Central’s Grandbouche scores 27 in win over ’Cats
The Central High School boys basketball team will never say it was one of its prettier games, but it was a win.
The Warriors withstood everything Fruita Monument threw at them Friday night for a 48-43 Southwestern League victory.
“It was a trying game,” Central coach Phil Cain said. “Fruita came out and played hard and put us back on our heels.”
The Wildcats were able to take advantage of an off night from Central, taking a 39-34 lead after three quarters. Led by eight points in the third by Brett Nankervis, the Wildcats looked to knock off the SWL-leading Wildcats. But in the fourth, Fruita was bitten by the same thing that has hurt the Wildcats all season, as the Wildcats couldn’t get any shots to fall.
Central outscored Fruita 14-4 in the fourth.
“It is like a broken record for our team,” Fruita coach Dave Fox said. “We can’t seem to throw it into the ocean when we need to. We went about six minutes without scoring, and congrats to the seniors for battling, but we couldn’t get any breaks.”
Central was never able to get into its fast-paced rhythm and had quiet games from some of its leading scorers. Micheal Wiedrich and Blaine Jackson both went scoreless and Clay Kame finished with 10 points but went 3 of 10 from the free-throw line.
With the Warriors’ backcourt unable to get anything going, Kahler Grandbouche played the role of hero by scoring 27 points and going 7 of 9 from the free-throw line.
“Kahler did a great job underneath,” Cain said. “He took advantage of his quickness, shot a great percentage and carried us tonight.”
The five Fruita seniors played arguably their best game of the season. Alex Mende had 17 points and Nankervis added 12. Scott Miller played more minutes than usual and finished with six points and eight rebounds.
“Our kids played their butts off on the defensive end,” Fox said. “Central was off of their game a little bit and we made them play.”
The Warriors were able to look past three less-than-stellar quarters to finish in the fourth.
“It was one of the most physical and emotional games for us,” Cain said. “We had some let-ups and we didn’t hit our free throws.”
The Warriors hope to lock up the Southwestern League title Tuesday against Grand Junction.
“We have to finish strong,” Cain said. “We can’t let up.”