GJ matches Fruita’s effort in boys lacrosse victory

They’re not a power team, but coach James States said the Grand Junction boys lacrosse players knew their speed and finesse could only do so much Tuesday night against a punishing Fruita Monument squad.

So, the Tigers picked their spots, and they got mean.

The effort to match the Wildcats blow for blow paid off as Grand Junction won the Mountain League rivalry match 8-5 at Walker Field.

“I think in the first half there, we were in a push mode,” States said. “We get this way, where we just try to score too quick.

“We came out and really tried to possess the ball in the second half and calmed down a little bit. We went out trying to get some better looks, and it definitely, definitely helped us in the second half.”

A solid defense set up the second-half offense from the Tigers (4-2, 3-1 CML). Jacob Hart snagged a season-high 10 saves in a performance States called “Colton Flick-like” to shut down the Wildcats (3-4, 2-2 CML).

Flick, who was a standout senior for the Tigers last season, is serving as the team’s goalkeepers coach.

“Hart played an absolutely excellent game,” States said. “It was nice to see that all coming back around, with Colton being his coach and (Hart) really learning a lot from him. Heck of a game by Hart. He really kept us in that game. Especially when two men down in the second half and he about three saves, one after another, to really save the game for us.”

Marques Combs and Kirk Fletcher led the Tigers with two goals apiece. Combs and Logan Branson each added two assists.

“These games never get old,” States said of the rivalry. “We’re not a punch-you-out or knock-you-down kind of team. So, we really had to mentally prepare ourselves for this game because that’s not the game we want to get caught into, and that’s certainly not how we want to play for an entire game.”

“I feel like we do a good job of knowing when to play that, and sometimes we get sucked into playing that contact game a little too much. But possessing the ball really snaps us out of that, and I thought we did a good job of doing that today.”


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