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Boys basketball: DeVries leads Centaurus past Mead in BVI first round

LAFAYETTE — Mike DeVries trusts his Centaurus boys basketball teammates to make shots. But his job in the post is to brace for those occasions when the Warriors are a little off-kilter from the outside.

Against Mead in the opening round of the Boulder Valley Invitational on Wednesday night, DeVries’ awareness on the offensive glass helped Centaurus end a four-game losing streak to start the season, producing 16 points and 14 rebounds in a 44-41 victory at the CHS gym.

While Mead and Centaurus both had a good amount of rebounds for the contest, it’s safe to say DeVries won the key boards in the game. All four of his baskets in the second half came by way of his own handiwork off the boards, powerful putbacks that helped the Warriors hold off a couple of strong Mead rallies.

“I know my guys are going to make shots, but I know no one shoots 100 percent so I’m always trying to get position to get a tip or get the board and go back up with it,” DeVries said after the game.”

It was a big win for Centaurus, as they had started to feel the affects of the way the season had begun.

“We got the monkey off our back, and now we can kind of forget about the drag of losing. Now we know what it feels like to win, and you get more hungry,” DeVries said.

“It’s been a journey of a season so far, where we’ve played a good quarter, maybe a good half of some games, but this is really the first game that we’ve played close to 32 full minutes,” head coach Brandon Gullicksrud said. “We’ve had four tough losses to start the season, but really proud of the way the guys kept battling, proud of the way DeVries and the guys battled on the boards and some of the plays we made down the stretch that were winning plays.”

The Warriors held the lead for most of the game, but did have to fight off the Mavericks. Up by 10 (36-26) as the fourth quarter began, Mead made its move and by the 1:07 mark had cut the score to 44-41 after John Brady’s six-foot baseline jumper.

Centaurus had a chance to close it out at the free throw line, but Kyle Taudien, who had five points and was aggressive in driving to the basket all game long, missed two free throws on consecutive 1-and-1 chances at the line. Mead put the ball in the hands of its best shooter — guard Aaron Cheung — both times, but on a night when the team shot 16 for 51 from the floor the pair of 3-point attempts both bounced away from the rim.

Cheung finished with nine points, the high scorer on a tough night.

“We have to do a better job of getting backside boards with all five guys,” said James Maher, who finished with five points. “We can only get better from here.”

“The defensive end for us was kind of the difference. Their big guy did a great job on the offensive glass, he had the weakside coverage and we just could not body him,” Mead head coach Darin Reese said. “We let them in the lane too much, and we had plenty of looks offensively but nothing fell. We like the ball in (Cheung’s) hands, but we just have to get him going.”

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CENTAURUS 44, MEAD 41

At Centaurus HS

MEAD (0-2)

Ward 3 0-0 8, Cheung 3 2-5 9, Maher 2 1-5 5, Nelson 2 1-1 5, Beaver 2 0-0 6, Brady 4 0-0 8. Totals 16 4-11 41.

CENTAURUS (1-4)

Puckett 4 3-5 12, Taudien 2 0-2 5, Aguirre 0 1-2 1, Lopez 4 0-0 8, French 1 0-0 2, DeVries 8 0-0 16. Totals 19 4-9 44.

Score by quarters:

Mead 12 7 7 15 — 41

Centaurus 16 11 9 8 — 44

3-point field goals — Mead (5): Ward 2, Cheung, Beaver; Centaurus (2): Puckett, Taudien.

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