Low-post presence

Wells' strong inside game lifts Tigers to easy win

Grand Junction’s Lisen Crow soars in to score two of his seven points Friday night in the Tigers’ 75-50 victory over Adams City. A quick start allowed the Grand Junction bench players to get some game experience.

During scrimmages, Broderick Robinson had seen it once.

But this time, it was against Adams City on Friday night. Robinson drove the baseline in the first quarter, sucking in defenders, then dished over his shoulder to a cutting 6-foot-6 D.J. Wells, who caught the pass in stride and pounded the ball through the net, dunking on Adams City’s 6-foot-4 Javier Baca.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Robinson said, “but it was nice.”

Grand Junction (7-3) outscored Adams City 27-9 in the first quarter en route to a 75-50 nonleague win.

Wells had 22 points and eight rebounds to pace the Tigers, who took advantage of their size.

“But I think we’ve had a size advantage in probably six out of out 10 games,” Tigers coach Dutch Johnson said, “so there’s no reason we can’t do that every game.”

Also in the opening quarter, Tigers guard Greg Eccher, a state-qualifier in cross country, had two 3-pointers. His tight defense also induced a five-second violation on Adams City.

“He hasn’t had a breakout game, yet,” Johnson said. “But he’s probably our most consistent from the 3-point line, especially when he gets going.”

Grand Junction is fully healthy once again with the return of Henry Carmichael at guard.

“Having him back and getting guards off the bench,” Johnson said, “we’ll have a little more of a perimeter threat.”

Grand Junction also had 12 points from Robert Harrison and 10 points from Zach Kiel.

All 12 varsity players saw game action for Grand Junction, and 11 scored.

The Tigers had a week off after its 68-57 loss at Arvada West.

“I didn’t feel like we played well,” Johnson said. “Then it was almost like a football thing where you wait a week to play. But it gave us a chance to watch film and make corrections, especially defensively.”

Grand Junction is showing why it is a favorite in the Southwestern League. It has Robinson, likely the area’s top guard, and Wells, as a 1-2 punch.

They’re surrounded by players who have defined roles, such as Kyler Rose, another big body in the paint who scored six points, and Eccher, a 3-point specialist.

Johnson said the players carved out their own roles on the team this summer.

“(Wells) has good hands, so I can dish to him,” Robinson said, “and he’s a good finisher. He’s tall and rebounds; it’s nice playing with him.”

Central 51, Uintah, Utah 38: Trey Fair scored 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter as Central (7-4) downed Uintah, Utah, in a nonleague game at Central.

The Warriors outscored Uintah 18-9 in the third quarter.

Frank DiThomas, Preston Grandbouche and Edward Becoat all scored eight points for Central.

Warriors coach Ryan Hayden said Central also benefited from the return of point guard Tyler Talkington, who missed the Warriors’ first nine games with a torn elbow ligament.

Talkington played Thursday in Central’s 62-48 win over Cheyenne South.

On Friday, he helped set up Grandbouche for his three 3-pointers, Hayden said.

“We had struggled handling the ball,” Hayden said, “and now with him back healthy, we have another ball-handler to free up Preston Grandbouche.”

And with Fair scoring down low, Central has a potent scoring presence inside and outside. Fair proved that early in the third quarter, Hayden said, scoring six points in the first couple of minutes of the frame.

“He’s just real good with his body,” Hayden said. “He makes good decisions in the post. He’s a very good passer and can finish with his back to the basket as good as anyone I know.”


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