Grand Junction can’t keep up with Columbine

Lisa Hughes of Grand Junction drives against Randee Hayes of Columbine at FMHS

Despite three scorers in double figures Thursday, the Grand Junction High School girls basketball team didn’t have enough offense to keep up with Columbine, losing 70-50 at the Wildcat Invitational.

Senior Lisa Hughes scored 13 points to lead the Tigers, who are winless to begin the season.

Paula Lage and Emily Dohm contributed 10 points each, going a combined 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.

“She’s the one that’s got enough strength to bang away with other people,” coach Sam Provenza said of Hughes. “What you saw there was what Lisa’s really capable of doing.”

Hughes, however, could not contain Columbine center Randee Hayes. The Rebels started the game feeding the ball down low to Hayes, who pitched in 12 of her total 16 points in the first half.

After several turnovers caused by the Rebels’ full-court press, Grand Junction found itself in an 11-point hole at the end of the first quarter.

The Rebels extended their lead to 16 at halftime, assisted by big 3s from Hayes and Alyssa McCan.

A halftime speech from Provenza worked, though, and the Tigers dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Rebels 12-6.

The Tigers started the quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to nine points, holding the Rebels scoreless for the first four minutes.

The Tigers spread the scoring around during the quarter, getting contributions from Hughes, Dohm and Fawn Brady, who added four points in the third.

Lage crossed up two Rebel defenders, first to the left hand, then cutting it back to the right hand for a beautiful layup less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Hughes stole the ball at halfcourt on the Rebels’ next possession, driving to the basket and drawing a foul on the play. Hughes couldn’t convert on either free throw, and the Rebels began to stretch their lead.

After leading by 10 with 61/2 minutes left, the Rebels quickly doubled that lead in the next two minutes, aided by McCan burying two straight 3-pointers.

“We had some defensive breakdowns,” Provenza said of the final quarter. “…We stopped moving our feet and got a little lazy on help side, and that’s a team that’s gonna take advantage of those things.”

Despite the Tigers’ tough luck so far, Provenza is seeing improvement, and he’s hoping the Tigers can bounce back when they play Palisade at 4:30 today at Fruita.

“It’s a different team than the first one we saw a few weeks ago,” Provenza said of his squad’s progression. “I think we’ve grown a ton. I think we’re gonna continue to get better. It’s just a matter of them keeping the confidence level up.”


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