LAKEWOOD — Chatfield boys basketball coach Steve Schimpeler found his missing team Jan. 21. A positive result, however, continued to hide.
Days after going AWOL and being upset by the defensive Arvada West Wildcats, the Chargers showed up in time to face Class 5A Jefferson County League leader Green Mountain.
The Chargers had plenty of grit and moxie for four quarters, only for the Rams to knock them out in overtime for a 67-63 defeat.
“We have character. We just don’t have enough firepower,” Schimpeler said.
The Chargers (9-4, 2-2 in Jeffco) trailed by as many as nine only to rally and force overtime. Rams’ guard Brian Hunt took over from there, as the senior scored seven of his game-high 27 points in the extra frame
“They had a couple big shots, and we couldn’t get our offense going,” guard Dean Wright said. “I think their crowd helped out a lot.”
Wright’s free throw gave the visitors the early lead in overtime, but the Rams rattled off nine straight points to go up 62-54 with 1:25 remaining. Chatfield had chances to tie but could not hit the big shots.
It was a bittersweet end for the Chargers, who were pleased with their pluckiness and ability to hang with the Rams (13-0, 4-0 in Jeffco). It was far better than the 45-40 loss to Arvada West.
“I don’t know what team was at Arvada West,” Schimpeler said. “That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen in my basketball career. It was just one of those nights. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, it was just one of those games where the stars didn’t line up.”
Wright and Landon Vermeer led the Chargers with 13 points apiece against the Rams. Tyler Rogers and Trevor Wages added 10 points apiece and Kyle Slavin chipped in with nine. Junior Jordan Carter suited up but did not play.
The Chargers stepped up early against the Rams after going down 10-4. Hunt scored 11 points in the opening quarter but Chargers attacked inside with Trevor Wages and tied the score at 16 heading into the second quarter.
That theme would continue in the second quarter where the Chargers trailed 29-20 only to finish the quarter on a 9-0 run, which was capped by Tyler Rogers’ layup.
The Rams lost their inside presence (Nick Sleeman) to injury in the second quarter but the Chargers could not dominate inside as Wages picked up some early fouls and the Rams put more pressure on the perimeter and crashed the boards.
The teams swapped the lead five times in the second half before Wright’s layup put the Chargers up 53-51 with a little more than a minute remaining in regulation time.
The Rams tied it at the free-throw line with 54 seconds left but the Chargers turned the ball over on their next possession when Tyler Haidaris was whistled for a charge.
The Rams ate the clock up and got Hunt a shot with two seconds remaining, but it banked out.
“We had our opportunities,” Schimpeler said.
Green Mtn. 16-13-12-12-14—67
Chatfield: Ty. Rogers 4 1-1 10, Wright 4 5-6 13, Haidaris 2 0-0 4, Vermeer 4 3-4 13, Wages 4 2-2 10, Ta. Rogers 1 1-2 4, Slavin 3 3-6 9, Teague 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 15-21 63.
3-point goals: Vermeer 2, Ty. Rogers, Ta. Rogers.