Brady’s big first quarter helps Tigers hold on vs. Palmer

Grand Junction High School senior Fawn Brady showed how badly she wanted to keep her career going.

Tuesday night in a Class 5A Sweet 16 playoff game at Palmer High School, Brady scored 13 points in the first quarter to put the Tigers ahead 19-4 early.

Brady’s first-quarter scoring binge was necessary as Palmer fought way back into the game, but the Tigers held on for a 48-41 victory. The win advances the Tigers into Friday’s Great 8 game at the Denver Coliseum against ThunderRidge.

“(Fawn) went out with something to prove tonight,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. “She took over the game early, and this was her time to make a statement.”

Brady was on fire in the first quarter giving the Tigers (18-7) a 17-4 lead with 30 seconds remaining.

Brady put an exclamation point on her performance with the final jumper of the quarter.

Brady finished with 17 points.

The Tigers continued to push in the second quarter, stretching their lead to 21-4 on a Jeslyn Szabo lay up. The Terrors responded and cut the Grand Junction lead to 29-14 at halftime.

“We jumped on them in a hurry,” Provenza said. “We tend to play well when we get a good start.”

Palmer made a charge in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 15-7, and trailed 36-29 heading into the fourth.

The Terrors’ Taylor Torres hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and bring Palmer within four at 36-32.

Torres struck again with less than five minutes remaining completing a three-point play that cut the Tigers lead to 38-37.

“They went to a half-court trap and we had some turnovers,” Provenza said. “They caught a second wind.”

The two teams traded baskets until another lay up from Torres kept Palmer within one at 42-41.

After a few defensive stops by the Tigers, Palmer was forced to foul with less than 1:30 remaining. Jamie Derrieux made two free throws to give Grand Junction a 44-41 cushion and Paula Lage made two free throws a few possessions later to put the Tigers up 46-41.

“It got so physical that we were picking ourselves off the floor,” Provenza said. “But we’d get blasted, then step up and make free throws, and that says something to the other team.”

Derrieux finished with 14 points and Lage added 13.

Mary Miller led the Terrors with 20 points.


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