Memo to Wheat Ridge: Don’t dis the Chargers.
What exactly was said and who from Farmerland said it was not something Chatfield boys basketball coach Steve Schimpeler wanted to repeat Feb. 8.
And why bother? Fueled by an apparent slight spoken weeks ago, the Chargers let their actions speak in volumes by hammering Wheat Ridge 76-56 for a key Class 5A Jefferson County League victory.
Fueled by a 10-0 run in the second quarter, the Chargers took the lead for good behind a strong all-around game that ended with four players scoring in double figures.
“It probably was our best game of the season,” Schimpeler said. “People were really stepping up. The guys were emotional early on.”
Sophomore forward Jordan Carter scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the first half and Tyler Haidaris connected on three 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Trent Bishop made just two baskets but was 9-for-9 at the free-throw line to finish with 14 points, while sophomore Landon Vermeer scored 10 points and had six rebounds.
“We came out with a lot of intensity,” Haidaris said. “We knew it was a big game, so we knew we had to come out strong.”
The Chargers (5-1 Jeffco, 7-12 overall) won their third straight and remain one game behind league leaders Arvada West and tied for second with Green Mountain, which the Chargers play on Valentine’s Day.
Chatfield played a smart game against the Farmers, who got into foul trouble early and were taxed for offensive support with Mike Gearhart and Wayne Wallace on the bench. Ryan Routzon scored 18 points for the Farmers (4-2, 8-11) before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Chargers did a good job collapsing inside on Routzon, pressuring the perimeter and fighting for control in the paint.
“We were trying to change up the defense a lot,” said senior Andy Clements, who had three points. “Our team just responded real well to the changes. It was kind of throwing them off going from man to zone to man.”
Chatfield also had another stellar night at the charity stripe, knocking down 26-of-29 attempts.
The Chargers trailed 17-14 after the first quarter before embarking on a 10-0 run, which was capped by two free throws from Haidaris. But Haidaris’ biggest moment would come in the final minute of the first half as he knocked down three treys from the left side of the arc to give the Chargers their big lead with each tickle of the twine.
Haidaris’ first 3-ball made it 33-22, he drilled his next seconds later to made it 36-22 and connected once more just before the horn to make it 41-25.
Good-bye shooting slump.
“It felt great,” he said. “I finally hit one.”
Chatfield’s lead fluctuated between 17 and 12 points before the Rogers duo – Tyler and Taylor – pushed the advantage to 22 points with a 3-pointer and layup late in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good game because it was intense,” Schimpeler said. “It was intense from the very beginning. Wheat Ridge is a good team. Their size was our biggest concern and we did a really good job of rotating and playing good defense.”
Wheat Ridge 17-8-13-18—56
Wheat Ridge: Orms 3 2-7 8, Routzon 6 4-6 18, Gearhart 2 0-0 4, Wallace 5 4-6 14, Dowd 1 0-0 2, Achatz 1 2-2 4, Marvel 0 0-0 0, E. Shannon 0 0-0 0, Land 1 2-2 4, K. Shannon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 14-23 56.
Chatfield: Bishop 2 9-9 14, Clements 1 0-0 3, Fritze 0 2-2 2, Vermeer 5 0-0 10, Carter 7 4-4 18, Slavin 1 2-4 4, Haidaris 4 5-6 16, Kurtenbach 0 4-4 4, Ta. Rogers 1 0-0 2, Ty. Rogers 1 0-0 3, Wages 0 0-0 0, Wright 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 26-29 76.
3-point goals: Routzon 2; Haidaris 3, Bishop, Clements, Ty. Rogers.