Cardinal boys win, girls lose as home tourney wraps up
PARACHUTE – It started out as a close game, with Grand Valley ahead of Cedaredge 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.Then the Class 2A Cardinals hit 14 3-pointers in the remaining three quarters on their way to a 70-41 win over the Class 3A Bruins in the last game of the Grand Valley Roundball Tournament Saturday night.”They (3-pointers) were very important,” Grand Valley head coach Scott Kiburis said. “We started the game not shooting the ball very well, but I talked to them in a huddle during a time out and told them that 3s come in bunches.”And sure enough, they started coming in bunches.Halfway through the second quarter, Sam McKinley hit three in a row from behind the arch and put his team up 20-14.”I talked to Sam and Dylan (Culver) and told them to keep running it,” Kiburis said. “Then Sam hit those three in a row…and that really changed it for us.”Then the Bruin defense began to cover McKinley, so the Cardinals turned to Richard Gallegos, who hit two 3-pointers in a row to start the second half.
“In the second half, they started to guard Sam, but were leaving Richard open,” Kiburis said. “So we tried to get him the ball and he hit those two 3s right away and that was really key.”The final bunch came a few minutes later when Dylan Culver nailed three consecutive 3-pointers, giving Grand Valley a 51-24 lead and putting the game away.Once the Cardinals start making 3-pointers, it pumps up the whole team, McKinley said.”It fires us up and gets us going. Everybody starts hustling.”Cedaredge dropped to 2-4 with the loss while Grand Valley (5-1) will cruise into its winter break on a high note.”We’ll find out how we coached them in December and see if we can get it to carry over,” Kiburis said.The Cardinals will return to the court Jan. 5 for a game against Paonia in the first contest of the Western Slope League portion of their schedule.”Our two toughest games of the schedule are right after break. We play our league rival Paonia and then Basalt, a tough 3A team,” Kiburis said. “It is probably not the most opportune time to play those games.”
DeBeque girls defeatGrand Valley, 51-42With only six girls on their active roster, the DeBeque Dragons topped the Cardinal girls basketball team 51-42 Saturday afternoon in the Grand Valley Roundball Tournament.In what has become a big rivalry between 2A Grand Valley and 1A DeBeque, the Cardinals had a 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but than began to lose control.”It’s hard to stay as calm as we are supposed to,” said Cardinal Megan Johnson. “It is really hard to focus and stay calm in a game like this.”Grand Valley struggled to control the ball throughout the game, committing 36 turnovers on the night, 13 of which came in the second quarter.
The Cardinals had a roster twice the size of DeBeque’s, but had a few setbacks of their own.”We didn’t show up; I don’t know if it was because we were missing Katie Bryan, one of our leading scorers (who missed the game because of a family matter), or what, but we just didn’t have energy all weekend,” Grand Valley head coach Mike Johnson said. “They were slow on defense and just didn’t run the offense.”Grand Valley was also hindered by a broken finger that guard Megan Johnson suffered Monday when she smashed her left pinkie between two dumbbells in weight-lifting class. Johnson, who still managed seven points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists, admitted to being in pain for parts of the game.”DeBeque knows us pretty well, and they tried to make me use my left hand,” said Johnson, whose black-and-blue and very swollen finger was covered in tape during the game.Despite its turnovers and being down 41-29, Grand Valley stayed in the game. Johnson hit a 3-pointer halfway through the final quarter to pull the Cardinals within six. But Dragon Haylee Graham put an abrupt end to Grand Valley’s attempted comeback, draining a 3-pointer, one of her three on the night, a few seconds after Johnson’s. Her 3 made the score 46-37, and Grand Valley never got any closer.Grand Valley drops to 3-3 with the loss, and DeBeque improves to 4-2. The Cardinals will return to action Jan. 5 against league opponent Paonia.”We’ll come back and start our league play and hopefully play better than we did today,” Coach Johnson said.
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Two local rivals may get an early crack at each other in the 3A state boys soccer playoffs as revealed in bracket releases on Monday.