The planets aligned, the stars shined brightly, all the crying babies were comforted and peace and love and good happiness stuff reigned for 16 minutes on Jan. 9.
During that span, the Columbine Rebels saw perfection. And it was them.
“Probably the finest half of basketball (for) any team I’ve ever coached in 22 years,” Rebels coach Jim Bartok said. “It was a clinic, in terms of moving the ball. Green Mountain is an excellent team. I’ve seen them play and I know what they’re capable of, and that’s a very, very good basketball team.”
The Rebels were a fireworks display short of stupendous as they opened up a 27-point lead in the first half en route to a 57-40 Class 5A Jefferson County League mauling of the Rams.
Demitra Apergis scored a game-best 15 points, Randee Hayes added 13 points, nine rebounds and blocked three shots, and senior Heather Van Halen came off the bench to rock and roll for nine points. Amiee Thomas grabbed seven rebounds and scored five points, Alyssa Maccan had seven points and Noelle Hoelsken had five points as the Rebels bounced back from a physical nonleague loss to Heritage.
The Rebels (8-2, 1-0 in Jeffco) gave up a 5-0 run to start the game but responded with a 16-0 run to finish the quarter and wouldn’t allow the Rams (5-6, 0-1) to score another basket until there was 6:20 left in the second quarter. By then, the Rebels were up 20-7 and cruising to their big lead of 37-10 on Thomas’ putback of Hayes’ missed free throw a minute before halftime.
“It was fun,” said Apergis, who scored seven points herself in the first quarter, compared to five by the Rams. “We’ve always had a pretty good rivalry with them. We want to win and we don’t take losing very well.”
Rarely has going to the clinic been so fun – unless, of course, it means getting out of class or work. The Rebels were driving, setting picks, dishing to the left, right and the back door. At times it appeared as if the Rebels had a 6-on-5 advantage as holes opened on the floor for easy buckets.
“Especially with all the open plays we got and all the dishes that we had,” Van Halen said.
Added Bartok: “And a lot of kids getting involved, not just the starters. The bench kids did real well.”
A minor buzz kill was Columbine’s sluggish performance in the second half. Although their lead was cut below 20 just a few times, the Rebels struggled to regain the magic they had spread.
After sinking seven baskets in the first quarter, the Rebels made just six baskets in the entire second half.
Green Mtn. 5-7-10-18—40
Columbine: Apergis 6 2-4 15, Maccan 1 5-8 7, Hoelsken 2 1-2 5, Thomas 2 1-2 5, Hayes 6 1-4 13, Van Halen 4 0-0 9, Hentges 0 2-2 2, Hudspeth 0 0-0 0, Tedford 0 0-0 0, R. Maccan 0 1-2 1, Snow 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 13-24 57.
3-point goals: Apergis, Van Halen.