Fruita Monument uses third-quarter run to roll past Columbine

The Fruita Monument High School girls basketball team tightened its defense Thursday night and attacked the basket to pick up a victory.

The Wildcats went on a 17-4 run in the third quarter to pull away for a 55-39 win over Columbine in the Wildcat Invite at Fruita Monument.

Keila Utu led Fruita Monument (2-2) with 13 points and Sarah Hensley had 12.

“On offense, we needed to get to the ball to the basket every single time,” Fruita coach Dan Schmalz said. “We had them on our hip, but we stopped short in the first half. I told them we’ve got to take one more dribble and get to the basket.

“Defensively, we talked about boxing out and when we didn’t, we were giving up easy second shots. We needed to stay with them a little bit more and box out. It wasn’t try to get in your face and steal the ball very much, but it makes them think a little bit and let them makes mistakes, and they did in the second half.”

Fruita Monument and Columbine exchanged leads three times in the first half with no team leading by more than six points. Columbine went on a 7-2 run to close the first half and take a 22-20 halftime lead.

Grand Junction 44, Carbon 27

Grand Junction converted turnovers into points to defeat Carbon, Utah.

The Tigers didn’t waste much time pouncing on the Dinos, taking a 16-4 first-quarter advantage, led by Paula Lage’s eight points.

“We got out quick and used our athleticism,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. “We had to get a quick start and not work our way into the game.”

Grand Junction kept the defensive pressure on in the second quarter, limiting the Dinos to four points.

Offensively, the Tigers continued to push the tempo, with Jamie Derrieux scoring five points in the second quarter on her way to a game-high 19. Many of Derrieux’s points came on fast breaks started by Fawn Brady.

“We are a really fast team,” Brady said. “We like getting it up the court, so if I see someone streaking, I’m going to pass it.”

The Tigers slowed down offensively in the second half, but kept up the defensive intensity.

“Defensively we are a passing-lane team,” Provenza said. “We aren’t a player-to-player defending team, but we are trying to affect passing lanes and force bad shots.”

Grand Junction plays ThunderRidge today.

ThunderRidge JV 46, Palisade 40

The Bulldogs made only 6 of 24 shots and committed 13 turnovers in the second half, losing a 28-22 halftime lead.

“We’re disappointed because we let that one go,” Palisade coach Toni Gunther said. “I know we need to work on man (defense), but we didn’t play it like we needed to. No excuses, we’re going to work on taking care of the ball and better man defense.

“On offense, we’re getting the ball into the low post more. We just put that in (Wednesday). I was pleased we were able to get the ball in there better.”

Post player Kendra Barnes led Palisade with 12 points. Guard Amy Austin had 10.

Palisade (0-2) attacked the basket in the first half and shot 59 percent from the floor to lead at halftime, but struggled in the second half.


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