Fast-paced Cards deck Titans
PEACH VALLEY — Coal Ridge High School’s boys basketball team did everything it could to keep pace with fast-paced Grand Valley on Tuesday night. The Cardinals did everything necessary to close out the Titans down the stretch.
Sam Parker finished with 20 points to pace three Grand Valley players in double figures, leading the Cardinals to a 76-64 Class 3A Western Slope League victory over the Titans.
“That didn’t surprise us. Their kids are good defenders,” said Parker, who also had three 3-pointers and hit 7-of-10 foul shots. “But we’re always going to be able to score in the fourth quarter. We’ve done it all year, and we’re pretty good at holding the ball when we need to.”
Grand Valley (5-4 overall, 4-2 WSL) won its fourth consecutive game thanks to its hot shooting for the duration of the contest. The Cardinals finished hitting 25-of-53 shots (45 percent) for the game — 14 of 28 in the first half — and had an answer for every time the pesky Titans (3-6, 3-3) made a run.
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“They have a good squad, and all of their kids can really shoot,” Grand Valley coach Scott Parker said. “That’s always going to keep them in basketball games. We were just able to match them offensively, but I thought our defense, especially there in the fourth quarter, really made a difference for us.”
The Cardinals outscored the Titans 22-13 in the fourth quarter, using a putback from Trenton Hagerty with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining in the game to pull ahead 72-62 after a 3-pointer from Coal Ridge’s Jacob Sollinger had pulled the Titans within 68-61 with close to 3 minutes remaining. Grand Valley also got 13 points and seven rebounds from Tyler Scott to go with and 11-point outing from John Parker.
Ely Arreola finished with a game-high 21 points and three 3-pointers to go with a 14-point, 11-rebound performance from Andy Bowles to pace the Titans, who were coming off a 30-point victory over Basalt this past Saturday. The Titans are much improved from the 2012-13 season — their three league victories this year are just a win away from matching last season’s WSL win total.
The Titans were much closer than seven points in the first half, however, and eventually rallied to tie the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Billy Hernandez and Alex Herrera pulled Coal Ridge within 30-28 with 3:08 remaining before halftime, but both teams played at a frantic pace for the remainder of the half before the Cardinals went into the break with a 39-36 cushion.
Arreola opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to knot the score at 39-all, but Tanner Magee scored six consecutive Grand Valley points later in the stanza to help give Grand Valley a 54-49 lead late in the third quarter.
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