Fruita boys stung by Scorpions

GREELEY — Fruita Monument High School boys basketball coach Billy Dreher believed his team had gotten better each outing through its first seven games.

The Wildcats may have taken a step back, however, Friday.

Playing in the second round of the Greeley Central Invitational, Fruita ran into a buzz saw in Sand Creek, falling to the undefeated Scorpions 84-47.

For Dreher, it all came down to defense.                                                                                 

“(There were) too many easy buckets for them,” Dreher said. “It was a poor effort defensively.”

Down 10 early, the Wildcats crept back in it early in the second quarter.

“We got out of the gate pretty slow, (then) we chipped away,” Dreher said.

Trailing only 21-18 midway through the second, the bottom suddenly fell out.

Sand Creek scored 15 straight points, the back-breakers coming on a couple of four-point plays in which the 3-point shooter was fouled in the act.

“We can’t have defensive breakdowns,” Dreher said.

The third quarter was nearly a carbon copy of the last half of the second quarter as the Scorpions padded their lead to 64-26, hitting four 3-pointers, an obvious strength of the team.

Fruita showed some mettle in the final quarter, however, moving the ball well both inside and outside, having by far their biggest offensive quarter with 21 points.

For the most part, “We couldn’t buy a basket,” Dreher said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. We’re going to have games like that.”

That’s why he has put an emphasis on defense this season.

Did the Wildcats (4-4) get anything positive out of the loss?

“I guess we’ll know (Saturday),” he said of his team’s matchup with Greeley West in its tournament finale. “Those are the kind of games we’ve got to play (in nonleague).”

One thing he does predict from his young squad.

“They’re going to compete,” he said.


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