ARVADA — Ralston Valley’s boys basketball team picked up a gratifying victory Thursday night before a late Christmas present arrives after the Winter Break.

The Mustangs — No. 8 the CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index before the start of action Thursday — hung on for a 65-51 home victory over No. 4 Broomfield (6-2 record). Ralston Valley (7-2) grabbed a double-digit lead in the first quarter and held off a late fourth-quarter charge by the Eagles.

It was the fifth straight win for Ralston Valley and ended Broomfield’s 5-game winning streak as both teams head into the Winter Break.

Sophomore Caiden Braketa led the Mustangs with 14 points.

“It was fun to be the guy for a little bit,” Braketa said of being the Mustangs’ leading scorer averaging over 18 points per game in Ralston Valley’s first nine games with his older brother and back-to-back Jeffco League MVP Tanner Braketa out of the line-up. “I’ll still be a guy when he comes back. We’ll be way better when Tanner comes back.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Tanner had knee surgery over the summer. The junior said before the game that he has one final strength test on the knee coming up Dec. 26. If he passes that hurdle he should be cleared to play Jan. 8 at Cherry Creek.

“Missing Tanner is huge, but I think some of our young guys like sophomores Frank Psaute and Caiden have had to take bigger roles,” said Ralston Valley coach Chris Braketa, father to both Caiden and Tanner. “I think in the end it will help. Obviously, we feel bad for Tanner with his knee, but it has really helped the young guys.”

The Mustangs had a nice balanced scoring attack with four players in double-digit points. Psaute finished with a dozen points, including a 3-pointer and going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Senior Mason Trebilcock was all over the court doing the little things pouring in 11 points, including a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were making a run. Fellow senior Jackson Hansen finished with 10 points and was big late in the third quarter when the Mustangs put on a full-court pressure.

“With Jackson he is a very quick guard that can get up into people to get ball pressure,” Caiden said of Hansen who got a pair of steals late in the third quarter to allow the Mustangs to extend their lead to 51-36 heading into the final quarter.

Sophomores Cole Pfeifer and Samson Wright, along with junior Jayce Bahl had nice games on both ends of the floor as Broomfield was held to a season-low 51 points.

“We are pretty young and there is a lot of guys this is their first year playing varsity,” Caiden said. “This was good experience and to get them playing time when we need them down the stretch.”

Broomfield was led by juniors Joey Cook (14 points) and Andrew Effland (13 points) in the loss. The Eagles return to play Jan. 5 when they host Mountain Range to begin its Class 6A Front Range League play.

Ralston Valley gets into 6A Jeffco League play at Valor Christian (8-1) on Jan. 10.