BROOMFIELD — Joe Raff will chalk Saturday night up to a lesson learned.
The Jefferson Academy sharp-shooter, who looked like he didn’t miss a beat during the two-week holiday break by scoring 25 points in the first three quarters against The Academy, received his first technical foul in the third quarter.
After committing a rare turnover early in the fourth, Raff was coming back down the court muttering to himself about the mishap, when the referee — thinking Raff was bad-mouthing him — T’d him again sending Raff to the bench.
“I was frustrated that I had just turned it over and I said something to myself and he must have thought I was directing it towards him,” said Raff, who finished with 26 points in the 61-41 rout of the Wildcats. “I have an awful taste in my mouth right now and I’m not excited when the time comes when I’ll be sitting on the bench with a tie on.”
With the ejection, Raff will have to sit out next Thursday’s nonleague game at home against Class 4A Northridge. Luckily for the sixth-ranked Jaguars, they will add 6-foot-9 Shane Davis to the mix that night, after he had to sit out the mandatory nine games after transferring.
“He said he was talking to himself, but I told him, how do you think that is going to be perceived by the official,” said Jaguars coach Mark Sharpley, whose team improved to 8-1. “Hopefully this will be a great life lesson.”
Jefferson Academy was impressive from the get-go. With a sizeable height advantage against the Wildcats, Sharpley’s team controlled the boards and many times simply out-hustled their opponents for points.
Down 6-2 early in the first quarter, Jefferson Academy went on a 34-6 run to finish the first half that was highlighted by Raff.
The 6-foot-4 guard, a self proclaimed “gym rat” scored 14 straight points in the second quarter.
“We had great tempo in the first half and maybe because of the rust we slowed down a little bit and made a few more mistakes in the second half,” said Sharpley, whose team went 3-0 in the competitive Buena Vista tournament before the break. “Joe plays smart and he reads the court well and he has a pretty quick release, so he can get shots off.”
In addition to Raff’s 26, the Jaguars got 12 points from senior Andrew Ullman and five well-earned points from junior Dalton Hagen. Six-foot-4 sophomore reserve Dylan Bendure came in and scored six points in the fourth quarter.
The Academy (2-4) was led by Angel Hernandez’s 17 points, 12 of which he scored in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Devan Caswell also scored 15 points for the Wildcats.
Sharpley feels good about his team with the daunting task of the Metropolitan League awaiting in two weeks and the ever changing roster — notably the addition of Davis to the rotation — is something that should only make them better.
“The record is good and obviously that is nice, but again, when we hit Metro League play, everything changes so much,” Sharpley said. “Hopefully we will be ready in two weeks.”
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Jefferson Academy 61, The Academy 41
At Jefferson Academy
THE ACADEMY (2-4)
Angel Hernandez 7 0-0 17, Cameron Christmas 0 0-2 0, Marc Compean 0 0-0 0, Devan Caswell 5 5-6 15, Alex Rodriguez 2 1-2 5, Sergio Compean 0 0-0 0, Trenton Miller 1 0-0 2, Isaiah Sanchez 1 0-0 2, Ezekiel Venerable 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 6-10 41.
JEFFERSON ACADEMY (8-1)
Taylor Teets 1 0-0 3, Andrew Ullman 4 3-4 12, Joe Rodriguez 1 0-0 2, Justin Barlow 1 0-0 2, Jake Barlow 1 1-2 3, Nate Rodriguez 1 0-0 2, Trever Ballard 0 0-0 0, Joe Raff 8 5-6 26, Dalton Hagen 2 1-2 5, John Mahoney 0 0-0 0, Dylan Bendure 2 2-2 6, Keaton Grant 0 0-0 0, Tyler Thimsen 0 0-0 0, Vince Abeyta 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 12-16 61.
Score by quarters:
The Academy 6 6 10 19 — 41
Jefferson Academy 13 23 16 9 — 61
3-point field goals — The Academy (3): Hernandez 3; Jefferson Academy (7): Raff 5, Teets, Ullman. Total fouls — The Academy 17; Jefferson Academy 15.
Technical fouls — Raff (2) – ejected.