Second quarter cold spell costs Wildcats in loss to Demons

Off nights are unavoidable in basketball.

After a 76-point performance on Monday against Montezuma-Cortez, the Fruita Monument High School girls basketball team went cold Tuesday in a 48-40 loss to Durango.

“I almost expected some sort of dip after playing so well against Montrose, then scoring a ton of points (Monday),” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “I knew it was going to be tough to sustain that energy.”

Things didn’t go well from the opening tip as Fruita (8-9, 2-3 Southwestern League) missed four 3-pointers on its first four possessions. With under four minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Wildcats got onto the board by back-to-back inside baskets from Taylor Johnson. The Wildcats finished out the quarter with 3-pointers from Sarah Hensley and Megan Reynoso to tie the game at 10-10.

In the second quarter, Durango settled into its zone defense at about the same time that the Wildcats’ shots stopped falling. Fruita managed only eight points in the quarter, and trailed 27-18 at halftime.

“Durango switched into a zone so all of a sudden the gears in our brains were shifting to what we need to do against a zone,” Schmalz said. “We played against man-to-man for the last few games, and we weren’t able to do what we needed to do.” The Demons continued to pull away from Fruita in the third quarter when consecutive 3-pointers from Aspen McKeever and Abby Surmeier gave Durango a 35-21 lead with three minutes left.

The Wildcats made a decent surge in the fourth quarter, but failed to convert on too many possessions down the stretch.

“It was the second quarter that killed us,” Schmalz said. “We just weren’t executing, and it was an off night.”

Fruita was led by Johnson, who had a game-high 17 points.

Fruita Monument now travels to play at Montezuma-Cortez on Friday and Durango on Saturday.

“We know exactly what we are going to see,” Schmalz said. “It’ll be full court man-to-man against Cortez, and zone against Durango, so we better be ready for that.”

Central 74, cortez 39

It was a simple equation for the Warriors at Brownson Arena. Defensive pressure led to Panthers turnovers, which resulted in easy baskets for Central.

“It was a good win for us,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “It was a fun atmosphere, and we had good energy.”

Central (15-3, 5-0 SWL) overwhelmed the Panthers from the opening tip, taking a 16-1 lead. Using their full-court press, the Warriors extended their lead to 41-15 at halftime.

“We really started to click in the second quarter,” Dixon said. “But after five games in a week, we are exhausted.” Central had three players in double figures, led by Amy Kame, who finished with 24 points. Haleigh Higgins added 15 and Stacey Kinnett finished with 11.

Central plays at Durango on Friday.


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