Tiger girls have wealth of experience
The Grand Junction High School girls basketball team wasn’t ready last season.
With only three seniors on the roster, the Tigers had both a four-game winning streak and a nine-game losing streak last season. To say the least, Grand Junction was young, starting two sophomores and one freshman.
After a year of ups and downs, the Tigers are still young, but experienced.
“That’s a big asset for us, we are still young but all of those girls played a lot of basketball,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. “That will be a real benefit to us.”
Leading the way in the young-but-experienced category is sophomore Jamie Derrieux. The 5-foot-10 Derrieux took her lumps last year playing at the varsity level, but showed a determination to not back down, averaging six points per game. Derrieux put in the work during the offseason to compete better every game this season.
“It was hard to compete mentally and physically last year,” Derrieux said. “Now we have a lot more experience, and we are looking to be SWL champs.”
Surrounding Derrieux will be a pair of athletic juniors, Fawn Brady and Paula Lage. Brady led the team in scoring last year with 10 points per game, but dealt with injuries throughout the season. Both players are 5-10 and will help the Tigers compete on the defensive end.
“If you want to pin an identity on this group, I think it’s athleticism,” Provenza said. “We have a lot of multi-sport athletes, and they will all draw from their other sports and experiences.”
The Tigers should also get larger contributions from guards Stephanie Drake, Joei Ritter and Kricket Adleman, along with post player Nicole Dohm.
Provenza said this year’s team is one of his most exciting in recent memory.
“Their enthusiasm is affecting me and it’s been a nice injection to me,” Provenza said. “They love what they’re doing and they’re excited to here.”