Stealth, defense help Cardinal boys fly past Titans
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Quickness, defense and the occasional 3-point bomb, helped the Grand Valley Cardinals to a non-league win over Coal Ridge Tuesday night.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end of the court, but the Cardinals went long distance four times in the third quarter to take a 40-25 lead after three quarters en route to a 50-40 victory.
Trevor Smith tallied 10 points for the Cardinals and hit two long 3-pointers in the third.
Coal Ridge came out of halftime with a spirited defensive effort forcing three straight turnovers.
Nathan Terrin, the Titans 6-foot-5 senior went on a personal 5-0 run with three free throws and a coast-to-coast drive, then Darik Brown slashed for a bucket to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 34-23.
Grand Valley’s Matt Donello drained a three from the right baseline with five seconds remaining in the third to give Grand Valley a 15-point edge.
In the fourth, Coal Ridge again made a run.
Terrin had a dunk, Brown a putback bucket and Cody Walls a drive to get the Titans to within seven at 45-38 with 2:30 remaining.
The Cardinals then got a pair of free throws from Donello and a baseline drive from Omar Melendrez to put the game on ice.
“I was very pleased with our effort,” Grand Valley coach Jake Higuera said. “We hit some big shots and made our free throws.”
The Cardinals are now 6-1, while Coal Ridge fell to 5-3. Both teams are 2-0 in Western Slope League play and will faceoff in Parachute later this year in a league matchup.
In the first half, the Cardinals’ quickness and hustle gave Coal Ridge problems. The Titans struggled with outside shooting and hit just one 3-pointer in the game, a shot by McCade Cox.
Leading 11-10, Melendrez scored 4 quick points, then short jumpers by Daniel Price and Bubby Beecraft gave the Cards a 19-10 lead.
After a Beecraft steal and layup, the Cardinals finished up a 15-3 run to end the half.
Both teams went through stretches when the ball just wouldn’t fall, including the final two minutes of the half when the scoreboard never changed.
Beecraft led the Cardinals with 16 points while Donello added 8.
The Titans were led by Brown with 12 points and Tyler Guettler with 8.
Coal Ridge will travel to Rifle on Friday for a big league game with the Bears.
The Coal Ridge girls jumped out to a quick lead and kept up unrelenting defensive pressure to dismantle Grand Valley 44-34.
Behind 15 points from Carly Cloninger, the Titans held off a scrappy second-half effort by the Cardinals. The Titans took a 23-11 lead into halftime, then held the Cardinals scoreless for the first 3:25 of the third quarter.
Grand Valley’s Haley Johnson swished a three from the top of the key, then followed that up with a drive and a layup to cut the Titans’ lead to 32-20.
Coal Ridge responded with a short jumper from Ciara Chacon to up the lead to 35-23 to end the third.
Grand Valley got to within eight late in the fourth when Johnson hit a three. But Coal Ridge pulled away with free throws from Cloninger and Paige Ryan.
Cloninger led the Titans with 15 while Johnson led the Cardinals with 10.
The Titans are now 3-0 in Western Slope League play and 6-2 overall. Grand Valley is 1-6 overall.
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