Two distinctive wins: Fruita boys run past Demons; girls rally in second half for victory

Fruita Monument’s Drew Bridges goes around the defense of Glenwood Springs’ Nick Ciani on Tuesday to score two of his 21 points in the Wildcats’ 72-54 victory over the Demons.



The Fruita Monument High School boys basketball team didn’t miss a beat.

The Wildcats (7-6, 1-0 Southwestern League) followed their 24-point win against Grand Junction last Friday night with a 72-54 win Tuesday over Glenwood Springs.

“I think a lot of it was all of us still riding the high of playing that well,” Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said. “I told the kids they set the bar high and now they have to expect that out of themselves.”

The Wildcats jumped to a 17-2 lead in the first quarter behind six points and three steals from Drew Bridges in the first 4 minutes.

“I was playing hard, and they were making some weak passes,” Bridges said. “I was able to step in front of them, and we ran the floor.”

Glenwood Springs (11-4, 4-0 Western Slope League) bounced back to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 21-10 by the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Fruita Monument kept the pressure high on both ends of the floor, outscoring the Demons 15-7 to take a 36-17 halftime lead.

“We had to defend first, rebound second, then get out and run,” Fox said. “When we were sharing the ball, it went well.”

Fruita put the Demons away in the second half, taking a 57-34 lead after the third quarter. Alex Padgett had nine of his 13 points in the third quarter.

“A lot of times when you get off to a blistering start you get lazy,” Fox said. “But we kept it where we wanted it all night and it was pretty safe.”

Bridges finished with 21 points and seven rebounds and Tyler Daniels added nine points in the Wildcats’ fifth straight win.

Glenwood Springs guard Kevin Flohr got hot in the second half, scoring 24 of his game-high 29 points. Flohr finished a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.

“Flohr is good, and he can shoot, but a good defensive team can beat one guy,” Fox said. “James Lewis did a good job on him most of the night.”

GIRLS

The Fruita Monument girls basketball team was like a prizefighter leaning against the ropes, taking punch after punch in the first half.

The Wildcats (7-7, 0-1 SWL) allowed Glenwood Springs (11-3, 3-1 WSL) to take a 40-21 lead with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter after Cassidy Gaddis hit a 3-pointer.

But the Wildcats fought their way off the ropes for a 62-53 victory.

Down 44-27 a few moments after Gaddis’ 3, the Wildcats got a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Jenni Sneddon that propelled the Wildcats to a 14-0 run to end the third quarter.

“She hit that 3 in the corner and that was huge,” Fruita Monument coach Dan Schmalz said. “We were lethargic and it took that one little push, and they were all ready to go.”

The Wildcats trailed 44-41 entering the fourth quarter.

“You tell them to attack so many times that you are afraid that they don’t hear it,” Schmalz said. “But when we started attacking offensively and defensively, we got easy bucket after easy bucket.”

With the momentum fully shifted in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats put the game away with nine points from Lauren LaBonde.

LaBonde had a game-high 21 points. Taylor Johnson added 16 points and nine rebounds.

“Our team was angry, and it showed,” LaBonde said. “We got to the basket and finished.”


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