Late struggles doom Fruita Monument girls in loss to Carbon

Fruita Monument’s Jessica Sinner, right, rises to the basket Saturday past Carbon’s Sara Potts to score two of her 10 points during the first half of the Wildcats’ 67-43 loss to the Dinos in the Wildcat Invitational.

The Fruita Monument High School girls basketball showed why it’s full of promise Saturday during the second quarter against Carbon, Utah.

During the fourth quarter, the Wildcats showed why they are 1-4.

Fruita Monument saw a 41-40 deficit balloon to a 67-43 final in the fourth quarter against the Dinos during the final day of the Wildcat Invitational.

“We fell apart,” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “We stopped doing the things that kept us in the game.”

This is the second straight day the Wildcats had the game slip away in the fourth quarter. Fruita trailed by six points Friday against American Fork, Utah, heading into the final quarter before American Fork pushed its lead to double-digits.

“When we put on our jerseys we have to be ready to go,” Schmalz said. “We have to have better execution of our stuff in the fourth.”

The Wildcats started slowly Saturday as Carbon built a 17-7 first-quarter lead. The Dinos used a full-court press, and Tia Pappas led the surge with five steals in the first quarter.

“That’s the same press we run and we practice against it every day,” Schmalz said. “But for some reason we weren’t seeing the openings.”

Despite the shaky first quarter, Fruita regrouped in the second. The Wildcats cut the lead to 25-18 on Keila Utu’s three-point play, then back-to-back 3-pointers from Jessica Sinner and Megan Reynoso pulled the Wildcats within three at 27-24.

Taylor Johnson’s ability in the post set up much of the Wildcats’ second-quarter offense. Johnson had three assists, and found the open player when the defense collapsed on her.

“Taylor made some great kick-out passes,” Schmalz said. “The second (quarter) was good.”

The Wildcats continued to push in the third quarter, tying the game at 37-37 when Johnson hit a jump shot with two minutes remaining. Carbon scored twice with under one minute left to take a 41-37 lead into the fourth quarter.

Johnson brought the Wildcats back to 41-40 on an offensive put-back and free throw, but Carbon went on an 11-0 run to put the game away.

Sinner and Reynoso’s 10 points each led Fruita Monument. Pappas led Carbon with 26 points.

“We’ve got to get back to work on Monday,” Schmalz said. “We know we have three games coming up that we are capable of winning and we have to get the job done.”

Fruita Monument plays Friday in the Montrose Tournament.


Central fell behind 20-1 in the first quarter on the way to the Warriors’ fifth straight loss.

“We want to improve and they want to improve,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “I’m seeing some good things.”

American Fork built a 36-8 halftime lead and cruised in the second half led by Cassidy Fraughton’s 25 points.

Brittany Hoppe led Central (0-5) with six points. Jordan Eller and Amanda Chaffin both finished with five points.

“There is still a positive energy in the locker room,” Dixon said.


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