Grand Valley girls, boys teams differ greatly in age, experience
Grand Valley High School’s boys and girls basketball teams are at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to age and experience.The 2004-05 Cardinal boys roster is loaded with young – but very eager – players. On the flip side, the Grand Valley girls have eight seniors returning from last year’s club.And a chip on their shoulders.The Cardinal girls were thwarted in their bid for a berth to the Class 2A state tournament after a 35-31 loss to Dolores County in regional play.This summer, the Grand Valley girls took their frustrations out by working harder.Participating in various summer leagues and camps, Grand Valley fashioned a 26-6 record, and appears to be one of the favorites for a shot at the 2A Western Slope League title, and a deep run into this year’s state tournament.Heading into today’s season-opener against Elizabeth at the Cowboy Shootout Tournament in Meeker, the Cardinals are No. 7 in RockyPreps pre-season 2A state poll.Jamie Vance has the best offensive numbers among the returning lettermen, with a 17-point-per-game average. But there are plenty of other weapons to whom the Cardinals can turn if Vance has a rare off night.Senior Julianna Jones, a 5-foot-9 post, gives Grand Valley additional scoring punch and rebounding from the inside along with 5-8 forward Jessica Cielatka.Meanwhile, the boys team spent most of the last two weeks’ practice time getting to know each other.The Cardinals have two mainstays back from a 2003-04 team that finished 16-5 and 7-2 in the WSL in all-leaguer Sam McKinley, a sophomore, and senior Taylor Prince.Of the newcomers, up from last year’s junior varsity and freshman team, Mitch Belden, Luke Braby and Rico Gallegos will play key roles along with last season’s varsity part-timer Dylan Culver.The Grand Valley boys start the 2004-05 season Saturday at Hayden.
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