Rusty ‘Dogs fall to Rifle

After a nearly two week-break between games, the Palisade High School boys basketball team wasn’t as sharp Friday as it had hoped.

In the first day of the Montrose Tournament, the Bulldogs (2-2) fell behind in the second quarter and couldn’t recover, falling to Rifle 71-65.

“We didn’t play good team defense at times,” Palisade coach Steve Phillips said. “But we haven’t played a lot of man-to-man this year so we are still learning.”

The Bulldogs got a solid effort from Jeremy Hayden, who scored a team-high 21 points.

Rock Canyon 71, Fruita Monument 52: Fruita Monument played arguably the best team it’s faced all season, but couldn’t keep pace with the high-tempo Jaguars.

“The kids battled,” Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said. “They wanted to run and we tried to slow it down.”

The Wildcats (3-6) were led in scoring for the second straight night by Drew Bridges, who finished with a game-high 21 points. Tyler Kenagy added 10 points.

Fruita Monument finishes up the Hinkley Tournament today against the winner of Hinkley and Cherokee Trail at 2 p.m.

Pueblo South 56, Grand Junction 53: Grand Junction was handed its first loss of the season at the Harrison Invitational. The Tigers (6-1) led 38-34 at the end of the third quarter, but lost it in the fourth when Pueblo South was able to get to the free-throw line. Grand Junction was trailing by six with one minute left, and applied the full-court defense to cut the lead to three points with five seconds left. However,  the Tigers couldn’t get a good look at the basket in the final seconds.

Grand Junction was led by Tommy Powers, who scored 15 points. Grand Junction will play Palmer Ridge today at 10 a.m.

Dakota Ridge 63, Central 45: The Warriors (3-4) trailed by 17 at halftime and couldn’t cut into the deficit, losing their second game at the Hinkley Tournament. Central was led by Spencer Hicks’ 15 points.

“We dug ourselves a hole and worked hard to get out of it,” Central coach Phil Cain said. “We have to learn to play more physical without fouling.”

The Warriors play Valor Christian at 3:40 this afternoon.


Fruita Monument fought through adversity and came with a 66-61 victory over Rifle in the Montrose Tournament. Fruita (4-3) was leading 32-24 at halftime, but the Bears put things together in the third quarter and outscored the Wildcats 25-12.

Trailing by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats picked up the defense and retook the lead.

“We knew we had to execute better,” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “It started on the defensive end, and we were doing what we are supposed to do.”

The Wildcats got a big offensive performance from Sarah Hensley, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

Central 45, Air Academy 34: The Warriors (5-1) won in a defensive battle, giving up only six points in three of the four quarters. Central was led by Amy Kame, who had 19 points, and Haleigh Higgins, who added 18.

“They had a bunch of scrappy players,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “But it was our defense again, that’s our strong point.”

Central plays Heritage today in the championship of the Heritage Hoopla.

Heritage 58, Grand Junction 51: The Tigers had the lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on against the tournament host.

Grand Junction (5-2) had a six-point halftime lead after holding Heritage to eight first-quarter points.

Heritage closed the game out in the fourth quarter, outscoring Grand Junction 20-14.

Grand Junction sophomore Jamie Derrieux led all scorers with 23 points. Paula Lage added 14 for the Tigers.

The Tigers play Air Academy today at 6 p.m.


The Grand Junction High School swim team came out on top at a triangular with Delta and Palisade/Central at Orchard Mesa Pool. The Tigers defeated Delta 163-98 and beat Palisade/Central 178-69.

“We swam great,” Grand Junction coach Dale Leonhart said. “There were a lot of improved times, and it was a great meet for our girls.”

The Tigers won 10 of the 12 events, including the 100-yard freestyle, with Stephanie Walhers and Dylin Cruz finishing 1-2 in 1:10.70, and 1:11.46, respectively.

Palisade/Central lost its other dual meet to Delta 128-78. The WarDogs were led by Cory Swim, who finished second in the 200 freestyle in 2:48.43.

Grand Junction hosts Gunnison today at 10 a.m., and Palisade/Central will swim at the Moffat County Invitational.

Fruita Monument was in Pueblo for a triangular with Pueblo Centennial and Pueblo East, where the Wildcats finished second.

Leah Temple had a top swim, finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle in 27.46. Jessica Fisher finished second in 2:13.49 in the 200-yard freestyle.

The Wildcats swim a dual meet with Pueblo County today.


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