Tired Tigers can’t figure out Dinos’ pressure defense in loss

The Grand Junction High School girls basketball team played its fourth game in four nights, but that was no excuse.

Carbon (Utah) used its quickness and speed Friday to defeat the Tigers 47-30 victory in the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument High School.

“We played at a pretty high level (Thursday) night,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. “I don’t want to make it a reason we lost. They know that. They’d rather play than practice anyway. If we weren’t playing Tuesday night, we’d be practicing Tuesday night. It can’t be the reason why.”

Twelve Grand Junction girls played and eight played a majority of the minutes. Jamie Derrieux watched from the bench with a broken hand.

“She changes the speed of the game immensely when she’s on the floor,” Provenza said of Derrieux. “We could’ve used a little speed against that team.”

Paula Lage led Grand Junction (4-3) with eight points. Fawn Brady scored seven and Camille Goodsell had five.

Sara Potts and Miranda Averett led the guard-heavy Dinos (4-0) with 11 points each.

“I told (the team) we played big and tall (Thursday) night and tonight we played small and quick,” Provenza said.

“We were a half-step behind. I told them, you weren’t dull, but it felt dull. The presence in the gym felt dull. We could not get out of that funk.”

Carbon, ranked third in Class 3A by the Deseret News, created most of its offense with a full-court press, forcing Grand Junction into turnovers. The Tigers had 23 in the game.

“We pride ourselves in not allowing teams to pressure us,” Provenza said. “We normally pass the ball well, but we didn’t do that. They are aggressive. You put the ball on the floor and they come at you from all sides. That’s a good basketball team that runs a solid press. If you don’t break it, you’re in trouble and that’s what happened.”

Carbon scored on its first three possessions to take a 5-3 lead.

When the Dinos weren’t driving to the basket, they were shooting 3-pointers.

Carbon’s Kristen Jewkes hit a 3-pointer to give the Dinos the lead for good at 12-9.

Tia Pappas, who scored 25 points in Thursday’s win over Central, hit a 3-pointer for a 15-10 lead.

Carbon forced turnovers on back-to-back possessions late in the second quarter and converted layups to take a 23-15 lead at halftime.

The Dinos pushed their lead to 12 points by the end of the third quarter. They led by as many as 18 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Carbon shot 38.5 percent from the floor. Grand Junction shot 33 percent.


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