WHEAT RIDGE - If Wheat Ridge wants to finish they have to learn how to start.
The Farmers (1-7) have lost seven games this season and the common theme of those losses has been slow starts.
Wheat Ridge has simply been unable to get it going early in games and as a result they are forced to play catch up the final three quarters of what has been nearly every game they have played in this season.
“We are playing as good or even better against the teams we have lost to in the second halves of these losses. But because of our poor starts we are not able to do the things we need to do to win these games,” Wheat Ridge senior Ryan Girtin said.
Five of the Farmers’ seven losses this season were games that came down to the wire. But because Wheat Ridge put themselves behind the eight ball early, they have not been able to dig out of self-made holes.
The Farmers will have the opportunity for their second win, as well as the chance to get the second half of their season on track, when they host Arvada (1-7) Friday at 7 p.m.
GOLDEN STARTING TO SHINE
The Demons (4-4) are starting to realize that they have the goods to be one of the best teams in 4A Jeffco as they prepare for league play.
But if they want to take that next step it starts with improvement in their late game execution. All four of Golden’s losses have come down to the last few possessions and three of those losses were by single digits.
One of those seniors is Austin Richard who is averaging 20 points per game, as well as seven assists.
But Golden is not a one trick pony. The Demons feature one of the deepest teams in their league, and they have eight different players averaging at least six points per game this season.
That depth will be tested on Friday when Golden travels to D’Evelyn (8-1), one of the best teams in the state.
PIRATES OFF TO STRONG START
Alameda boys’ basketball team will host Conifer Friday at 7 p.m. at Alameda High School.
The Pirates (4-3) look to continue their resurgence this season as they get into league play against a Conifer (2-7) team that had struggled out of the gate.
Well-rounded Alameda has three players that average at least 13 points per game, including junior Marnath Reat’s 17.4 points per game.
Alameda looks on the verge of their first winning record in a decade. Moreover, this team has the good to make some noise in the state tournament.
LOOKING TO SHAKE STRUGGLES
Wheat Ridge and Arvada are two struggling programs looking to get right against each other when the Farmers host the Bulldogs Friday at 7 p.m.
Arvada (1-7) has had problems with injuries, as well as eligibility, through the early part of the season. But head coach Tom Baker said his team is finally ready to make their push as league play approaches.
`CATS CONTINUE TO SURGE
Arvada West boys’ basketball looks to stay perfect in league play when they travel to Dakota Ridge for a Friday meeting at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats (8-2, 3-0) will face a Dakota Ridge team (6-4, 3-0) also perfect in 5A Jeffco.
Sophomore Thomas Neff carries his `Cats with his nearly 20 points per game average, and sophomore Dhillon Greene chips in 12 points per game. The pair is one of the best scoring duos in the league.
A-West’s win total of eight games is already two games better than they won all of last season (6-18).
BEARING DOWN IN 2013
Bear Creek boys’ basketball is looking to put 2012 behind then and use 2013 as a fresh start.
After losing ten straight contests the Bears will have on opportunity to get their 2013 part of the season on track when they travel to Lakewood High School Friday at 7 p.m.
Bear Creek (1-10, 0-4) will play a Lakewood team (4-6, 1-3) that lies and dies by the three-point shot. If the Bears and defend the perimeter and make some shot of their own, this could be a game that could come down to the last few possessions.
The Bears are led by junior DJ Miles who averages over 15 points per game.
JAGS GET GOLDEN AFTER LOSS
D’Evelyn boys’ basketball looks to shake off their first loss of the season when they host Golden Friday at 7 p.m.
The Jaguars (8-1) are coming off a dramatic 79-77 loss to Valor on Saturday, but they have no time to sulk because Golden (4-4) is also looking to get right coming off two losses themselves.
Still one of the best teams in all of 4A, D’Evelyn has developed into a juggernaut this season. The Jaguars are averaging 80 points per game, and senior Luke Stratman is one of the best scorers in the state averaging nearly 30 points per game.
Golden is more reliant on solid team play when they are playing at their best. They have three double-digit scorers who all chip in, including senior Austin Richard and his 20 point per game average.
Friday’s meeting will be a statement game for both programs.
RAMS READY TO MAKE PUSH
Green Mountain boys’ basketball looks to get back on the winning track against Evergreen Friday at 7 p.m. at Evergreen High School.
The Rams (5-3) look to rekindle the fire that set them off to straight victories to open the season. Since, they have lost three of the past five, getting blown out in two of those losses.
Green Mountain senior Steven Lorenzen averages 15.3 points per game, but the Rams sometimes struggle to find a second scoring option. If they can find a Robin for their Batman they have the opportunity to be one of the second half surprises in 4A Jeffco.
KEEPING THE FAITH THE KEY
After losing only two games all of last season the reigning state champion Faith Christian Eagles have already lost five games this season.
The Eagles (3-5) look to get their season on track when they travel to Eaton on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Faith Christian lost their first three games of the season, but they have won three of their past five games.