D’Evelyn girls win OT thriller

D’Evelyn girls win OT thriller versus Littleton in top-10 showdown
Posted on 01/27/2023
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Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Sports Information

DENVER — The Class 5A/4A Jeffco League match-up Friday night between two of the hottest girls basketball teams in the state didn’t disappoint.

D’Evelyn — No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com 4A girls rankings — edged Littleton 55-53 in overtime to keep the Jaguars undefeated on the season. The home win also put D’Evelyn (16-0, 6-0 in league) alone atop the conference standings.

“It feels amazing. We have so much energy,” D’Evelyn junior Peyton Marvel said. “Staying in first means everything to us. That was our goal at the beginning of the year to win league.”

The Lions (11-5, 5-1) came into the game No. 10 in the 5A rankings and riding a 10-game winning streak after starting the season with a 1-4 record facing tough competition early on.

Littleton held a 48-40 lead with just over 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Juniors Jacy Chandler (19 points), Daysha Sagrillo-Smiley (12 points) and Penny Urquhart (7 points), along with senior Dalana Jakovljevic (13 points) led the Lions in the upset bid.

“They are a four-headed monster kind of like us a little bit,” D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson said. “You know who you have to stop. We knew it was going to be fun and it was.”

D’Evelyn went to a full-court press during the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter in an attempt to close the gap. The strategy worked. The Jaguars went on a 9-1 run to send the game into overtime.

The key play happened with under 10 seconds to play in regulation-time. The Lions turned the ball over in their own end with a 1-point lead when junior Macy Scheer was able to deflect a pass. Marvel grabbed the steal and then shoveled a pass down low to Scheer for a layup with 6 seconds to play, giving the Jaguars a 49-48 lead.

However, while Urquhart raced the ball up the court with the clock running down she was fouled by Marvel near mid-court with .08 seconds left, sending Urquhart to the free-throw line for a one-and-one and a chance to win the game.

“I didn’t even look at the clock. I was worried she (Urquhart) would have time to shoot,” Marvel said. “I kind of lost my balance bumped into her when I fell.”

Urquhart made the first free throw, but missed the second. Marvel grabbed the rebound to send the game into overtime tied at 49-49.

“When you’ve got kids like this you just turn them loose,” Olson said of Marvel’s aggressive play on the court. “You live with the good and the bad of it. She doesn’t make that play in the corner or that steal if you don’t let her play that way. You live with all that.”

Marvel had the biggest shot in the overtime period with her lone 3-pointer of the game from the corner with 2:43 left to put D’Evelyn up 54-51.

“A lot of our shots weren’t falling the whole game,” Marvel said. “We just knew we had to keep shooting and they would finally fall.”

Marvel had another big steal in the final 20 seconds with the Jaguars leading 54-53. She was fouled driving to the basket and made one of two free throws.

Littleton had a couple of chances in the final seconds to tie or take the lead, but D’Evelyn was able to celebrate the overtime victory to stay undefeated on the season. Scheer finished with 14 points and Marvel had 11 points. Senior Gina Gersabeck had a dozen for the Jaguars.

“We have been focusing in Littleton,” Marvel said. “When we were down by 8 points we were stressed, but we realized we just had to play our game. We came back and won to show how strong we are.”

D’Evelyn came in winning its first five conference games by an average of more than 48 points per game. It was a heck of a lot closer league game than what the Jaguars had experienced so far this season.

“We play them all summer and we play in a Fall league with them,” Olson said of the nice rivalry that has grown between the Jaguars and Lions. “(Littleton coach Adam Williams) and I are good buddies. We talk all the time. They wanted this as much as we wanted it."

Littleton get back into league action on the road against Bear Creek on Monday, Jan. 30. D’Evelyn is also on the road against Conifer on the same night next week.

“When you haven’t lost yet everyone wants to be the one to knock you off,” Olson said as the Jaguars sit in the driver’s seat to grab their first league title since the 2014-15 season.

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