Grand Valley girls fly away from competition

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

PARACHUTE – The new-look Grand Valley girls basketball team can score points in bunches, and did just that on Saturday, hammering Dove Creek 71-51.It was the undefeated Cardinals’ second and final contest of their round-robin home tournament after beating up on Aspen 68-33 on Friday.Using a smothering defense that fed a potent, full-court offense, Grand Valley kept Dove Creek, a Class 1A school, at bay most of the day.The Cards nursed a six-point halftime lead (27-21) before finding another gear and slapping 44 second-half points on the visiting Bulldogs to make a rout of it.Grand Valley coach Mike Johnson chalked up the early lull to Friday’s fast-pace win over Aspen.”I just think it was back-to-back nights,” he said. “We were really up and down the floor last night.”

But Kendall Babler, who netted a game-best 21 points, and the Cardinals found the energy to get the job done on Saturday.”We really picked up our defense,” Johnson said. “In turn, that fed our offense. We got a lot of run-outs. … We have an in-your-face defense and an up-and-down-the-floor offense.”Babler’s point total included four 3-pointers. She was 4-for-11 from behind the arc and also had five steals, four assists and six rebounds. The senior guard, in her first year at Grand Valley after transferring from Rifle, still thinks her team could play better.”We’re good so far, but there’s a lot more to work on,” she said. “You can always have stuff to work on. We need to work on rebounding and finishing, not hitting the wall and getting tired.”Lauren Schubert added 17 points for the Cards, while Erin Vanderpool finished with 13 points. Lyndsey Tonder added six rebounds and four points. Whitney Ashcraft and Sherry Mlakar chipped in with seven points apiece for 7-0 Grand Valley.Sonja Strong paced Dove Creek with 17 points, while Kellie Deremo contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks.The Cardinals get a long holiday layoff before resuming play at home against Rangely on Jan. 11.

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