2013 HS Girls and Boys Basketball Double Header – Ralston Valley at Arvada West

Since shooting high schools in the Denver area this school year, I am learning a lot about the histories and rivalries.  In 2000 Ralston Valley opened to alleviate the student/teacher ratios at Pomona and Arvada West high schools.  Almost immediately, Ralston Valley started winning the League Championships and would go to the State Playoff many of those years since the doors opening and suddenly the championship teams that use to come out of Pomona and A-West stopped.  So, there is a big Rivalry between Ralston Valley with Pomona and Arvada West.


So I was excited to shoot the boys and girls double header between Ralston Valley and Arvada West.  The gym filled up pretty quick for the first game of the double bill as the league leading Ralston Valley girls took the court.


Unfortunately for the home team Wildcats, they are not having a good season this year, where the Ralston Valley Lady Mustangs have only suffered two losses this season, to non-conference opponents.  This was going to be a tough battle for the A-West Wildcats, and they knew that going into the game.


With no offense to the A-West girls, Ralston Valley made them look like a practice squad.  The Mustangs outscored the host Wildcats 22 to 8 in the first quarter, and it would not get any better for the home team.


In the second quarter, the Lady Mustangs kept up with both the offense and defense from the first quarter, out scoring the Wildcats 22 to 4, going into the locker room at halftime with a 44 to 12 lead.


When the second half started, RV started resting their starters and brought the bench players in, including a couple of Junior Varsity players.  With the starters out, A-West was able to hold down the Ralston Valley offense a little bit.


In the third quarter, Arvada West held Ralston Valley to just 12 points, but the Wildcat offense was not much better than in the previous two quarters.  A-West could only muster 6 points to go into the 4th quarter trailing the visiting Lady Mustangs 56 to 18.


The 4th quarter was more of the same.  Arvada West managed to put 7 points up, but Ralston Valley continued their dominance over the home team adding 13 points and taking the conference win with a final score of 69 to 25.  The thing that really impresses me with Ralston Valley’s girls is their ball movement and court awareness. In many games I have shot this season with the RV girls, they have had quite a few fast breaks with quick, no-look, touch passes.  Very impressive for a high school team.



To view or purchase photos from this game, please visit my Maxpreps gallery for the contest.

The second game of the double header were the Varsity Boys.  The gym got even more packed for this game.  This was the big one.  While over the last decade the Ralston Valley Mustangs have been the dominate team in the Jeffco league, this season they have had a slow start, starting off with a 2-4 record with two losses in their own tip off tournament.  The Wildcats, on the other hand, were looking very good at the beginning of the season, and at one point were in second place.  A-West had fallen some in the standings going into this game, but were still in front of Ralston Valley in the standings.


Prior to the game, as the visiting starters were announced, the college student fan thing of turning your back on the visiting team took over as the packed A-West student section turned around.


As the A-West starters were announced, the RV fans returned the favor, as the packed visiting fan section all turned their backs to the A-West players.  This was going to be a wild game.


I had a lot of people, parents, boosters, and staff ask me who was going to win.  And, I could not answer.  RV had a cold start this season, but was playing really good ball as of late, they had an inside game that A-West did not have, and one of the best players in the Jeffco league on the team.


A-West did not have that inside game like RV, but they had a great outside game with a lot of scoring threats.  If A-West could play their game, and some how stop the inside game of Ralston Valley, they would be good.


Ralston Valley stunned the home team as they came out hard in the first quarter and took a 12 to 9.  Arvada West was trying to find their outside shot early, and it was just not falling for the home Wildcats.


The A-West Wildcats found their game in the 2nd quarter as they outscored the Mustangs 10-7 going into halftime with a tie game at 19 apiece.


When the two teams came back out on the floor for the 3rd quarter, Ralston Valley went nuts.  They put 18 points up on the board in the third frame while holding the home Wildcats to just 9 points.  If A-West was going to win this rivalry game on their home court, they were going to need to out score the Mustangs by 9 points in the 4th.  This was not going to be easy.


But, A-West did out score the visiting RV Mustangs in the 4th.  In fact, you could feel the gym get electric from both groups of fans.  This was turning into a really good game.  Arvada West was able to put up 19 points in the 4th, but it would not be enough.  They only outscored the Mustangs by 3 points and RV would go on to win the game 53 to 47.

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit the Maxpreps gallery for this game.


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