Wildcats fall to Kadets

Air Academy was hot, and Fruita Monument was not, and that made the result predictable.

With the hot-shooting Kadets hitting from the outside and a number of shots rimming out for the Wildcats, Air Academy pulled away in the first half en route to a 40-23 victory at the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday.

The Wildcats took better care of the ball with only three turnovers in the first quarter, but they made only two of 12 shots from the field. Air Academy’s girls basketball team jumped to a 9-0 lead and led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Fruita Monument head coach Michael Wells wasn’t happy with his team’s intensity.

“I’m disappointed in our effort today,” he said. “We had no effort and didn’t communicate on offense and didn’t move on defense.”

When Kassady Huffman made a strong drive to the basket followed by a 3-pointer from Madison Rasmussen, the Kadets were up 20-4.

The shooting woes continued for Fruita Monument in the second quarter with its only points coming on a pair of free throws from Sonya Lopez.

The Wildcats worked the ball inside the Kadets’ zone but had trouble converting shots.

Senior Kassidy Fair didn’t get any shots to fall but played an aggressive game and had 10 rebounds plus a pretty assist in the second half, when she drove the baseline and flicked a one-handed bounce pass to Vanessa Herrera for a bucket.

Fair later hit Taylor Eatwell, who swished an open jumper.

The lack of intensity of his starters frustrated Wells, and he played his bench for long stretches in the second half.

“We put in the JV group, and they gave us some intensity. When we went back to the starters, their effort was better,” he said.

The Wildcats battled well on defense and on the boards but were no match for Air Academy.

“That Fruita team came in hungry for a win, and those kind of teams are dangerous, so we’re real happy with the way we played,” Air Academy coach Phil Roiko said.

The Wildcats have lost six straight after winning their season opener.

“We’ll continue to work on the things we need to work on,” Wells said.

Herrera led the Wildcats with seven points, and Eatwell added six, all in the second half.


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