Coal Ridge defense proves stout in 60-50 win over Summit; Titans fall to Delta on Saturday

Coal Ridge sophomore Ethan Sanchez dribbles up court against Summit in action last month.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Ryder Powell sacrifices his body to absorb a critical charge late in the game. Andres Mendoza drops 19 points. At least three Titans end in double digits.

Friday’s 60-50 win over Summit turned out to be a successful performance on both sides of the ball for Coal Ridge Boys Basketball.

Even as Summit senior Kyle Kimball had the magic touch, draining five three-pointers for 17 points, Coal Ridge head coach Paul Harvey said the Titans still kept everything well balanced.

Coal Ridge junior Derrick Centeno gets introduced in the starting lineup for the Titans against Summit at home Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

“Defensively, we tried to stay a little closer to (Kimball),” he said. “We had a game plan to try and pack it in, and he got hot and that kind of threw our game plan out the window.”

The teeter-totter affair saw the Titans and Tigers exchange leads at least four times. It wasn’t until the second half Coal Ridge found more of a groove and, over midway through the third quarter, control an eight-point lead.

“That’s only the second game we’ve had all year with everybody,” Harvey said of his team. “We’re still working different lineups, and we’re hoping to just gain some momentum.”

Summit, however, was offensively egregious all game. Six of their players, respectively, collected two- and three-point field goals. Kimball himself hit all five of his three pointers in the second half.

The Tigers outscored the Titans 14-11 in the first quarter, after a nasty bucket after the foul play from junior Emilio Jain with less than a minute to go.

Coal Ridge sophomore Ben Simons defends against Summit at home Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Indepedendent

Coal Ridge junior Lochlan fired back to start the second quarter, draining a three-pointer in the corner to tie the game at 14 apiece. Late in the second quarter, Titans senior James Webber connected on two layups, eventually tying the game at 25 apiece.

The Titans headed into halftime up 27-26.

After the Titans extended their lead to eight points in the third quarter, Kimball nailed a three-pointer with 11 seconds in the frame, closing in on the Titans 43-40.

Coal Ridge senior James Webber handles the ball against Summit on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

At 6:07 and 4:46 marks in the fourth quarter, Kimball drained three-pointers to cut Coal Ridge’s lead to 51-48. But this was just around the time Mendoza was heating up. He’d drain a big three-pointer at 3:06 in the fourth quarter.

It was with 1:36 left in the game that Powell took a huge charge to cause a change in possession. The Titans also hit five of eight free throws late in the game to secure the win.

“He is so unselfish about that,” Harvey said of Powell taking charges. “Last year he set the school record for charges in a season.”

In other Friday night boys basketball action, Roaring Fork won 57-51 against Cedaredge in Carbondale, and Rifle lost 63-24 at Basalt.

Delta 57, Coal Ridge 52

After digging a 13-7 first-quarter hole against the visiting Delta Panthers on Saturday, the Titans couldn’t quite fight their way back into the conference matchup, as Coal Ridge fell 57-52 to go to 6-5 overall and 2-1 in the 4A Western Slope League.

Next up, Coal Ridge travels just down the road to play intradistrict rival the Rifle Bears at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Other Saturday scores: Roaring Fork 48, North Fork 46; Grand Junction 44, Glenwood Springs 37; Meeker 50, Grand Valley 44; Steamboat Springs 56, Rifle 24;

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