Central rally falls short in loss to Basalt

The Central High School girls basketball team was on the brink of its first victory of the 2010-11 season Friday night against Basalt.

The Warriors had been outscored by an average of 43 points per game in their previous three games, but trailed 38-34 with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Central missed its final opportunities at the basket, and the Longhorns made free throws to clinch a 42-34 victory in the third day of the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument High School.

“We are trying to find a scorer,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “And we need the whole team to be on the same page, but every time we step onto the floor we are building more chemistry.”

A major contributor to the Warriors’ problems has been slow starts. Central again fell behind by double-digits in the first quarter as Basalt built a 14-2 lead propelled by eight points from Jamie Matherly.

Central tightened its defense and cut the deficit to 15-7 at the end of the quarter.

“I like what we are doing defensively,” Dixon said. “We are trying to build on the good things we are doing.”

The Warriors’ defense held Basalt to three second-quarter points, and Central trailed only 18-13 at halftime.

Basalt went on a run in the third quarter, pushing its lead back to 27-18.

Central mounted its comeback in the fourth quarter behind baskets from Jordan Eller and Brittany Hoppe.

Hoppe led the Warriors with 11 points and Eller finished with nine points.

“Jordan and Brittany are building some chemistry,” Dixon said. “We had a couple runs but didn’t have enough time.”

Central finishes its tournament with American Fork today at 1 p.m.

American FORK 60, FRUITA MONUMENT 46

The Wildcats couldn’t find their shooting touch in the second half.

Fruita Monument was trailing by one point at halftime 27-26, but the Wildcats had a more than 10-minute drought in the beginning of the second half when they were outscored 26-11.

“They switched from man to a 3-2 zone and we couldn’t get the ball inside,” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “We were settling for jump shots.”

Fruita’s shooting put it ahead early in the game. The Wildcats were 4 for 4 from the 3-point line in the first quarter.

That shooting helped give Fruita a 14-11 first-quarter lead, and Schmalz said the Wildcats were emphasizing getting off to a good start.

“We’d struggled in our first three games having a good first quarter,” Schmalz said. “(Friday night) they came out and did exactly what we needed to do.”

American Fork kept close thanks to its post players Shelby Carson and Hayley Su’a-Filo creating second-chance opportunities with their rebounding.

At the end of the second quarter, American Fork took its first lead at 27-26 with back-to-back baskets in the paint by Carson and Grace Farnsworth.

Jessica Sinner’s 11 points led Fruita Monument and Lauren Labonde added nine points.

The Wildcats finished with six 3-pointers in the game.

“We have a lot of girls that can knock down 3s,” Schmalz said. “But unless we are getting it inside those 3s are contested.”

Fruita Monument finishes its tournament against Carbon today at 2:30.


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