Cards beat Titans in league game
Post Independent Staff
PARACHUTE ” The game began with a barrage of 3-pointers as the Coal Ridge boys basketball team hit four in the first quarter and Grand Valley buried three of its own. But Grand Valley kept nailing them, sinking five more in the game while Coal Ridge managed only one more as Grand Valley beat the Titans 85-44 Thursday night.
“They (Grand Valley) are one of the top two teams in the (Class 2A District 5) league, if not the best,” said Coal Ridge head coach Mike Cox. “We didn’t start the game right; they got four quick baskets on us and we came back firing with a 3, but that maturity that they have over us is hurting us.”
In addition to stealing eight Titan passes in the first half, Grand Valley also outrebounded Coal Ridge 15-7 in the first two quarters to take a 51-23 advantage into halftime.
The Cardinals kept pouring on points and increasing the game’s margin by outscoring the Titans 21-6 in the third quarter.
Grand Valley moves to 5-1 in league and 13-2 overall while Coal Ridge falls to 1-4 in league and 6-9 overall.
“We are stuck behind Paonia after that loss earlier in the year,” said Grand Valley head coach Scott Kiburis. “Hopefully we’ll get a chance to play them again in the District Tournament. We’d like to be the top team. The top team gets protected into Regionals.”
Four Cardinals reached double digits in scoring with Luke Braby getting 19 inside the paint; Sam McKinley scoring 18, including two 3-pointers; Dylan Culver totaling 15, including four 3s; and Matt Thompson finishing with 10 points.
Halfway through the final quarter, Grand Valley’s bench took the floor to finish the game.
“We had a lot of games where we’ve won by quite a bit lately so everybody’s gotten to play, which is good,” Kiburis said. “Sometimes you get a little sloppy when you have big leads, but now we are just focusing on Hayden.”
Coal Ridge was led by Eric Schmitz, who scored 10 points, while Kevin Screen added another nine.
Cox said Coal Ridge will be ready next time it faces Grand Valley.
“These guys are competitors and they feel bad because they did get beat,” Cox said. “They (Grand Valley) are up 35 and still pressing, and it got to us. Next time we see them, it will probably be more intense and they’ll (the Titans will) remember them. I think this is the biggest loss we’ve had.”
The Titans will take a break from basketball today in hopes to return this weekend and get back on the winning track.
“We are going to take (Wednesday) off and go to the hot springs and reward these guys for playing so hard all season and get ready for the next four ball games that are very important to us,” Cox said. “We’ll need to beat Palisade to get a jump start. I think we can get them if we really play well. We need a jump start, we need a win. This is three or four in a row and our guys need something positive to happen.”
Grand Valley will face Hayden on Friday, while Coal Ridge will host the Class 4A junior varsity Palisade team on Saturday.
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Coal Ridge 69, Grand Junction Central 23