Redding's big 4th quarter lifts Central to Wildcat Classic win

Despite being surrounded by three Basalt defenders, Central's Hannah Dexter scores two of her four points in the Warriors' 52-40 victory in the Family Health West Wildcat Classic. Leah Redding paced Central with 24 points in the win. CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/ The Daily Sentinel

When her team needed her to score some points, Leah Redding was there.

The Central High School sophomore scored 10 of her 24 points Friday night in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 52-40 victory over Basalt in the Family Health West Wildcat Classic at Fruita Monument.

The Longhorns (0-5) used some fast-break spurts to close within four points, 37-33 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"They definitely made a run at us," Central coach Mary Doane said. "We were able to come back with a run of our own."

Redding led the 5-0 run, scoring on a layup after a steal and them draining a 3-pointer off an assist from Nikki Madaris.

"I knew I just needed to keep my head up and follow through on shots," Redding said.

Basalt kept pressure on Central's defense by playing at a fast pace — one that led to numerous fast-break points. Although Redding said she enjoyed the pace of the game, Doane said she wanted the Warriors to be able to play a fast game, but also slow down when needed.

"I want us to do both (play fast and slow), but we're definitely capable of playing a fast game," Doane said. "I think we've grown into a team that's able to make good choices."

In spite of the win, Doane said Central still needs to work on its free-throw shooting. The Warriors made only 12 of 28 free throws Friday night, but also allowed Basalt to shoot only nine free-throws. Doane said limiting the number of fouls they committed had been a key focus.

Central is a young team with only one senior, but Doane said she thought the Warriors showed more maturity, praising Madaris for her leadership on the court. Madaris scored 11 points in the game.

"It's still early in the season and we're still trying to find our identity," Doane said. "We're focused on playing one game at a time and I think we took a step forward."

Basalt is also a young team with only one senior, but juniors Zoe Vozick and Taylor Green led the offense with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Coach Amy Contini praised the Longhorns for their play on offense, but said they remained too passive on defense.

"I think this is the first game where we can really feel good about the way we played," Contini said.

Fruita Monument 55, San Juan, Utah 46: The Wildcats (5-0) jumped to a quick lead and did not relinquish it. Coach Michael Wells said he thought Fruita gave up too many points on defense, but he was happy with the win.

"I think we played with better intensity in the second half, but we were a little flat in the first half." Wells said. "We've still got a long way to go."

Wells praised the leadership of the team's three leading scorers Friday — Callie Allen (19 points), Emily Roberts (14 points) and Kloe Bates (nine points). He also commended sophomore Lauren Hansen for her steady hand after she went 7 for 12 at the free-throw line.

Grand Junction 32, Carbon, Utah 30: For the second straight night, the Tigers pulled out a close win. Trailing 26-23 heading into the fourth quarter, Grand Junction stiffened on defense, allowing the Dinos to scored only four points.

Kenzie Younker led the Tigers with 17 points.

Whitehorse, Utah 47, Palisade 30: The Raiders started off fast, leading 15-9 after the first quarter, and kept the Bulldogs from getting too close. Daan Filfred scored 12 points to lead Whitehorse and Ashonte Dickson added 10. Jessie Mello was Palisade's leading scorer with eight points.

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