LAKEWOOD — It was a process going in the right direction Thursday, Dec. 2, for Green Mountain’s boys basketball team. The Rams won every quarter against Greeley Central in the opening round of …
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LAKEWOOD — It was a process going in the right direction Thursday, Dec. 2, for Green Mountain’s boys basketball team.
The Rams won every quarter against Greeley Central in the opening round of the annual Paul Davis Classic that the Rams host. Green Mountain kept adding to its lead in taking an eventual 71-44 victory on its home court.
“We still have a long ways to go. We are never going to be perfect,” Green Mountain coach Mike Puccio said of the Rams’ defensive performance. “We missed some big assignments early. We let them get going with (Isaiah Flores) getting loose early. He is a guy who can drop 40.”
Flores hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to cut the Rams’ lead to 12-10 late in the first quarter. Flores led the Wildcats (2-2 record) with 15 points, but he was the only Greeley Central player to reach double-digit points.
Flores dropped 26 points against Berthoud on Tuesday in Greeley Central’s 85-35 season opening victory.
“We watched a lot of film on (Flores). He was the No. 1 guy we were looking at,” Green Mountain senior Cayson Pearson said. “We knew he could score at all three levels.”
Green Mountain (3-0) had four seniors — Pearson, Luke Davis, Cooper Francy and Corbin Jantzer — all score double-digits in the season opening victory. Davis led the way with 15 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Pearson poured in a dozen points, all from 3-point range. His final 3-pointer came as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter.
“I just had to put it up with 2 seconds left,” Pearson said of the 3-pointer that pushed the Rams’ lead to 54-36 heading to the fourth quarter.
“Cayson was huge tonight,” Puccio said. “To finish a quarter like that and going into the fourth quarter was a nice spark for sure.”
While Green Mountain struggled shooting early taking “terrible shots” in the words of Puccio, the Rams managed to get the ball inside to Jantzer in the third quarter where he
scored 8 of his 12 points. The Rams also got to the free-throw line often shooting 27 free throws.
“For Game 1 against a really good team with some really good players, we are happy,” Puccio said.
Puccio had to be thrilled with the outcome of the tournament. The Rams defeated Riverdale Ridge in the semifinals Dec. 3 and then won the tournament with a huge victory over Air Academy. Francy led the way for Green Mountain pouring in 27 points on seven 3-pointers.
“I’ve won it as a player at Green Mountain and won it coaching when I was at Standley Lake,” Puccio said of the Paul Davis Classic. “I want to win it, but you want to play great teams in honor of the late, great Paul Davis. I’m honored to be apart of this.”
It’s a ways down the road, but the Rams should be in the mix for the 4A Jeffco League title this winter. Green Mountain finished tied for the conference title last year, but a head-to-head loss to Evergreen gave the league title to the Cougars.
“We have not been great in practice and we aren’t at that elite level yet,” Puccio said. “To me the (4A Jeffco) league is wide-open. There are some really good coaches and it’s hard to go through that gauntlet.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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