Grand Valley boys look to wreak havoc on 3A WSL, while girls look to build around three veterans |

Grand Valley boys look to wreak havoc on 3A WSL, while girls look to build around three veterans

Mike Vidakovich
Grand Valley sophomore Gunner Rigsby (4) goes up for a layup as Roaring Fork's Ray Acuna (23) defends during the first half of Friday night's game in Carbondale. Rigsby finished with 22 points in the Cardinals' 72-56 win.
Jon Mitchell / Post Independent |

John Parker, Tanner Magee, and Gunner Rigsby are all familiar names to conference foes in the 3A Western Slope League. All three players have the ability to score the basketball in bunches, and the entire Grand Valley trio was voted to the all-conference team a season ago.

Coach Scott Parker’s teams have been known to ring up the scoreboard, and this year’s group should be able to follow a similar script.

“We did have a pretty good offense last year,” stated Parker. “I think we’ll be able to score the ball this season.”

Parker, like all coaches in any sport, is hoping his team can stay healthy during the course of the long season to make another run deep into the state playoffs.

“Staying healthy is always a key. We have a good group of kids who have played a lot of basketball together,” said Parker.

Grand Valley will be fun to watch this season. If the Cardinals can manage to hold their own on the defensive end of the court, playing into the month of March will certainly be attainable.

Jake Higuera’s Grand Valley girls will rely on the quick development of some young players if they are to repeat the regional appearance from a year ago. Only three players, Allie Dovey, Kylyn Rigsby, and Bailey Rowe have any varsity experience to speak of for the Cardinals. Higuera though, is excited about his three veterans and his young players.

“We have some good leadership coming back, and we’re very excited about our young players,’ said Higuera.

The leader of the youth movement may be freshman Shaya Chenoweth who Higuera says, “is a fierce competitor. She’s always ready to play.”

Higuera thinks several teams have improved their basketball programs and can challenge Moffat County and Olathe in the league’s high rent district.

“Coal Ridge is always tough, and it’s a great rivalry for us. Roaring Fork and Basalt have become solid teams also,” said Higuera.

Other than the top spot, which should belong to Moffat County, the league race could be a mixture of several teams vying for the playoffs in 2015-2016. The Cardinals hope their youth movement develops quickly so they can be one of the teams in that mix.

Grand Valley boys varsity:

Head coach: Scott Parker, 4th season.

Last year: 18-6 overall, 12-2 3A Western Slope League. Lost in 2nd round of regional playoffs to Alamosa.

Key returners: John Parker, Sr., G; Tanner Magee, Sr., P; Gunner Rigsby, Jr., G;

Others to watch: Leoray Hernandez, Sr., G; Garett Magee, Soph., P; Jeff Holbrook, Soph., G.

Outlook: With three all-conference players returning from last season, Grand Valley will be targeted as one of the teams to beat in the 3A WSL. Moffat County and Coal Ridge will also field teams that should factor into the league race. Coach Scott Parker’s high octane Cardinals will open up the new season this Friday, Dec. 4 at the Jefferson Academy Tournament in Denver against Bayfield.

Grand Valley girls varsity:

Head coach: Jake Higuera, 2nd season.

Last year: 13-10 overall, 9-5 3A Western Slope League. Lost in state regional playoff to St. Mary’s.

Key returners: Allie Dovey, Sr., G; Kylyn Rigsby, Jr., G; Bailey Rowe, Jr., F.

Others to watch: Shaya Chenoweth, Fr., G; Hannah Fenton, Soph., G/F.

Outlook: Only three players with any varsity experience return this year for coach Jake Higuera’s Cardinals. With many new faces on the court to begin the season, Grand Valley may come out of the gates slowly, but a solid group of young players, led by freshman Shaya Chenoweth, should help the Cardinals battle for respect once the conference season begins in January. Higuera sees Moffat County as a solid league favorite, with Olathe fielding the usual competitive outfit. A date with Alexander Dawson in the Jefferson Academy Tournament will open the season for the Cardinal ladies this Friday, Dec. 4.

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