Grand Junction High School basketball team loses to Durango

It was one of those games for Grand Junction High School basketball team where it was waiting to make a big run to put the game away.

That run never came Saturday, but the Tigers (8-4, 2-0 Southwestern League) expended every ounce of energy they had to defeat Durango 42-41.

Grand Junction trailed 41-35 with two minutes remaining after the Demons’ offensive patience allowed them to outscore Grand Junction 9-3 before that point in the fourth quarter.

With their backs against the wall, the Tigers began emphasizing on getting defensive stops.

The first one came with help from the officials when Durango coach Tom Dunne was whistled for a technical foul. The official told Dunne it was because he came out onto the floor too much after a call against the Demons. Everett Robinson sank the two free throws to cut the deficit to 41-37.

The next stop came in the form of a five-second violation against the Demons. The Tigers went again to Robinson who was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws, cutting the lead to three at 41-38. On the ensuing in-bounds play, Robinson picked up an errant pass and was fouled again. Two more free throws put Grand Junction within one point at 41-40.

On Durango’s next possession, the Tigers Justin Trujillo was able to cause a jump ball and Grand Junction regained possession. Down one point with fewer than 40 seconds left, the Tigers went back to Robinson, who sank a midrange jumpshot to put the Tigers ahead for good, 42-41.

“I just wanted to score, however it came,” Robinson said about the final shot. “We were able to put some defensive stops together to get this win.”

Durango’s final chance was a Loren Doughty turnaround jump shot that fell short.

“All I have to say is it is a win,” Grand Junction’s Geoff Baldwin said. “I have nothing really to say. I played awful, the team didn’t play especially well, but when it came down to it, our team leader Everett dragged us along.”

In a game that was aggressive on both sides, Durango fell short at the foul line, attempting only four free throws to Grand Junction’s 20. After a lopsided loss Friday night to Montrose,
Durango responded against the Tigers, giving Grand Junction all it could handle.

“I am very proud of the kids, we have been struggling lately and they went out there and left it all on the floor,” Dunne said. “That is what I am taking away from this game and nothing more than that.”

Grand Junction recognized the battle the Demons put up.

“Give it to Durango,” Baldwin said. “They came off of a horrible loss (yesterday) and came out today and played great.”

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