Boys hoops: Cardinals overcome slow start for big win

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Scott Stocker
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There was probably a good reason for Elizabeth’s Jacob Gavitt to wonder if his team was going to get on track in the early goings in the Cardinals basketball game against visiting Vista PEAK Prep. But once they got over their initial quick-stun, the road to victory came around.

Vista PEAK, in only its first season of varsity basketball, jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the teams Colorado Seven League opener last Friday. But following Elizabeth’s first basket, a three-pointer by James Christiansen with 5:48 left in the first quarter, the Cardinals got on track. It would initially help pave the way to a 79-52 victory.

Vista PEAK would up the score to 9-3 before Elizabeth finally found the basket for good and an eventual 18-11 first quarter lead. And Gavitt would score eight of his game high 26 points hitting a pair of three-point baskets to help out the early surge.

“At the start, we just couldn’t move the ball,” said Gavitt, a 6-foot, 4 sophomore. “But once we got going, got back on defense we were able not to look back. It was step up basketball. We were able to move around and not be selfish.

“I think we have good chemistry and it is coming together,” Gavitt said. “They were a scrappy team and they never gave up against us. They are young and you can see there is a lot of talent by the way they hustled. We just had to adjust after our start.”

Both teams, each playing full court pressure defense throughout the game, only scored nine points apiece in the second quarter. Thus Elizabeth went into the locker room with a 27-20 lead, but still not real comfortable with their position.

Yet Elizabeth found comfort in the third quarter as the Cardinals outscored Vista PEAK 28-15 to gain their commanding lead.

“As a league opener, it is nice to get off to a good start,” said Elizabeth coach Mike Boss as his Cardinals improved to 5-5 on the season at this point. “To many of our threes were not going in at first but we got our momentum going. We knew that they were going to be physical and they came ready to play us.

“They are very young, have talent, and we didn’t want them to come back,” Boss said. “They got up on us quick and that brought us back to reality. They are a scrappy bunch and played hard against us. Our experience just took over.”

Elizabeth junior Brandon Severinsen came through with 11 points, seven on a quick run as time ran out.

“We felt we had to step up.” Severinsen said. “I think we came in not knowing them, but not expecting their challenge either. We have never played them before so it was a new experience. Yes, they are young, but you can see there is some good talent that’s going to develop. We just had to keep our minds clear after our start. Our three-balls were not going in at first and we just needed to step up.”

All-in-all, it has been a good start to the New Year for the Elizabeth boys. The Cardinals defeated Mitchell, 81-62 on Jan. 8th, then came through with their victory against Vista PREP.

However, they were stymied by Discovery Canyon, Jan. 13, losing 73-69.

Boss and Christiansen led the way for the Cardinals against Mitchell as they both accounted for 17 points. Gavitt scored 15 and Steinke 13 to help give the Cardinals a fairly balanced night of scoring.

Christiansen again had a solid night against Discovery Canyon making use of seven three-point baskets and finishing with 23 points. But the leading scorer on the evening for the Cardinals was Gavitt with 24. Brandon Nachbar led Discovery Canyon with a game-high 27 points.

ELBERT

The Elbert boys, under coach Mac McGuire, had little trouble against a youthful Colorado Springs School as they came away with a 48-8 victory against the Kodiaks on Jan. 11. The Bulldogs held their foe scoreless in the first quarter, gave up four in the second and only two points in each of the third and fourth quarters.

Roger Carlson was the only player for Elbert to score in double-figures against Colorado Springs with 10 while Bryce Hutchens scored seven and Blake Nicholas, six.

Elbert then improved to 4-4 on last Saturday as the Bulldogs upended Simla, 64-52, to improve their record to 4-4. Balanced scoring paved the way with Carlson leading with 12 points followed by Nicholas and Hutchens, nine points apiece.

Elbert trailed Simla, 16-15 after the first period, but the Bulldogs fashioned a 20-point second quarter while holding the Cubs to seven points, thus a 35-23 lead at the intermission.

SIMLA

Cody Norris pulled off an impressive hat trick as he led Simla to a 59-42 victory against home standing Byers on Jan. 11. In the process of helping lead the Cubs to their fifth victory of the season he scored 16 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished up 11 10 assists. He almost had a quartet of doubles falling short in steals with nine.

Kyle Hamacher was the only other player to hit for double-figures against Byers with 13 points. Aaron Thieman scored eight points and Jason George added six more for the winners.

KIOWA

The Kiowa boys did not play this past week. The Indians will resume play Jan. 18 when the begin a three-game home stand against Calhan.