Tigers edge Fruita for SWL dual title
Fruita Monument flexed its muscles with six league champions Saturday at the Southwestern League Duals, but Grand Junction won the team title when a tiebreaker favored the Tigers in their dual with the Wildcats.
Grand Junction finished 5-0 and Fruita 4-1 as each team in the league wrestled each other. Fruita Monument got a pin from Chase Clayton at 195 pounds in the final match of the dual, tying the team score at 37-37, but the Tigers were awarded the winning point on criteria because of an unsportsmanlike conduct call during the dual against the Wildcats.
Most area teams value individual success in the postseason over team accomplishments, and Tigers coach Cole Allison said he understands that approach, but it’s still nice to win the SWL team championship.
“I was really proud of the effort,” Allison said. “It really was a team effort to win it.”
The Tigers had three wrestlers finish 5-0 and win all-SWL honors: Kohlby Wells (120); Louis Guillen (145) and Jacob Trujillo (160).
Fruita’s six all-SWL wrestlers are Ian Konrad (126), Max McLean (132), Kaden Fife (152), Ty Taylor (182), Chase Clayton (195) and Jacob Seely (220). Each went 5-0, and Seely ran his record to 38-0.
The Wildcats settled for second-place in the league for the second straight year, but Fruita coach Dan Van Hoose said the six individual titles Saturday mean more to him, especially after the Wildcats had only one league champ each of the previous two seasons.
“I’ll take six individual champions over a team title any day of the week and twice on Sunday,” Van Hoose said.
Central, which went 3-2 in its duals, had one all-SWL performer, freshman Riley Garner-Orr at 113 pounds.
Terrell Banuelos (106), Matt Sandoval (138) and Jesus Casillas (285) won league titles for Montrose.
Durango’s Katie Wiegert hit an eight-foot shot while driving into a defender with 6.8 seconds left as the Demons edged Central 43-41.
Central’s D’Kota Brodie made a layup and the ensuing free throw for a three-point play with 32.9 seconds left and 41-38 Warrior lead. Durango (6-9, 4-3 SWL) responded with a 3-pointer by Emily McCue with 21 seconds left to tie the game.
The Warriors (5-15, 2-5 SWL) turned the ball over on a long inbounds pass, which McCue corralled, and she was fouled. McCue missed a free throw in the one-and-one, and the rebound went out of bounds with the Demons retaining possession, setting the stage for Wiegert, who was fouled on the winning shot but missed the free throw. This time the rebound went out of bounds with the Warriors getting possession.
Central inbounded the ball with 3.6 seconds left and got the ball to Taryn Smith, who drove the right side of the lane and made her shot, but the attempt was after the buzzer.
Warriors coach Mary Doane said she told her players she’s proud of them.
“They’re coming along and did a lot of good things,” she said. “We’re coming closer to putting together a full game. They played well enough to win the game. ... Keep battling like that, and they’ll be OK.”
Fruita Monument 39, Montezuma-Cortez 21: The Wildcats held Montezuma-Cortez scoreless in the first quarter and limited the Panthers to six points in the first half.
Eight different players scored for the Wildcats (9-12, 5-3 SWL), and coach Michael Wells said he was happy to get his bench some game experience against the Panthers (0-15, 0-7).
“We were trying to get a lot of people in today because this was a game where we thought we could do that,” Wells said. “We have some girls who are sick who we needed to rest, so I thought (the second team) came in and played hard, and maybe didn’t execute the way we like. But hopefully that will get better with some game experience.”
Taylor Eatwell led the Wildcats with 12 points and Kassidy Fair chipped in eight. Eatwell made all 10 of her free throws.
“I thought what we did tonight that we didn’t do (Friday) night was that our defense created offensive opportunities for us,” Wells said. “We didn’t play a lick of defense last night, but it was nice to see something today.”
Eagle Valley 62, Rifle 59, OT: Rifle (8-8, 8-4 4A WSL) rallied from a six-point deficit entering the final quarter to force overtime, but Eagle Valley (12-6, 8-4) outscored the Bears 9-6 in the extra session.
Rifle’s Chante Church scored 22 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career.
Grand Valley 67, Gunnison 34: Grand Valley (12-3, 11-1 3A WSL) took a 33-14 lead at the half and cruised past the Cowboys (5-10, 5-7).
Cedaredge 52, Coal Ridge 38: Alyssa Isaman scored 12 points as Cedaredge edged Coal Ridge and created a three-way tie for third place in the stacked 3A WSL. The Bruins (11-5, 9-4 WSL) are tied with Olathe and Coal Ridge.
Delta 42, Steamboat Springs 36: Overcoming a sloppy start, Delta topped Steamboat Springs in Class 4A WSL play. The Panthers (7-10, 5-6 WSL) were led by Katie Puderbaugh with 15 points.
Hotchkiss 61, Plateau Valley 35: Hotchkiss (10-6, 6-0 2A/1A WSL) held Plateau Valley (7-7, 2-3) to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters.
Central was within five points of Durango entering the fourth quarter, but the Demons pulled away for a 52-38 Southwestern League victory.
The Demons outscored the Warriors 17-8 in the final quarter as Central managed only four shots from the field.
“I thought we competed well for three, three-and-a-half quarters,” Warriors coach Ryan Hayden said. “You just won’t win many games with just four shots in the fourth quarter.”
Hayden gave Durango credit for its defensive intensity in the fourth, adding, “They put us in spots where we weren’t comfortable.”
Trey Fair led Central (6-14, 1-6 SWL) with 17 points, making 6 of 7 shots from the field and 5 of 7 free throws. Isiah Mayberry and Terrence Trujillo scored 11 points apiece for Durango (10-5, 6-1).
Rifle 45, Eagle Valley 25: Tanner Quick led a balanced scoring attack for Rifle in a Class 4A Western Slope league win that sets up a game against Glenwood Springs on Friday that could decide the league title.
Rifle coach Roger Walters said the Bears’ 15 assists were nice to see against Eagle Valley’s 2-3 zone.
“They packed it in there with that defense, and it can be hard to get into a rhythm,” Walters said. “We moved the ball well, and I thought in the third quarter we broke them open a little bit.”
The Bears (13-3, 10-2 WSL) are one game ahead of the Demons with two games remaining on the league schedule. In their previous meeting, Rifle picked up a home victory 55-41.
Steamboat Springs 66, Delta 54: Carter Kounovsky led the Steamboat Springs (12-5, 7-4 4A WSL) with 17 points to top Delta (8-9, 6-5).
Hotchkiss 71, Plateau Valley 22: Cesar Gonzalez scored 16 points and River Panish added 10 points as Hotchkiss (12-4, 6-1 2A/1A WSL) routed Plateau Valley (2-11, 0-6).