Boulder’s Lena Jaycox named girls basketball player of the year

Boulder’s Lena Jaycox is the girls basketball player of the year.

The coaches and the systems changed regularly. Even her locale changed once.

What remained consistent for Lena Jaycox was her ability to put the ball through the hoop. The Boulder senior never has had any difficulties scoring, and her prowess as a senior has earned her girls basketball player of the year honors.

The Adams State-bound athlete finished her career with 1,436 points, including 444 this season, when she averaged an area-best 17.2 per game. Jaycox started every varsity game in her four seasons — the first two at Mountain Vista before moving to Boulder as a junior — and was her team’s leading scorer each season.

“Lena faced defenses every night that were primarily geared towards stopping her from scoring,” Boulder coach Ron Burgin said. “Yet she was able to be one of the top scorers in the state. She is able to attack the basket and hit from the outside. This made her very difficult to stop.”

Jaycox, who helped the Panthers to a 14-11 mark and a trip to the Class 5A second round, also had a different coach in each of her four seasons and had to learn different systems on the fly.

“I’m used to learning things,” Jaycox said with a laugh. “Hopefully my college coach will stay there all four years.”

Jaycox never regretted her family’s decision to move to Boulder and is delighted with the way it worked out, despite the success she was building with the Continental League-based Golden Eagles.

In Boulder, she was a two-time Front Range League first-team selection and quickly developed a reputation as a sharp-shooting guard that also stood out for her ball-handling skills and defensive prowess.

“I love the town of Boulder more than I do Highlands Ranch, so the move actually worked out better for me,” she said. “I love the team and the coaching staff, even though I still haven’t had the same coaching staff for more than a year.”

Burgin’s transition to the Panthers was aided in having a player such as Jaycox. He lauded the basketball IQ of the player who topped the 20-point plateau 10 times this season, including two 30-point efforts.

“She quickly picked up on many of the things I was trying to accomplish and led the way in executing them,” he said. “This was true on both ends of the court. Her leadership was as valuable to our team as her scoring.”

Jaycox recorded a season-high 33 points in a win against Golden on Dec. 20. Twelve days prior, she registered 32 in a win against Valor Christian. But in proof that the team came first, Jaycox said the signature moment of the Panthers’ season came in a game in which she scored a mere 10 points.

“My favorite moment of senior year is probably beating Monarch,” she said. “We all came together as a team and played amazing that game. Just the satisfaction we all had after that game was probably the best thing I ever went through during high school.”

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