Dinos stop Fruita’s fourth-quarter comeback

Perry triggers rally with 3-point shooting

Fruita Monument’s fourth-quarter rally Friday night was shut down by the Carbon County Dinos, who claimed a 56-51 victory in the Warrior Challenge boys basketball tournament.

After trailing most of the game, the Wildcats’ comeback started with an 11-point deficit at the end of the third quarter.

Junior forward T.J. Pollock knocked down a shot with time running down to cut the lead to nine. Less than one minute into the fourth, senior guard Mike Perry drilled a 3 from the top of the key to cut the lead to four.

On the next possession, Perry again fired from 3-point range, but after rattling around the rim and doing everything but falling through the net, it bounced out.

“He’s been a great field general out there,” coach Dave Fox said of Perry. “He’s been running the show, and he did get some 3 to fall, which is great.”

The Wildcat offense then went stagnant, and Carbon stretched its lead to 10 off several turnovers with three minutes left.

Fruita fought back again.

Perry buried another 3 and Alex Mende fought his way to the hole for a layup in traffic, drawing a foul.

Mende spent all night slashing through the key and settling in to open spots against the zone defense. The 6-foot-2 senior is not a typical post player, as Fox said, but he managed to cause problems for the defense inside the paint all night.

“We’ve got him coming in there to a gap, and kids are looking for him,” Fox said. “Once he catches and faces up, he’s got a nice little jump shot.”

Chance Muller cut the lead to four when he scored two of his six points with less than a minute left, but that was as close as the Wildcats could get.

The Dinos maintained a 4- to 6-point lead the rest of the way.lead see-sawed between four and six points for the remainder of the game with the Dinos hitting their free throws to hold off the Wildcats and win by five.

Mende ended with a team-high 15 points, his second straight game scoring double digits.

Perry didn’t do much shooting in the game, but had the three three-pointers to finish with nine points.

Junior guard Steve Goff ended with seven points, and senior center Scott Miller had six points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

“The kids didn’t give up,” Fox said. “They kept battling ... we did a lot of good things, better than last night.”

Senior forward Joey Keller did the most damage for the Dinos, scoring 21 points.

In other boys games,  Montrose lost to Ridgway 85-57 and Glenwood Springs fell to D’Evelyn at the Golden/D’Evelyn Preview Classic. Gunnison took care of Paonia 75-44 and the Bayfield JV downed Dove Creek 43-20.

On the girls side, Montrose defeated Bayfield 68-39, Eagle Valley beat Classical Academy 45-39, Shiprock, N.M. upended Montezuma-Cortez 71-48 and Paonia defeated Gunnison 57-52.


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