Cards fall as shots fail to
PARACHUTE – All season, Grand Valley has relied on its ability to make its shots to get through the rough spots. When the Cardinals were facing that situation Tuesday against Hotchkiss, their marksmanship took the night off. And, unable to locate its rhythm, Grand Valley (6-4 overall, 3-0 league) absorbed a 57-50 nonleague loss to the Class 3A Bulldogs.
A taller Hotchkiss team forced Grand Valley into rushing or taking uncomfortable shots all night, and the Cardinals, because of the defensive pressure, hit a paltry 23 percent (14-of-60) of their field goal attempts.”You have to give Hotchkiss credit – they did a great job of taking away our two big scorers,” Grand Valley coach Scott Kiburis said. And when the Cardinals’ big two – Dylan Culver and Sam McKinley – have an off night, Grand Valley struggles. Though Culver and McKinley are normally good for 40 points between them, Hotchkiss pared Grand Valley’s prime offensive sources to 20 points on the night.
Culver had a team-high 12 points. McKinley finished with eight, forcing the rest of the team to make up the difference.Despite their problems, the Cardinals led three times in the second quarter and were down only 27-26 at intermission. The game turned when Hotchkiss scored seven points to start the third period.”We’re so young that we go through periods of losing our focus like that every game,” Kiburis said. “There were times we were doing things well, but we were asking a lot out of a few guys.”
The Bulldogs, sparked by the early spurt, outscored Grand Valley 22-12 in the third and led by as many as 12 points before McKinley ripped home a 3-pointer to end the quarter.Rather, than depending on a couple of players, Hotchkiss used a balanced scoring attack that kept the Cardinals guessing. David Pancost netted a game-high 15 points. Michael Sparks added 10. Three other Bulldogs had eight points each.Grand Valley resumes its schedule with back-to-back league games at Meeker followed by a home contest with West Grand Saturday.Grand Valley resumes its schedule with back-to-back league games at Meeker followed by a home contest with West Grand Saturday.
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