Grand Junction girls basketball team hangs on to beat Rifle

The Grand Junction High School girls basketball team kept a pesky Rifle team just far enough away Tuesday night to claim a 60-51 win. The Tigers never trailed, but also never had a comfortable lead in their second road win of the season.

“We have to learn to play hard the whole game,” Tigers coach Sam Provenza said. “But we made some key steals late, and they gutted it out.”

The Tigers got a big performance from sophomore Jamie Derrieux, who had a game-high 20 points. Paula Lage added 14 points and Stephanie Drake finished with nine. Rifle was led by Ciara Euler’s 17 points.

“Rifle is a good team,” Provenza said. “We are learning to play harder.”

Defense keys win for Tiger boys

The Grand Junction High School boys basketball team used its week off to work on defense, and Tuesday night it paid off in a 65-34 victory over Rifle.

After allowing 13 first-quarter points, the Tigers held the Bears to only 21 points the rest of the way, including five in the second quarter.

“The second quarter was big and it happened on the defensive end,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “We had a week to work on things, and I saw a lot of progress from our last game.”

The Tigers were led by Tommy Powers, who had 19 points. Tyler Winder added 10 as a total of 10 different Tigers scored.

College Baseball

Mesa’s Becker makes preseason All-America team as outfielder

Mesa State College senior Kevin Becker was selected to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II preseason All-America team, announced Tuesday.

The outfielder was one of three RMAC players to make the first team, joining Regis shortstop Jesus Arzaga and outfielder J.J. Putt.

“(Becker) is one of the best pure hitters in school history, in my opinion,” Mesa coach Chris Hanks said. “He is very versatile. He played second base for three-quarters of the season, then switched to left field when (Justin) Little was hurt.”

Becker made the 2009 Daktronics All-America team, leading the Mavericks in several statistical categories. He was sixth in the nation with a .468 batting average and second in the nation in triples (10).

The Mavericks, who qualified for the NCAA Division II World Series last spring, begin practice Jan. 13. The season starts Feb. 5 at Dixie State (Utah) College.


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