LITTLETON — Dakota Ridge boys basketball continued its dominance against its fellow Jeffco League teams Monday night.

The Eagles defeated Golden 80-65 in the opening round of the Class 5A/4A Jeffco League mini-tournament to give Dakota Ridge its 13th victory over Jeffco squads this season.

Dakota Ridge swept through conference play for the second straight year to claim back-to-back conference titles, along with defeating area-rivals Chatfield and Columbine — 6A Jeffco League teams— this season.

Dakota Ridge — No. 10 in the final 5A boys Colorado Preps coaches and media poll — started the game on a 7-0 run and never looked back against Golden.

“It was awesome. They are really sharing the ball,” Dakota Ridge coach Sean Kovar said of all five starters scoring in the first four minutes. “They are really gelling and playing together. They looked comfortable on offense. The came out aggressive and kept the mindset the whole game.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Junior Ethan Berninger led the way with a game-high 21 points as 10 different Eagles scored in the 15-point victory.

“We just came into the game emphasizing ball movement,” Berninger said. “Getting everyone involved, that is when we are at our best. When the ball is moving and everyone is having fun.”

The 5A/4A Jeffco League mini-tournament — each of the 11 league teams plays two games that don’t count toward their conference record — will feature Dakota Ridge hosting Green Mountain in the title game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

The Eagles (16-6 record) took a 82-68 home victory over Green Mountain (14-8) back on Jan. 17. The Rams easily took a 78-44 win over Standley Lake on Monday night in the other top-4 league finisher’s semifinal.

“It’s great. I think it’s awesome,” Kovar said of facing Green Mountain in both teams’ regular-season finale. “Green Mountain is obviously a great team and gave us a great test here the first time we played them. It’s going to be a battle between two team getting ready for the playoffs.”

Dakota Ridge was No. 12 in the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index before play started Monday night.

There isn’t much of a doubt that Dakota Ridge will be a top-16 seed for the 5A state tournament and host a first-round game Wednesday, Feb. 21, next week to start the 32-team tournament.

“It helps to have that experience,” Berninger said of the Eagles’ playoff run last season ended in the 5A state quarterfinals. “There isn’t as much pressure on you.”

Golden (14-8) will finish its regular season on the road against Standley Lake on Thursday night.

The Demons got out to an impressive 8-1 record to start the season, but did hit some road bumps. Golden dropped 5 of 6 games during a two-week stretch. However, Golden did rebound with wins over Conifer and D’Evelyn last week to secure a 4th-place finish in the conference.

Seniors Alex Erger (17 points), Shad Garnett (11 points), along with junior Leif Hansen (14 points) all had double-digit points Monday.

The Demons were right on the edge of hosting a first-round playoff game next week. Golden was No. 16 in the seeding index before the loss to Dakota Ridge.