GOLDEN — It was a committee win for the Golden boys basketball team on Thursday night.
On the opening night of the 14th Annual D’Evelyn/Golden Preview Classic, the Demons outlasted Sierra 50-46 at Golden High School. Nine different Demons scored points, with senior Xavier Nuss taking the lead for Golden with 11 points in the season opener.
“It’s really nice to start the season strong,” said Nuss, who was the only Demon to score double-digit points. “It really sets the pace for the rest of the season. You’ll keep that good attitude for the rest of this tournament and year. It was a good win.”
Sierra (1-1 record) and Golden (1-0) went into the fourth quarter up 36-36. Golden put on an important 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a 45-38 lead. Nut pushed an important 3-pointer to end the run.
“It was a nice feeling,” Nuss said of his 3-pointer that put the Demons at 45-38 midway through the fourth quarter. “I think it kind of increased our energy. It really kickstarted our defense.”
Sierra’s tandem of senior Davohn Caldwell and junior Xavier Burns put Golden at times in a defensive mood. Caldwell had a game-high 17 points and Burns poured in 13 points as the two combined for 30 points.
With 55 seconds remaining, the Stallions cut Golden’s lead to 48-46. However, senior Thor Hansen scored on a layup for the Demons with 40 seconds left to take the lead to 50-46. Hansen then took over an attack at the other end to seal the win.
“We preach to the kids, ‘If you play hard, you can take on anyone.’ They rose to the challenge,” said Golden coach Lou Vullo.
Vullo will be short-handed, at least for the first half of the season. Senior Laif Palmer and junior guard Luc Chevalier will be absent through injury but will hopefully return to the pitch this season.
“We want to get as many non-conference (schedule) wins as we can before we get these guys back,” Vullo said of Chevalier and Palmer. “There will be games like this.”
Nuss knows that it is the responsibility of all players to play in the starting XI in the event of two failures.
“We’re missing a few players and the lack of size,” said Nuss about the injuries. “It has to be tight to win games. Everyone had to contribute and everyone had to score. This is how we will win games.”
The Demons continue their game over the next two days in the D’Evelyn/Golden Preview Classic. Golden hosts Glenwood Springs at 7pm on Friday and Vista Peak at 6:30pm on Saturday. Both games take place at Golden High School.
Lutheran defeated Glenwood Springs and Vista Peak defeated Holy Family with a layup on the buzzer in Thursday’s first two games at Golden High School.
Sierra is playing his final two games of the tournament at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. The Stallions meet Lutheran on Friday at 4pm and Steamboat Springs on Saturday at 12pm.