Grand Junction girls overcome injuries to top rival Central
First, the Grand Junction High School girls basketball team had to figure out how to play without junior guard Jamie Derrieux.
Now, the Tigers are trying to figure out how to play without another starter, Kricket Adleman.
Despite the ever-changing roles, Grand Junction continued to find a way to win Tuesday, defeating Central 60-29 in a Southwestern League game at Central High School.
“It seems like every time we identify ourselves, something else happens,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. “I thought we had a pretty solid group with Kricket at off-guard. Then we had to find somebody else.
“That happens this time of the year. We’re going to have to overcome that.”
Adleman tore a knee ligament Friday against Montezuma-Cortez and is out for the rest of the season, Provenza said.
Adleman and Derrieux weren’t the only Tigers missing Tuesday. Key reserve Jeslyn Szabo was home sick.
“That shortened our bench a lot,” Provenza said. “We’re down to 10 kids tonight. Combinations are a little unfamiliar. The kids looked unsure and we played unsure.
“That’s not to say anything about the game. Central played hard. That’s to their credit. They played until that buzzer went off.”
Still, Grand Junction (11-6, 4-0 SWL) limited the Warriors (1-14, 0-4 SWL) to one field goal in the first quarter to build a 13-3 lead.
Central scored twice in the first three minutes of the second quarter, but the Tigers went on a 19-2 run in the second quarter to push their lead to 34-9 at halftime.
Fawn Brady and Paula Lage led the Tigers’ offense, combining for 24 points in the first half. Lage finished with 20 points and Brady had 19.
Central produced more offense in the second half, making seven field goals and scoring 20 points.
“We’re trying to compete every game and I think we did that for a good portion of the second half,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “I saw them more relaxed. I’m pleased.
“We didn’t get rattled as bad as we do sometimes. When they did press us, we broke it pretty easy.”
Jordan Eller led the Warriors with 12 points and Robbi Termentozzi added 10.
“I know this group is tired of moral victories,” Dixon said. “We’re looking for more than that. When you’ve got a team that has only won one game this late in the season and is still competing, you’ve got a group that wants to be there.”