Cards take two from Plateau Valley
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE ” After big baskets Grand Valley’s Lauren Schubert quickly claps her hands a few times in excitement.
On Thursday night, the Cardinals’ senior was clapping a lot as she scored 17 points in Grand Valley’s 57-45 Class 2A Western Slope League win over Plateau Valley.
Schubert was on the receiving end of a handful of the Cardinals’ fast breaks, especially in the third quarter when she scored eight points as the Cards outscored the Cowboys, 21-4.
“We came out a little slow but after the second half we started playing as a team and made some great plays,” Schubert said of her team, which trailed 28-24 at halftime.
The dominating Cardinal run, where the Cowboys failed to score for over five minutes, helped put Grand Valley up for good for a big league win. On Jan. 22, the Cards lost to Plateau Valley, 54-50, but the game did not count toward the league records. Thursday night’s win did.
“We kinda were looking for revenge,” Schubert said. “We wanted to play better for our league game.”
The win puts Grand Valley at 6-0 in league and 14-2 overall, while Plateau Valley dropped to 3-3 in league and 11-5 overall. It was a big step in the Cardinals’ quest to win the league outright.
“That was a big win for us,” said Grand Valley head coach Mike Johnson. “That could potentially seal the deal.”
The Cardinals came up with 18 steals, with six from point guard Kendall Babler and five from Schubert. The steals helped Grand Valley play the fast style it enjoys.
“If we can get running and we can’t get pressure on guards, we are tough to beat,” Johnson said.
Babler’s passing was on the dot, as she finished the game with eight assists. She also hit two 3-pointers on the way to a 20-point night. One of Babler’s 3s came right at the beginning of the third quarter ” the best, most intense eight-minute stretch the Cards had against the Cowboys this year and much different than the last match-up.
“(This time) we had a pulse. We came out with some energy, although not in the first half, but in the second half,” Johnson said. “That’s one half out of four that we have played against them I thought we played hard. We really battled that second half.”
On Saturday, the Cardinals will take on North Park at 1 p.m., and although the game is a league game, it doesn’t count toward districts because North Park is in District 1 and Grand Valley is in District 5. Grand Valley will then conclude the season on. Feb. 15 at Hayden, in a league contest, and the Cards are confident they can finish with a perfect WSL record.
“We have got our really tough ones out of the way, so if we stick together we should get some good wins going into districts,” Schubert said.
Cardinal boys stomp Cowboys
Last year, the Grand Valley boys basketball team was an underdog throughout most of the postseason on their way to a Class 2A state championship.
This year, after beating Plateau Valley 68-49 on Thursday night, the boys are on a different path and with one more win, are looking at a Western Slope League championship. All Grand Valley has to do is beat Hayden on Feb. 15.
“If we can win that, then we’ll be outright champions, which means you get protected into regionals,” said eight-year Grand Valley head coach Scott Kiburis. “We have never been there before, we have always been second place since I’ve been here. So that would be nice.”
In Thursday’s win over Plateau Valley, Grand Valley never even gave the Cowboys a chance, getting out to a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We got a little more aggressive with the press. It paid off a little bit,” Kiburis said. “I don’t know if it paid off with scoring, but it paid off that they never got into their offense.”
When the Cowboys, who had 17 turnovers in the game, did get the ball down the court, their shots weren’t falling. Plateau Valley head coach John Holmes blamed the poor shooting percentage on intimidation.
“Our kids just don’t step up when they play them,” he said. “They just get it in their heads that they are playing the state champions.
By the end of the third quarter, the Cards were up 61-25 and all a 15-0 Cowboy run in the fourth quarter against Grand Valley’s bench could do was dent the margin.
Grand Valley finished the game with eight 3-pointers, but didn’t rely on their perimeter game for most of the contest.
“I thought we had real good penetration today, driving to the basket, and that was one of our key things ” to attack the basket instead of just relying on 3s,” Kiburis said.
Colton Cowan led the Cards with 19 points, while Tyler Jensen scored 14 and Cole Kraft and Derek Witt each added 10.
“Colton did a great job today, driving to the basket,” Kiburis said. “I was impressed with him.”
Grand Valley (6-0 WSL, 14-1 overall) could wrap up a league championship today before it faces Hayden next week.
“There is a big game (today) Paonia-Meeker and if Paonia gets them then we would be outright champions right then because no one else could tie us,” Kiburis said.
Before that, the Cards will host North Park at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
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