Derrieux’s overtime free throws seal GJ’s victory over Carbon

Grand Junction’s Shafer Rubalcaba, 15, takes a shot over Carbon County’s Kelcy Otani on Friday night during the first half of the Tigers’ 49-43 overtime victory over the Dinos in the Wildcat Invitational.

The jolt of Carbon County’s 3-point buzzer beater to end regulation Friday only led to more free-throw practice for Jamie Derrieux.

In overtime at Fruita Monument High School’s Wildcat Invitational, after Carbon County’s Lexi Gagon hit the 3-pointer to tie the game at 40-40 as time expired, Derrieux made nine of 12 free throws in overtime as the Tigers’ girls basketball team defeated the Dinos 49-43.

Derrieux, who scored 29 points, made 20 of 27 free throws, and with all the fouls she drew it was a wonder the only red marks on her hands were two incisions from last season’s surgery to repair torn ligaments.

As evident from her shooting, she has healed well.

But teammate Sarah Wilkinson may need time to mend.

With 10 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Tigers (5-1) clinging to a 38-37 lead, Wilkinson stepped into the lane as Carbon County’s Kelcy Otani drove to the hoop.

“I think she thought Sarah was going to get out of the way,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said.

She didn’t.


“I have a little butt-bruiser, but I’m OK,” Wilkinson said.

The collision and ensuing charge call led to a Tiger possession and another foul, with Derrieux again going to the line.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, it gave way to Gagon’s buzzer-beater in which she pump-faked a defender and let it rip.

“She just made a good shot,” Provenza said.

Then he dropped his head and chuckled.

“Maybe we need to be six inches closer to her,” he said, “but she made a good shot.”

And her 3-pointer in overtime was the only hoop for Carbon (3-2), which jumped to a 22-13 lead in the second quarter.

But Grand Junction doesn’t shy away from selling out on defense. As Carbon continued swinging the ball around the perimeter, Derrieux, knowing she had teammates to fill in and guard her player, began jumping the passing lanes.

And like a hardwood kleptomaniac, she had two consecutive steals and layups to end the first half and three more swipes in the third quarter.

More importantly, Grand Junction didn’t sink into despondency after the buzzer-beater, nor did Derrieux lose composure as she repeatedly was hacked in overtime.

“She was getting slammed pretty hard,” Provenza said. “But she smiled and picked herself up and walked to the free-throw line. Or ran to the free-throw line.”

Said Derrieux: “You just have to have a different attitude.”

She shrugged. She laughed.

And she buried nine OT freebies.


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