DENVER — D’Evelyn’s duo of senior Max Grant and junior Elijah Gusmus was dynamic for the Jaguars on Friday night. Grant and Gusmus combined for 37 points while being the lone Jaguars to make a …
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DENVER — D’Evelyn’s duo of senior Max Grant and junior Elijah Gusmus was dynamic for the Jaguars on Friday night.
Grant and Gusmus combined for 37 points while being the lone Jaguars to make a field goal in the second half against Steamboat Springs. D’Evelyn rallied from a double-digit deficit to take a 54-49 victory during Day 2 of the D’Evelyn/Golden Preview Classic.
“We just came out slow and really couldn’t get anything going,” Gusmus said of the Jaguars making just four field goals in the first half and trailing 12-1 late in the first quarter. “Second half, on rhythm and on balance is what coach (Will Gosch) always says and knock them down.”
Gusmus led all scorers with 21 points. His biggest shot was a 3-pointer with 1:33 left in the fourth quarter that gave the Jaguars (2-1 record) the lead for good. The junior's fourth 3-pointer in the second half put D'Evelyn up 50-49.
“He (Gusmus) didn’t force very many shots,” Gosch said. “He hit his shots in rhythm and looked for other players. He has realized that when he passes the ball he usually gets the ball back with a better look. He got his shots when we needed it.”
Steamboat (1-3) — ranked No. 10 in the preseason Class 4A CHSAANow.com rankings — had a few chances to regain the lead or tie, but D’Evelyn’s defense that kept the Jaguars in the game early stepped up again in the final minutes.
“That is the change we made this year,” Gosch said of the defense. “I had Ramirez (D’Evelyn assistant coach Nate Ramirez) really focus on changing the defense on what fits us this year.”
D’Evelyn’s defensive pressure and zone defense held the Sailors to just 26 points in the second half. Senior Parker Lindquist and junior Caden Gedeon had 11 points each for Steamboat in the second straight loss to a 4A Jeffco League squad.
Golden (2-1) defeated the Sailors 62-52 the night before at Golden High School.
“(Steamboat) is a really good team with a lot of good players,” Gusmus said. “Max and I really led us to victory pretty much.”
Gusmus and Grant combined to outscore Steamboat’s entire team 30-26 after halftime.
“Grant is really the leader of this team,” Gosch said. “If you watch his every night he puts in the effort on both side of the court. He is vocal and leads the team.”
Senior Bodhi Anderson chipped in a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and a couple of free throws to finish with 8 points for the Jaguars. Junior Nick Vacanti hit a 3-pointer to end the first half for his lone bucket of the night. Senior Troy Benko pitched in going 6-for-8 from the free-throw line all in the second half.
“This means so much for the team confidence,” Gusmus said of getting a comeback win early in the season. “Now we look forward to the next game.”
D’Evelyn suffered its first loss of the season Dec. 4 against No. 5 Lewis-Palmer (4-0) during the final day of the tournament. The Rangers grabbed a 84-70 victory.
“We have some really good competition here at the Preview Classic,” Gosch said of the tournament that D’Evelyn has co-hosted with Golden for several years. “We are going to keep that moving forward.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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