DENVER – Any run to the Class 4A girls basketball is going to require some marvelous play. Luckily for the D’Evelyn Jaguars, they have plenty of that in stock.

Peyton Marvel looked flashy at times, efficient at others but was overall the catalyst behind D’EVelyn’s 54-47 win over Riverdale Ridge in the Great 8.

She scored a career-high 36 points and hauled in 14 rebounds to get the Jaguars (26-0 overall) back to the Final 4 for the first time in 10 years.

“I never thought I would be in this spot,” Marvel said. “It’s amazing to be here. With this amazing team, I know we’ll be able to come back strong just like we did this time.”

Riverdale Ridge freshman forward Brianna Crittendon was going to provide the Jags with perhaps the toughest challenge they’ve faced all year. Her size and ability to shoot from the outside has helped her average 31 points per game this season.

Getting a win over the Ravens (22-4) was going require limiting the damage that Crittendon could inflict. D’Evelyn coach Chris Olson mixed in some zone at times to limit the damage she could do on the block and held her to just 28 points on the day.

“I hope that’s the hardest [28] points she’s ever had,” Olson said. “I think she had to work for most of them. That’s what you have to do with great players.”

Marvel acknowledged that process of preparing for this matchup involved physical practices and bringing in additional personnel to help formulate and execute the game plan.

When the time came to execute it, the Jags were prepared. Crittendon scored just 10 points in the first half and held the Ravens to 36% shooting from the floor. The bulk of her points in the second half came when the Jags were firmly in control and sat in a man-to-man defense.

“Gina [Gersabeck] and Macy [Scheer] did an amazing job holding her to [28] which is low for her,” Marvel said.

As for Marvel, she had no problem putting the Jags on her back when the situation called for it. Her only 3-pointer in the game came in the second half when the Jags needed a spark.

“Her last name says it all,” coach Chris Olson said. “I don’t know what else to say. She competes as hard as anyone we’ve ever had.”

Scheer also knocked down a timely 3 and the Jags had no problem grasping that momentum and carrying it to their 26th straight win of the season.


(3) University 54, (6) Eaton 43

(Doug Ottewill/

With a bad taste still linger in their mouths from last year, the University Bulldogs are on a championship mission. They got a 54-43 win over Eaton in the 4A Great to solidify a spot in next week’s Final 4 where they’ll face D’Evelyn.

The Bulldogs advanced to the 3A state championship game a year ago only to fall to league rival Platte Valley. The good news is that University is the last Patriot League team standing so their fate in that regard can’t be repeated. The tough new is that of the teams still alive in the 4A race, none of them are pushovers.

Lutheran ran away from Berthoud earlier in the day and D’Evelyn showed what it is made of when it took down Riverdale Ridge to open the Great 8 at the Denver Coliseum.

But the Bulldogs certainly have the talent to hang with anyone. Taryn Kravig and Addison Harding led the scoring effort for University, going for 13 and 11 points, respectively.

A win over D’Evelyn would put the Bulldogs into a state championship game for the second year in a row and just the third time overall.

The program is still without a girls basketball state championship so two more wins would be monumental for the program and the school.