Turnovers plague Fruita Monument girls

PHOTO BY DANIELLE STOMBERG—Fruita High School’s Katie Lewis tries to make her way around Renata Rankin of the Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans Friday night in Fruita.

Oh, those pesky turnovers.

It’s a problem that has plagued the Fruita Monument High School girls basketball team all season.

In the Wildcats’ first game back from the winter break, the miscues reared their ugly heads again Friday as they lost to Fountain-Fort Carson 48-32.

“(It’s the) same old story, Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “Turnovers killed us.”

His junior post player, Taylor Johnson, agreed.

“Turnovers have just been our thing,” Johnson said. “Somehow we get frazzled.”

Shooting was the problem in the opening quarter as the Trojans built their largest lead at 16-3, with the Wildcats hitting just one of nine field goal attempts.

Fruita Monument lost some of its inside strength when Mary McGee was relegated to the bench with her second foul less than three minutes into the game.

“Any time Mary’s not in the game, it hurts us,” Schmalz said.

Johnson tried to pick up the slack by working the ball down low for jump shots.

“Everything in our offense revolves around getting in the paint,” said Johnson, who worked her way inside for 16 points and eight rebounds, game highs in both categories.

Fruita Monument slowly worked its way back, cutting its deficit to 30-24 three minutes into the second half. Then the Wildcats lost the handle on the ball again, turning it over six times through the remainder of the quarter to allow the Trojans to pull away.

The Wildcats missed some short shots in the fourth quarter that thwarted their comeback attempt. During one stretch, they missed on seven consecutive tries.

“It was missing those bunnies (that hurt),” Schmalz said.

“I’d be interested to play this team again,” Schmalz said, provided his team could eliminate the turnovers and shooting woes.

In all, the Wildcats made only 11 of 36 field goals and turned the ball over 26 times.

“We just need more intensity,” Schmalz said, hoping his team can produce it on both ends of the floor when it begins the Southwestern League season next week.

Fountain-Fort Carson got a solid effort from Alisha Johnson, who had 13 points. D’Shara Strange added 11 points.

The Wildcats (3-6) make a quick trip to the metro area today to play Westminster.


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