a flow,” said Golden coach John Anderson. “The first quarter we had guys making great one-on-one moves. You can’t keep doing that. In the second half they turned up the defensive pressure, took our scorers out. If you don’t have team ball movement and they did a really good job of defensively on us and we didn’t handle the pressure.”
“We wanted to forget about the past and just play our game,” said 6-foot-5 junior Jalen Sanders of Valor Christian. “We made an adjustment at halftime to come out and press them a lot harder. They couldn’t really handle the pressure in the second half.”
With the game tied at 31 early in the third quarter, Valor went on a 14-2 run to grab a 45-33 lead and the Eagles were never challenged in the fourth quarter. The Demons turned the ball over four times and missed five shots during the Valor surge.
Sanders paced the Eagles with 21 points. Junior Kayle Knuckles contributed 12 points and Josh Randle 11.
Sanders also added to Valor’s second defensive effort as he helped limit Golden’s Kayden Sund to only four points in the second half. He also had seven of Valor’s 30 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
The Eagles were 4-for-22 from 3-point range but finished the game shooting 42 percent from the field.
Sund, a 6-5 junior standout, scored 15 of the Demons’ 28 first-half points and wound up with 19 points for the game.
The Demons’ strategy didn’t work, Anderson said.
“The whole game plan against them was take care of the basketball and you’re in the game.,” he said. “You rebound and you’re in the game. We’re one of the best rebounding teams in the state and we got killed on the boards. And the turnovers. They turn you over and convert and took us out of the game. We couldn’t get a flow.”
Golden is at Evergreen Feb. 5, while Valor Valor entertains Conifer.
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