Eleven point lead vanishes in overtime loss for Tigers

Matt Wilkinson’s shot of GJ is blocked by Martin Thomas of Fountain

Grand Junction boys basketball coach Dutch Johnson sees the end of the Tigers’ game Saturday against Fountain Fort-Carson quite clearly.

“They did everything right and we did everything wrong,” Johnson said.

The Tigers lost an 11-point lead with a little more than four minutes left, and despite pushing the game into overtime, lost to the Trojans 72-66.

“I take full blame because when you have an 11-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter you shouldn’t lose the game,” Johnson said. “I didn’t have them ready to play with the lead in the fourth.”

The Tigers nearly lost the game in regulation when the Trojans’ Chris Davis hit a deep 3-pointer to give Fountain Fort-Carson a 58-57 lead with 35 seconds left. The deep shot capped a 14-2 run for the Trojans.

Grand Junction lost the ball on its next possession, but after Troy Dorsey missed a free throw, the Tigers had a final opportunity with eight seconds left. After a Tigers timeout,

Justin Trujillo was fouled on the inbound pass. He hit one of two free throws, tying the game at 58-58 and sending it into overtime.

“It was big. If we had a kid fouled he was one of them (the Tigers wanted) because he is a clutch kid,” Johnson said. “It was huge he was able to make at least one to give us a chance to win.”

In overtime, the Tigers couldn’t get any momentum back and couldn’t stop the Trojans.

The Tigers also sustained a big loss in overtime when Geoff Baldwin turned an ankle. He reentered the game for a short time but quickly came out.

“He went in and said he couldn’t go,” Johnson said. “I think he just rolled it.”

Before the injury, Baldwin was having a good game, finishing with 19 points and nine rebounds. Everett Robinson led the way with 28 points, including four 3-pointers. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.

“I scored 28 but we didn’t win,” Robinson said. “I missed shots when I could have made them.”

Johnson said he was happy with the double-digit performances by Baldwin and Robinson but the Tigers could have used one more player with a big game. Grand Junction’s next leading scorer was Mark Stern, who had six points.

The Trojans had four players in double figures, led by Malcolm Thomas’ 18 points. Martin Thomas added 17.

The Tigers wrap up nonleague play Tuesday at Moffat County.

“I told them we have one more game before league and it is not whether you win or lose,” Johnson said, “but how you respond.”


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