Tiger girls top Aurora Central in 5A playoffs

Being loose and relaxed has translated into a lot of wins for the Grand Junction High School girls basketball team this season.

Saturday in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs, the No. 5 seed Tigers played carefree in a 60-38 upset victory at No. 4 Aurora Central.

The win over the Trojans differed from the Tigers’ first-round win over Boulder. Grand Junction had to scrap and claw its way to a 45-44 victory over the Panthers.

Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said the close first-round game woke the Tigers up.

“I think they realized the gravity of the situation,” Provenza said. “It came into their minds that it’s one loss and your done.”

Refocused against the Trojans, Grand Junction jumped to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers led 15-8 after the quarter.

Aurora Central made a run in the second quarter, but Grand Junction’s Fawn Brady killed the Trojans’ momentum by hitting consecutive 3-pointers.

“They were making that run then Fawn hit two threes,” Provenza said. “The kids really played well.”

Brady’s big shots help Grand Junction take a 37-20 halftime lead.

In the second half, Grand Junction continued the pressure on both ends, holding the Trojans to 19 second-half points.

“Defensively, we played well all game,” Provenza said. “We moved well and got into passing lanes.”

Jamie Derrieux led the Tigers for the second straight game, scoring a game-high 18 points. Paula Lage added 16 points and Brady finished with 12 points.

Grand Junction advances to the Sweet 16 to face No.1 Highlands Ranch on Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to be here,” Provenza said. “We made this a goal all the way back before the season started, and we had some ups and downs, but are happy to be here.”


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