By Tim Donohoo
For the Courier
Dakota Ridge’s boys basketball squad can remind one of a swiss army knife. On defense, the Eagles swarm towards every dribble. On offense, they penetrate the paint and dominate the offensive glass. And if that is not enough, they can hit the short high percentage shot or nail a long three in a moment’s notice.
Columbine coach Clay Thielking knew it was going to be a monumental task for his Rebels to come out with the win on Feb. 7.
“We got our tail end kicked from start to finish,” said Thielking, following the 67-40 home loss to the Eagles. “They did a great job of setting the tone with their defensive pressure and we just never matched their intensity. Dakota Ridge outplayed us in every phase of the game.”
That it did.
Dakota Ridge caused 18 Columbine turnovers, including 13 steals. The Eagles outrebounded the Rebels 19-18, despite nine rebounds from Rebels 6-foot-8 senior Brandon Wilson.
Wilson tallied the first eight points of the ball game for Columbine. He ended up with 15 points in the first half and 23 for the game. Columbine junior Tucker Holden had a nice effort with seven points.
The Eagles ran out to an 18-12 lead after the first quarter. Dakota Ridge senior Cambrian Antrillo poured in eight points in the quarter to lead the Eagles.
Columbine tried to slow the pace to begin the second quarter, and it appeared the Rebels had weathered the storm. The Rebels went on an early 7-3 run in the quarter with two free throws each from Wilson and junior Dan DeGraaf coupled with a long 3-pointer from junior Keaton Matthies. However, that did not prove to turn the tide. Dakota Ridge outscored the Rebels 14-10 in the quarter and led at 32-22 at the half.
Columbine only came up with five points in the third quarter. And though Dakota Ridge had a lackluster performance in the third as well with nine points it increased its lead to 41-27.
Dakota Ridge put the exclamation point on the victory in the fourth quarter with 26 points. Eagles junior Mason Grothuesmann and Antrillo led Dakota Ridge with 14 points apiece.
Columbine dropped to 7-12 overall, 5-7 in the 5A Jeffco League, while Dakota Ridge climbed to 13-5, including 8-3 in the conference.