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Resilient Rebels fend off late Eagles’ charge

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Snow, Crowther carry host Columbine past Dakota Ridge

By Michael Hicks

If one wanted to find a reason or two for Columbine’s 60-53 boys basketball victory over Dakota Ridge on Jan. 9, here are a couple.
One would be Jon Snow’s hustle play with 1 minute, 44 seconds left off an offensive rebound — the third one for the Rebels in the possession as part of a late-game 8-0 run. A second would be Columbine’s 11-for-15 free-throw shooting down the stretch after going just 4-for-13 earlier in the game. It was just enough for the host Rebels to win for the seventh time in eight games and to stay undefeated in the 5A Jeffco League.
Snow led Columbine (9-2, 4-0 5A Jeffco) with a game-high 19 points, while Brad Crowther added 15 and Garrett Hyde scored 11.
“(Dakota Ridge) made a great run. We knew they’d make one, but our kids, I thought, did a good job of stopping it in time and then extending the lead and giving us a little bit of a cushion down the stretch,” Columbine head coach Clay Thielking said.
Dakota Ridge, which had trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter after a Ty McMinimee 3-pointer, went on a 16-5 run to pull within a point three times in the fourth quarter. The final time was at 45-44 following an Austin Genthe layup, but the Eagles never recaptured the lead they last held at 9-7 early in the second quarter.
“We had our foot on their throat and we just didn’t let up,” Crowther said.
Elijah Davis led Dakota Ridge (7-5, 4-1) with 18 points. Genthe finished with 11.
“We did a great job of coming back. The defensive energy that we had was really good in the third quarter. It was really good in the first quarter. It was really good in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, we kind of dug ourselves a hole in the second quarter where we let them get a lot of easy buckets,” Dakota Ridge head coach Curi Yutzy said. “It’s awfully tough to play at that high energy when we were just so disconnected on offense in the first half.”
The Eagles trailed 21-11 at halftime after Columbine went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter. But Dakota Ridge showed its resolve in the fourth despite putting the Rebels in the double bonus by the end of the third quarter.
“We’ve been in that spot quite a bit so far this year and we’ve yet to take that next step. We, as a team, need to take that next step in order to become a better team. We just haven’t done that yet,” Yutzy said.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.