D-Row puts on a show
Wildcats run past Central
The “D-Row Show” is in full swing at Fruita Monument High School.
Signs with Dylan Row’s nickname bob up and down in the student section, cheers have been invented, and Row has adopted the nickname as his Twitter handle.
Friday, the junior shooting guard eclipsed double-digit scoring for the seventh time in nine games with 14 points to lead the Fruita Monument boys basketball team to a 64-37 victory over Central in a key Southwestern League win for the Wildcats.
Row spurred an offense that needed to beat Central to keep Fruita’s playoff hopes alive. Prior to the win over Central, the Wildcats were ranked 54th in the MaxPreps Class 5A rankings, one of the primary tools used in selecting the playoff field. In order to crack the field of 48, Fruita Monument will need to beat Grand Junction on Feb. 21.
“It’s definitely (a must-win game),” Fruita Monument coach Billy Dreher said of the matchup with Grand Junction. “We’ve talked about it all year. We were kind of hoping to run the table in the rest of league (play), but that loss to Durango really set us back with that.
“We’re still hoping we can sneak into those last few spots and get a playoff berth if we can beat Junction here. It’s a big rivalry game already, but they’re essentially a ranked playoff team, so we’re going to treat it like a big playoff game.”
Row echoed Dreher’s sentiments, adding the Wildcats are out to avenge a 71-35 whipping by the league-leading Tigers earlier this season.
“Last game, they just blew us out of the gym, and that was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life,” Row said. “I’m sure most, if not all, of the guys in the locker room can agree with that. So, we definitely got that in the back of our mind going into that game, and we’re really playing for pride.”
Against Central, Row was the driving force as Matt Story struggled on offense. Every time Central came creeping back, Row hit a 3-pointer. He hit three shots from long range to lead all scorers. Row was also one of the leaders defensively, picking up three steals.
“He struggled a couple games there, and then the he really got in a groove,” Dreher said. “Then the last four or five games there, he’s had games where he’s just been stroking it really well and playing with confidence, and we need that one or two guys to get double figures for us lately, and we’re much better when that happens for us.”
Row was aided by junior Grant Stagg, who finished with a career-high 14 points. Stagg, listed at 6-foot-2, scored the majority of his baskets on second-chance opportunities.
“Grant Stagg had a huge game for us tonight,” Dreher said. “Probably as well as he’s ever played tonight, and it’s good to see some of those other guys play well and get some confidence.”
For Central, Tyler Talkington led in scoring with eight points. After starting cold, he hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Trey Garcia added seven points.
Trey Fair struggled offensively, scoring four points, his second-lowest total this season.