DAVID R JENNINGS
DENVER — When Dan Perse came off the court at the Denver Coliseum, he repeated a refrain common to the state tournament — his team is trying to remain humble.
That old saw might hold true for Broomfield boys basketball’s mentality, but certainly not its play. Friday night, the second-seeded Eagles were aggressive, assertive and anything but humble on the way to staging one of the most lopsided upsets of the Class 4A state tournament.
Broomfield had its amply filled sections cheering as it dominated every facet of its quarterfinals appearance, routing top-seeded D’Evelyn 84-65 to win the Maceo Brodnax, Jr., Region.
“There are no slouches in the Great Eight,” Perse said. “You’ve got to come out strong, there is no messing around anymore.”
The victory earned the Eagles (22-4) their second consecutive appearance in the Final Four. And Perse played a huge role in getting the team to Friday’s semifinals, where they face the winner of Saturday’s late Valor Christian-Sand Creek matchup at the Coors Event Center.
Perse set the tone for his team right off the bat on what turned out to be a career night. The forward owned the inside in the first half, hitting seven of his eight opening shots. And Perse never let up, finishing the night with 26 points to lead four Broomfield players in double digits.
“We moved the ball really well tonight,” Perse said. “We opened it up and I was able to find room in the lane.”
Out-gunning the state’s top-scoring team stole much of the show, but it was Broomfield’s defense that ensured the win. The Eagles became only the fourth team to hold D’Evelyn to fewer than 70 points this season. Part of this was due to a trio of guards doing a number on the Jaguars’ top scorer.
Luke Stratman finished with 26 points, but Chad Jukkala, Tarren Macrae and Parker Ericson made him hog the ball to get there. The guard finished the night 6 of 28 from the floor and was held scoreless until late into the second period.
“All we did all week in practice is work on isolating an individual on defense,” Jukkala said. “It paid off tonight.”
The team effort had Broomfield coach Terrence Dunn confident heading into the semifinals.
“We’ve talked to our kids about everybody being a threat and doing something,” Dunn said. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job at that.”
Broomfield has been putting together solid team showing since entering the playoffs, winning its past three games by 17 or more points each. While these performances hardly have Dunn letting his guard down entering this crucial junction of the season, he does believe his team has found its rhythm.
“The last four weeks on, we have been playing hard and together,” Dunn said. “We’re playing well and it’s a good time to play well.”
As for the Eagles themselves, they believe they are better prepared than when they were ousted from the semifinals by eventual 4A runner-up Sierra a year ago. And they also understand what sort of opportunity they have returning to Boulder.
“You don’t get many second chances in life,” Perse said. “So, we’ve got to take advantage of this.”
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Broomfield 84, D’Evelyn 65
At Denver Coliseum
Jukkala 1 0-0 3, Macrae 2 2-2 8, Perse 12 2-3 26, Reeb 8 1-1 18, Kihn 4 5-7 13, McLain 5 1-4 12, Hull 2 0-1 4. Totals 34 11-20 84.
McGee 0 3-4 3, Stratman 6 9-10 26, Skelton 3 0-0 7, Marvel 3 0-0 6, Cleary 4 2-4 10, Witherspoon 5 2-4 13. Totals 21 16-22 65.
Score by quarters:
Broomfield 20 18 24 22 — 84
D’Evelyn 8 22 17 18 — 65
3-point field goals — Broomfield (5): Jukkala, Macrae 2, Reeb, McLain; D’Evelyn (7): Stratman 5, Skelton, Witherspoon. Total fouls — Broomfield 20, D’Evelyn 20. Fouled out — Witherspoon. Technical fouls — none.