Guard lifts Central past Grand Junction
Amy Kame has always been there when the Central High School girls basketball team needs her.
Tuesday night was one of the nights the Warriors depended on her presence.
Kame hit plenty of big shots to give Central a 64-59 win over Grand Junction.
“We have only had a couple games that have been close that we have pulled out,” Kame said.
“I think this game was good for us and we learned a lot from it.”
Kame finished with 32 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, which offset Grand Junction’s best game of the season. The Tigers kept the game within six points all night with inspired performances from Fawn Brady and Stephanie Drake. Brady had 14 of her 18 points in the second half, including her only 3-pointer that tied the game at 59-59.
“She had three of (3-pointers) rattle out and she was starting to get frustrated,” Tigers coach Sam Provenza said. “She shook off the misses and had the confidence to come up with one more.”
The Warriors showed their experience late as Karen Hayter sank two free throws after Brady’s big shot. Kame then stole the ball on the Tigers’ next possession and was fouled driving to the basket. She made both free throws to give Central a four-point cushion with 20 seconds left.
“It was really important that we stayed composed,” Kame said. “We knew we had the experience and knew what we needed to do.”
Central coach Todd Dixon was pleased with the way the Warriors shook off three rough quarters to put a nice finishing touch on the game.
“In the fourth, I thought we did a better job of fighting through how well Grand Junction was playing,” Dixon said. “We had a chance in the first to slam the door on them, we didn’t and they came back. Coach Provenza had them very well prepared.”
Central jumped to a 11-4 lead early in the first quarter but Grand Junction regained the momentum led by Drake, who was able to beat the Central press and keep the Tigers alive early. Grand Junction led 14-11 heading into the second quarter.
“Stephanie went after it tonight,” Provenza said. “She only knows one speed and that is all out.”
Central made a run in the second to take a 26-16 lead with three minutes remaining, but baskets by Brady and Joei Ritter cut the Warriors’ lead to six at halftime.
The two teams battled back and forth in the second half with Grand Junction taking a 51-50 lead in the fourth quarter. Provenza said he felt the team gave as good of an effort as they had all season.
“I don’t know if we could have played any harder than we did,” Provenza said. “The girls played their guts out. That was a game that could have been won or lost by either team.”
With the win, Central now has the opportunity to play for a share of the Southwestern League title on Friday against Montrose.