Fruita tops Central for 25th straight SWL win

So far this season, the Fruita Monument boys basketball team had been able to keep its Southwestern League win streak intact despite not playing its best.

The Wildcats may not have played a perfect game, but they were practically flawless Friday night, rolling to a 60-33 victory over Central at Fruita Monument High School. It was the Wildcats’ 25th consecutive Southwestern League win. Fruita Monument could return to the Denver Post Top 10 next week with two top-10 teams losing this week.

“I thought we executed better on the offensive end,” Fruita coach Dave Fox said. “We haven’t been particularly happy with the way we played the last three games, but we had good practices this week. I think that always helps.”

Drew Bridges led Fruita (15-2, 5-0 SWL) with 21 points. He also had four steals and two blocked shots.

“I’ve been working on my outside game this summer and I think it’s helped a lot,” Bridges said. “The SWL hasn’t really seen me do that.”

Alex Padgett chipped in 15 points, once some shots started to fall for him.

“Alex has struggled the past couple game, so it was good to see Alex get in the mix,” Fox said. “I think he was pressing a bit, so it was good to see him get back to himself.”

The Warriors (0-18, 0-5 SWL) were led by Taylor Sanchez’s 10 points.

The Wildcats opened the game with a 15-0 run and led by double figures the rest of the way. They led 17-5 after the first quarter and 34-14 at halftime.

“That was really something we wanted to make sure we did was get off to a good start,” Fox said. “I thought we did a good job of executing on both ends of the floor early.”

Fruita Monument produced most of its offense as a result of its defense, forcing 14 turnovers unofficially, including nine in the first half.

“That’s where it starts (on defense),” Fox said. “You’ve got to get that running game going. (Taylor) Sanchez is such a good kid. What a pleasure to watch him play. We wanted to have someone guard him tough and have two other guys there to help.”

Bridges led the way, scoring 15 of his points in the first half, including one on a fastbreak dunk after a steal.

“It seemed like Drew was able to get open early and get a lot of points,” Fox said. “He was making a lot of nice cuts to the basket and we found him easily.”

Fruita led by as much as 36 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Cody Daniels added eight points and James Lewis had six.

“When those two play well, that’s when we can be tough,” Fox said.

Palisade 74, Battle Mountain 40: The Bulldogs are in the midst of a good stretch themselves.

Palisade got off to a quick start and pulled away in the second half for its 14th consecutive victory.

Kane Gunther led Palisade (14-2, 6-0 WSL) with 20 points. Caleb Hall added 15 and Tyler Graham scored nine.

The Bulldogs’ 74 points were a league high.

Plateau Valley 49, West Grand 47: Teddy Grundy hit a 3-pointer late to lift the Cowboys to a Class 1A Western Slope League victory.

Grundy scored 24 points to lead Plateau Valley (8-2, 3-0 WSL). Kyler Smith added eight and Doug Eberhart scored seven.


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