Mar 8, 2014 9:07 PM by Greg Smith
DENVER - D'Evelyn's Ty McGee was dominating the game against Sand Creek in the Great 8 on Saturday afternoon. McGee's size, athleticism, skill and strength gave the Scorpions fits as D'Evelyn was in control early with an 18-8 lead.
Yet Sand Creek regrouped and showed a ton of heart in fighting back and securing a 58-51 win to reach its first final four in the program's history.
McGee finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds and had 11 third-quarter points as the Jaguars took a 47-39 lead into the final quarter. The Scorpions stymied D'Evelyn's offense from then out with an impressive 19-4 quarter.
Jason Pasley, a 6-foot-4 junior forward who was quiet most of the game, came alive late and played tough defense on McGee. Sand Creek held a 52-51 lead with 20 seconds remaining when Pasley drained four straight free-throws to seal the victory. Pasley had nine points and 10 rebounds and was fantastic down the stretch.
Michael DeCarmo and Nick Pasley had solid games with 15 and nine points, respectively. Dylan Clark, the Scorpions' star and an Air Force commit, scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had his usual intelligent, all-around performance.
"Of course I'm biased, but I think he's the best player in the state," Sand Creek coach Joe Rausch said about Clark. "We put every responsibility on that kid. He leads us in assists, rebounds, points, and he's such a great press-breaker.
"He handles the ball so much that we just wear him out game after game after game and that kid just finds another gear. He finds somewhere deep down inside to keep pushing and keep fighting."
The story of Sand Creek's victory was defense with an absolutely smothering last quarter.
"For four years, that's really what we've tried to hang our hat on," Rausch said. "These guys, because of our size and everything, I wasn't really sure how good we would be defensively, but they've really bought into the execution of our defense and it made us a super defensive team.
"I think I have to give all the credit to those seniors," Rausch concluded. "We've worked really hard and to go to three out of four Great 8's and not make that final step would have been such a disappointment. They weren't going to settle for that. I didn't know we could come back on a team as good as D'Evelyn, but I knew we could give it a run and these kids weren't going to fold."
D'Evelyn concludes its season 20-6. Sand Creek will face Pueblo East in the final four in Boulder next week.