The January 12 basketball tripleheader was the third time this season that the Mustangs have walked away holding multiple wins. Although they still lack the elusive clean sweep, the Junior Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls teams exemplified everything positive about the new era of Denver Academy Basketball, including the ability to play through adversity. Neither team held the lead until late in the fourth quarter (3:50 left for the boys, and inside of two minutes for the girls).
This basketball season is about the team, not the individual. Yes, the Mustangs have had their share of individual performances throughout the season to this point, namely Gianna Giordano and Henry Stettner. But the defining trait of this season is the ability to care less about the individual than the team.
It was a frankly demoralizing first quarter for the Lady Mustangs, being shut out and down, 7-0, but they pulled within five points at the half. The third quarter was ho-hum, and the lead was more-or-less unchanging. The fourth quarter was soon upon the team, and behind a strong performance by Gracie Turner, the Mustangs went up by one with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter thanks to a free throw from Gianna Giordano.
More drama ensued late in the contest as the scoreboard operator would fail to restart the clock not once, but TWICE after free throws in the final minute of play, giving the Clear Creek Golddiggers more chances to come back and take a slim lead with almost no time left.
Fortunately, this didn’t happen, and the Mustangs would go on to get their first legitimate win (the Mustangs Varsity Girls Team is 2-3, with the other of their wins coming via forfeit from the Poudre Community Academy Warriors.)
The amount of calmness it takes to return from an early deficit, especially when you are held scoreless in the first quarter, is huge. This win is a big morale boost for this team and shows they are on the right track after a slow start to the season. Both Denver Academy boys’ teams have set blistering paces to start the season, with the J.V. team being 4-1 and the Varsity team being 3-2. The girls’ team opened up their campaign at 1-3 but looked strong in their first game back from the break. It remains to be seen if they can carry the momentum from their first win into the rest of an unforgiving January, with seven more games for the Mustangs before the end of the month.
The next battle for the Mustangs is a second bout against the Cripple Creek-Victor Pioneers on January 13 at home. The girls' team leads off the doubleheader at 2:00 p.m., and the boys' varsity squad plays at 3:30 p.m.