DENVER — Anthony Shoeboot wouldn’t take credit for his play on defense. The Chatfield senior figures he was just one part of the equation. But his guarding of Mullen’s inbound play certainly played havoc on the Mustangs during their Dec. 8 game at Hutchison Field House.
Chatfield’s full-court pressure defense ignited a half-closing 12-4 run, and the Chargers never trailed again in an 86-67 victory.
“It’s not just me, but my entire team for not letting them have the ball and staying on their man and not letting them catch it. I just did my job protecting the ball and then getting the ball and scoring,” Shoeboot said.
Chatfield (3-1), coming off a 69-61 loss at Arapahoe four days earlier, trailed 28-27 with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left in the second quarter. But Brendan Mann hit one of his five 3-pointers, then back-to-back layups from Shoeboot pushed the lead to six. Then Shoeboot, with his shooting hand in the air as he watched the ball, later capped the first half with a rattling 3-pointer at the buzzer.
It was certainly a different flow to the game compared to the first quarter where the lead changed hands three times and two more times the score was tied. That was primarily because of the play of Mullen’s Greg Owens, who scored his team’s first 10 points.
But Chatfield eventually stifled Owens and Mullen’s offense, which had options, couldn’t keep up under the Chargers’ tenacious pressure.
“We didn’t really start off the way we wanted to. Once we got the ball moving and started locking down on defense we got the result we wanted,” said point guard Andrew St. Germain, who scored a game-high 15 points, as did Mann. For the game, Chatfield had nine 3-pointers.
In all, Chatfield had nine players score — four in double figures. Alec Wray added 12 points, while Shoeboot poured in 11.
“That’s what really special about this team. We have a lot of guys that can score,” St. Germain said. “Someone off on any given night someone can step up and score in double digits.”
Mullen, after a 9-1 run early in the third quarter, pulled to within a point. But Chatfield went on a 9-3 surge of its own to open the lead back to eight. The lead eventually grew to 20 points late in the fourth.
Mullen (1-1) also had four players in double figures, led by 13 points each from Owens and Eric Epps.