LAKEWOOD — The Green Mountain and Lakewood women’s basketball teams took a short break from conference play Monday night.
Green Mountain — No. 3 on CHSAANow.com’s Class 4A rankings recently released today — hosted Lakewood of the 5A Jeffco League. The Rams went undefeated this season with a 69-39 victory over the Tigers.
“It’s such a beloved rivalry,” Green Mountain coach Darren Pitzner said of the Rams and Tigers women’s basketball programs. “We have so much respect for Coach Chris Poisson and Coach Tony Hartsock. We have helped each other in our programs by competing against each other in the fall and summer. Right now (Green Mountain) has this group stacked, but I’m sure it will be a 50/50 rivalry over the next decade.
The Rams (16-0, 9-0 in the 4A Jeffco League) had no problem picking up their 16th win of the season and remaining undefeated. Green Mountain’s full-court pressure defense, led by junior Jayda Maves, got the Rams off to an impressive start.
“We love starting in our press,” Maves said of the Rams taking a 19-3 lead after the first quarter. “Our press gives us the energy to keep us awake and kind of wears down the other team when pressed.”
Maves and senior Avery Oaster dominated the first half at both ends of the field. Maves caught a handful of steals while making four 3-pointers in his 17-point first-half performance. Oaster had nine points in the first half to give the Rams a comfortable 38-18 lead at the break.
“I love how our girls start out like this,” Pitzner said. “We can be very demanding on every close and every rotation. They do, and then they switch to these modes where I can just sit back and enjoy it.
Maves and Oaster combined for 37 points despite not playing in the fourth quarter. Senior Morgan Falconer had 10 points as Green Mountain was able to penetrate deep into his bench in the fourth quarter.
Lakewood was led by junior Zoe Zartman, who had five 3-pointers on the night. The Tigers drained eight 3-pointers, but that wasn’t enough to derail Green Mountain.
The Rams currently have a 36-game conference winning streak since the 2018-19 season. Green Mountain has an extremely busy week playing four games in five days. The Rams have another non-league game tomorrow (Tuesday) at Cherry Creek, followed by a home league game against Evergreen on Wednesday.
“Playing Lakewood tonight and Cherry Creek tomorrow, we’re really excited to play this competition,” Maves said.
The Bruins are sixth in the 5A standings this week and are coming off a tough loss to second-placed Grandview last Friday.
” It’s interesting. It will be a good test,” Pitzner said of the week. “Our girls are hungry for tough matches and we definitely have one tomorrow.”
The final hurdle for Green Mountain to win a third straight conference title will come on the road against D’Evelyn (16-2, 10-1) Friday night at the Jaguars home field. The Rams got the win the first time around with a 51-34 home win over D’Evelyn.
“I’m really excited for this,” Maves said of the Rams facing D’Evelyn at the end of those four games in five days. “I’m really excited to play them again.”
Lakewood (10-8, 1-3) has another tough challenge hosting No. 1 Valor Christian on Wednesday night. The Tigers are currently on a 3-game losing streak, but top scorer and rebounder Anna Salmore is hoped to be back. Salmore missed Monday’s game.