GJ girls show new attitude in win

Stephanie Drake, center, of GJ fastbreaks to the hoop

A four-minute scoring drought is never a good thing.

In the Grand Junction High School girls basketball team’s game Saturday against Fountain Fort-Carson, the Tigers led 12-8 heading into the second quarter. Grand Junction was hoping to build on its productive first quarter, but with four minutes left in the second quarter, the Tigers were still stuck on 12.

That left the door wide open for the talented Trojans to make a run. Despite the Tigers’ cold streak, Grand Junction played solid defense and the Trojans were only able to build a 15-12 lead.

With about four minutes left in the first half, Lisa Hughes broke the scoring streak with a breakaway layup to propel the Tigers to a 14-7 run to end the half with a 26-22 lead.

The Tigers’ momentum never faded as Grand Junction knocked off the Trojans 51-40.

“We kept it close in the second and didn’t let them get away, which they are very capable of doing,” Tigers coach Sam Provenza said. “We had some kids come off of the bench and really spark us for the last part of that quarter.”

Cassidie Mims and Stephanie Drake gave the Tigers good minutes off the bench. Mims had four big points before halftime and Drake did a good job of containing Fountain Fort-Carson’s D’Shara Strange, one of the Trojans’ most dangerous scorers.

“Stephanie came in and did a good job on (Strange),” Provenza said.

Strange finished with 13 points and Renata Rankin added 16.

In the Tigers’ first game back since the break, they showed a new attitude. Defensively, they held the Trojans to three points in the second quarter during their scoring slump, and Jamie Derrieux and Hughes got back-to-back baskets in the third quarter when the Tigers’ lead was cut to three.

“These kids are working hard right now and I don’t know what sparked them,” Provenza said. “But I watched it all week in practice and saw a different look in their eyes.”

Sophomore Fawn Brady had 16 points and 10 rebounds despite playing with a sore left knee. Brady, along with Derrieux, showed the Tigers’ fierce determination.

“We are tired of losing,” Brady said. “We realized we have to push ourselves and have a different attitude heading into games.”

Derrieux was the Tigers’ second-leading scorer with 11 points. Only a freshman, Derrieux had one of her best games of the season, playing more aggressively.

“She has nine games under her belt and knows what high school basketball is all about,” Provenza said. “We know she has the talent and sometimes freshmen have the tendency to defer to other kids, and she is finally past that point.”

Tigers play Tuesday at Moffat County before beginning conference play Friday at home against Montezuma-Cortez.


The Central girls ended their three-day stay at the Webb Toyota Invitational in Kirtland, N.M., with a 57-45 loss to Belen, N.M.

Amy Kame had 26 points for the Warriors, who went 1-2 in the tournament.

“We are still in a growing process,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “We feel like we are getting better but we are still struggling with some things.”

Haleigh Higgins added eight points for the Warriors, who open Southwestern League play Friday at home against Fruita Monument.

The Fruita Monument girls defeated Westminster 46-39 on the road.

Taylor Johnson had a big game, scoring 23 points. The Wildcats’ two other post players,
Mary McGee and Stephanie Long, each added eight points.

The Central boys lost at Chatfield 66-54. After beginning the season with nine straight victories, the Warriors lost their second straight.

“We have got to get our legs back under us,” Central coach Phil Cain said.

Central was led by Kahler Grandbouche, who finished with 11 points.

The Warriors host Fruita Monument on Friday in their SWL opener.


Fruita Monument performed well on its first road trip, defeating Montezuma-Cortez 109-69.

The Wildcats were led by Jessica Fischer, who won the 200-yard freestyle (2:15.94) and 500 freestyle (5:56.67).

The Wildcats swim at Delta on Jan. 17.

Palisade/Central had 20 personal-best swims in its meet at Gunnison. The WarDogs finished fourth with 239 points. Teddy Hayes set a team record in the 500-yard freestyle
(6:18.53) and broke her own record in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:23.07).

Grand Junction lost to Durango 128-54. The Tigers had a 1-2-3 showing in diving, with Renata Cote placing first, followed by Mary Steele and Acacia Cordova. Kelsey Schlagel won the 50 freestyle at 26.55.


Central had nine wrestlers place, propelling the Warriors to a second-place finish at the Colfax Smackdown in Denver. The Warriors finished with 80.5 points. Matthew Gurule (103 pounds), Daniel Rodriguez (130) and Zach Short (135) each won titles.

Fruita Monument finished fourth at the Pueblo South Colt Classic with 106.5 points. Logan McNulty (135) and Kyle Hamaker (152) each placed first.


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