Lage’s return to the court boosts Grand Junction past Durango

In the past week, Paula Lage’s time on the basketball court has been limited.

Last weekend the junior on the Grand Junction High School girls basketball team sustained a concussion that forced her to the bench for the Tigers’ win against Mountain Vista and limited her practice time this week.

On Friday night, Lage made the most of her return to the court, scoring 14 points as the Tigers beat Durango 45-36.

“I really wanted to come back and help my team get a jump-start win because we have really four important games that we need to win,” Lage said.

Coming out of the first half, Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza wanted his team to focus on pushing the ball inside, specifically to Lage.

“Second half, we talked about let’s not settle for the 3-point shot, let’s get the ball inside,” Provenza said.

“She’s not one who’s going to go ‘Hey, give me the ball.’ We kind of have to jump-start her because she won’t do it herself sometimes. When we made that switch from putting her outside to putting her back inside, that was the key to the game right there.”

Lage did her part, scoring six points in the third quarter, the quarter that separated the two teams. Durango won the first meeting by two points.

“It was such a hard loss when we first lost to them, but we knew that wouldn’t happen again,” Lage said.

The Tigers had it a bit easier than they did the first time against Durango’s Aspen McKeever, who put up double digits against the Tigers in their first game.

Friday’s main scoring threat was Lindsay Chamblee, who had 15 points.

Although Chamblee had six points in the paint in the first half, the Tigers limited her chances in the second half to mainly free throws. Chamblee was still able to capitalize, hitting six of seven from the free-throw line in the second half.

The Tigers struggled early from the field, scoring 10 points in the first quarter and nine in the second.

Friday’s game came with plenty of fanfare, coming on both senior night and breast cancer awareness night.

The Tigers took the court wearing pink sweatbands and socks, and wore pink warmup shirts.

For senior night, Provenza started his three seniors, Stephanie Brady, Whitney Robinson and Nicole Dohm, in place of some of the underclassmen.

Jamie Derrieux finished with 11 points and Fawn Brady 10 for the Tigers.


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