Elisha Jahnke keys huge 2nd quarter in Tigers’ win

Elisha Jahnke’s energy level in the second quarter Friday night was the same as any other quarter in any other game. It’s always there.

But the 13 points she scored in the second quarter? That was new.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had that before,” said the Grand Junction High School senior, who finished with a game-high 20 points and seemed to score in every way possible.

Jahnke and Sydni Brandon combined for 21 of the Tigers’ 27 points in the second quarter as they broke open a close game en route to a 62-46 win over Durango in Southwestern League girls basketball.

“Elisha plays like that all the time,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said of Jahnke’s big quarter. “She plays as hard as any kid we have. She doesn’t always get the points, but she always plays with that energy. For her to get that offensive side was a nice reward for as hard as she works all the time.”

Jahnke said her teammates did a great job of getting passes to her when she was open, and no one did that better than Brandon. The junior point guard threaded two passes between defenders and across the lane to Jahnke on back-door cuts that netted layups early in the second quarter.

Before the quarter ended, Jahnke hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key; drove through the lane for layup; trailed a teammate on a fast break and swooped in to rebound the missed shot and score on a layup; and sank two free throws.

“When we notice a teammate is scoring, we try to get them the ball,” said Brandon, who finished with 18 points.

She added Jahnke’s big game was great to see.

“She’s getting her confidence back, and that’s what we need,” Brandon said. “If we’re going to continue the way we want, we’ll need that from her.”

The Tigers (13-1, 2-1 SWL) led 38-24 at the half, and they extended their lead to 54-32 after three quarters.

Brandon said the Tigers were all over the place in the first quarter, and the Demons (3-8, 1-2 SWL) led 12-11 at the quarter break.

The second quarter, she said, brought greater defensive intensity, “and we were more aware of where the ball was, and we started working together.”

Provenza said the second-quarter onslaught was a matter of energy and adjusting to Durango’s press.

“I thought our kids relaxed and got a high level of energy going,” he said. “I think our energy on defense carried over to the offensive side. ... I just love the energy level for every kid who was out there for us tonight.”


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