LAKEWOOD – The Green Mountain boys basketball team knew how to use the hunt in its game against Columbine on Jan. 9.
Brian Hunt that is.
Hunt scored 21 points to help the Rams to a 64-40 defeat of the Rebels in a Class 5A Jefferson County League game.
“Stopping his 3-point shots was pretty tough because we kept running press and he kept getting open,” said Columbine’s Neil Myer, who had seven points. “When he gets open, he doesn’t miss.”
Hunt finished with four 3-pointers in the first half which guided the Rams to a 33-20 halftime lead.
Columbine struggled in the opening minutes when Green Mountain went on a 9-0 run. The Rebels only managed six points by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Rebels tried to keep up with the Rams and their shooting improved, but for every shot Columbine took and missed, Green Mountain took and made.
“We knew they were undefeated coming into this game and they had a good shooter in Hunt, but we needed to stop him and we didn’t,” Myer added.
After Green Mountain went on a short 7-0 run in the third quarter, Columbine looked as if they might make it a close one when Colin Varney hit a nice three followed by a couple of baskets from Mike Baumgarten and Mike Tanner. By the end of the third, the Rebels trailed by just 11.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, the Rams decided to expand the gap in the fourth by hitting nearly every foul shot they were awarded.
Green Mountain went 9-for-12 from the free-throw line in the first minutes of the fourth. With an added 3-pointer from Nick Sleeman early in the fourth, the Rams jumped to a 60-35 lead.
Columbine didn’t help its cause when two technicals were called on a Rebels player and the Rams were given six shots from the line.
“All I know is that the ref gave him one technical and then (Connor Robinson) made a big deal out of it and the ref threw him out of the game,” explained Columbine senior Beau Smith. “Connor just let his emotions get the best of him unfortunately. In league games it just gets heated sometimes.”
Smith finished with nine points for the Rebels and was the team’s leading scorer. Tyler Trader added six points for Columbine and Connor Osborne added five.
Green Mountain simply outrebounded and outhustled Columbine for the ball. The Rebels were held to just five points in the final quarter.
“This loss was pretty disappointing,” Smith said. “We know we need to get things turned around because for us seniors we only have 10 games left. We don’t want to end our career with games like this.”