10 Shot – HS Basketball – Arvada West at RV Pt.2

HS Basketball – AWest/RV Part 2

In the preseason Ralston Roundup tournament, the host Ralston Valley Mustangs defeated their crosstown rivals, the Arvada West Wildcats in the final game.  Since that game was played in the middle of December, both teams have had great seasons, with both teams ranked in the top 20 for Colorado 5A schools.  In fact, even though Ralston Valley had a better league record coming into the game, Arvada West was ranked higher.

With this being a rivalry game, the gym at Ralston Valley was packed.  It was really full for the girls game before this game, but by the time the boys took the court, it was standing room only.  From the tip to start the game, it was apparent that this was going to be a wild one.  Ralston Valley took a 2 point lead in the first quarter, leading 14-12 after the first 8 minutes had expired.  The Mustangs took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 10-4 to take a 24-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.

It was a close third quarter with the Mustangs extending their lead by one point outscoring Arvada West 13-12.  It was going to come down to the final 8 minutes if Arvada West wanted to get revenge for the preseason loss.  Sophomore Dallas Walton almost blew the game wide open as he leapt up for a two handed dunk.  However, he rimmed the ball off the back of the basket and missed the dunk.  If Walton would have been a half step closer or tried to dunk with one hand he probably would have thrown down a monster dunk, but instead, it pumped up the Wildcats.  It was not enough for Arvada West as they were not able to outscore the home team Mustangs in the final frame.  Ralston Valley scored 27 in the fourth quarter to the Wildcats 24 and won the game 64-52.  The next game for these two Jeffco powerhouses will be the final game of the regular season at Arvada West.

One thing that really became apparent to me during this game was a piece the Ralston Valley is missing.  That might actually be the wrong wording.  A sure fire go to player seems to be lacking for the Mustangs, but I can not really say they are not there.  Great teams will have at least 5 or 6 players that a coach will not have a problem taking a final shot, but even those teams will have a player that is a bit more of a “go to” player.  The Miami Heat have Ray Allen, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron, the Jordan era Bulls had his Airness, Pippen, Paxon, and the Showtime era Lakers had Magic, Jabar, Scott, and any number of players who could make that big shot.  While the Mustangs have inside and outside threats, I really believe that junior Andrew Wingard could be that game changing player.  If you watch him during warm ups, he has the talent.  He can hit outside shots, and drive with authority, and he can just about jump out of the gym.  But when the game starts, he seems quiet at the start, and then it takes physical play to get him riled up, and not always in a good way.  If he would wake up and realize he is that good and take control, he will make his teammates better players and make the Mustangs a threat for post season.  One of the best players I have ever had the privilege to watch, and play against in a pick up game, was NBA great Gary Payton.  A point guard that could hit the deep three, penetrate and either go hard to the hoop or drop a dime anywhere there was an opening and even make a pass that should not have been possible.  Whether it was throwing a lob to Shawn Kemp in traffic, or stealing the ball from Jordan and taking it down to the other end for a dunk, Gary Payton was the core of the Sonics and what took them to the NBA Finals against Jordan’s Bulls.  That is the talent I see peeking out of Wingard.  If he focuses his emotions and let his basketball talent do the talking, he could be RV’s Gary Payton (and Dallas Walton could be the Mustang’s Shawn Kemp).  A duo like that would compliment the Mustangs very well and give opposing teams something to worry about.

Here is my 10 shot from the game.

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Arvada West Wildcats junior guard Dhillon Greene (0) drives the ball past Ralston Valley Mustangs junior guard Andrew Wingard (1) in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior forward Zac Stevens (5) looks to pass over Arvada West Wildcats junior Thomas Neff (15) before jumping out of bounds in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Arvada West Wildcats senior Marcus Culhane (21) lays up a shot in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Arvada West Wildcats junior Thomas Neff (15) splits the Ralston Valley Mustangs defense on his way to the basket for a lay up in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Arvada West Wildcats senior Marcus Culhane (21) attempts a lay up in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior forward Zac Stevens (5) attempts to make a lay up past the defense by Arvada Wildcats junior guard Dhillon Greene (0) in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior guard Andrew Wingard (1) attempts a off balance shot between the Arvada West Wildcats defense in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior guard Andrew Wingard (1) rises for a lay up attempt in the game against the Arvada West Wildcats at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior guard Bryn Finnefrock (3) shoots a lay up past the outstretched arms of Arvada West Wildcats junior Thomas Neff (15) in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

10 Shot - HS Basketball - Arvada West at RV

January 23, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior guard Bryn Finnefrock (3) leaves Arvada West Wildcats sophomore Luke Neff (5) on the ground as he drives towards the basket in the game at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, CO

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