Grand Valley boys take down undefeated Paonia, 65-48

Jeff CaspersenPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

PARACHUTE – With Paonia entering at 6-0 and Grand Valley sitting at 3-1, all signs pointed toward a phenomenal boys basketball matchup.A game-opening 8-0 run and several subsequent surges made it a Grand Valley blowout, as the Cardinals downed Paonia 65-48 on Saturday to run the table in their round-robin home tournament.In signature fashion, the Cards sank their outside shots with regularity in sticking it to an Eagle team that should be a force come the start of Class 2A Western Slope League play. Grand Valley was 10-of-28 from behind the 3-point stripe.Tyler Jensen paced the Cardinals’ charge, despite sitting major minutes due to early foul trouble, with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He was 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and finished up with six steals and four rebounds.Colton Cowan chipped in nine points, and Derek Witt, Cole Kraft and William Waugh had eight points each in shaping a balanced ledger for Grand Valley. Kraft also hauled in eight rebounds.

Paonia took the court without one of its top players in Brad Todd. Post David Carney was on the floor, though, and showed why he’s one of the 2A WSL’s top players by pouring in a game-high 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking a shot.”I knew (the Eagles) were ranked high at the beginning of the year,” Jensen said. “They were playing without their second-best player, so without him there, it was a little different of a game than what we would have seen. I was impressed with them.”Though the Cardinals led the majority of the afternoon, Paonia did take advantage of what lulls the hosts did endure. After dropping behind 38-20 at halftime and by as many as 24 points early in the third quarter, the Eagles pieced together a 9-0 third-quarter run to slice the deficit to 15 with 1 minute, 43 seconds to go in the frame.But Grand Valley found its rhythm, hitting a bucket to close out the quarter and then scoring the first six points in the fourth to douse any comeback hopes the Eagles had.”We had it right at the beginning of the fourth,” Cardinals coach Scott Kiburis said. “Tyler hit some big shots and made some great plays, and we hit some big 3s. “Jensen scored those six points to open the fourth, the third off a steal and capped by a coast-to-coast layup.Grand Valley gets a few days off before heading to Meeker for a nonleague game on Dec. 21.

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