Casey Burns makes kin proud in Tigers’ win over Delta

Casey Burns make kin proud in Tigers' win over Delta

Grand Junction’s Casey Burns, 33, twists past Delta’s Ethan Baier to take a shot Tuesday night during the first half of the Tigers’ 70-54 victory over the Panthers.

Casey Burns said he had a renewed mindset Tuesday before Grand Junction’s 70-54 win over Delta, and the renewing began as Burns and the rest of the Tigers peered out of their locker room and watched the girls game.

“Give it to Kylie,” Burns said of his sister, who then went coast-to-coast for a layup. “Yeah. ... that’s my sister!”

Junction athletics runs in the Burns family. Casey’s father, Chris, went to Grand Junction and played basketball; his grandfather, Jim, played football.

On Monday, Casey did his family proud, going coast-to-coast just like his sister, only ending with a two-handed slam in the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled away from Delta with three dunks in a two-minute span.

“We could go an entire season without three dunks,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “It all started with our ‘D’.”

The 6-foot-4 Burns finished with 27 points, including three 3-pointers.

Justin Whiting, also 6-foot-4, finished with 13 points, a pair of 3-pointers and a two-handed dunk during the Tigers’ mini jam session late in the fourth quarter.

The first quarter was nearly as dazzling for Grand Junction (2-2), which took a 15-0 lead.

“We shot the ball well early, but we started settling for 3s a bit and started missing,” Johnson said.

Delta (2-2) stayed within six points of the Tigers until midway through the third quarter thanks to seven 3-pointers and 26 points from Jake Ames.

Ames hit a 3 early in the fourth quarter that pulled the Panthers to 52-36, but Burns followed with his own long-range triple to halt any momentum.

“I’m proud of our guys for hanging in there,” Delta coach Von Mitchell said. “But (Junction) ran a nice motion offense and they have a lot of athletes.”

Burns’ final dunk, the coast-to-coast slam with 3 minutes remaining that gave the Tigers a 66-44 lead, was the final play for the starting five.

Burns clasped his hands behind his head in exhaustion, and Johnson put in a fresh five.

The subs increased the lead.

“One thing I like is our depth,” Johnson said. “We’ve been putting in 10 guys and so I put those guys on the bench to actually give us new life.”


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