Titans hold on vs. Grand Valley girls; GVHS boys roll to victory
PARACHUTE — In a rivalry battle for sole possession of third-place on the girls’ side of the 3A Western Slope League basketball standings, the Coal Ridge Titans held off a furious fourth quarter rally by the Grand Valley Cardinals for a 47-41 victory Friday night.
With both teams entering the contest sporting identical 5-3 conference marks, a close, down-to-the-wire game was expected between the two schools who are located just a half a hiccup down Interstate 70.
That’s exactly how things transpired.
Coal Ridge senior guard Mariela Martinez got her team off to a good start by hitting a free throw line jumper and a 3-pointer to put the Titans in the lead at 19-12 midway through the second quarter. When fellow senior Kyrie’ Foreman spun in a leaning shot near the basket, the lead stood at 23-15 in favor of Coal Ridge. A 7-2 run to close out the half gave the Titans a 13 point lead and some breathing room at the break.
Grand Valley was not about to go away quietly, as baskets by seniors Jordan Scott and Kyra Chenoweth to open the third quarter cut the Titan lead to 30-21. Coal Ridge answered quickly with baskets by Foreman from the perimeter and then junior post player Kaitlyn Detlefsen under the basket off a nice bounce feed by Jenny Call.
Detlefsen, who contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds to the Titan cause, set up shop near the basket for most of the evening, giving the Cardinals fits on both ends of the court.
“I enjoy playing inside,” said Detlefsen. “I like going to the boards and getting rebounds.”
Coal Ridge saw its double-digit lead slowly begin to evaporate in the fourth quarter, and when Chenoweth hit a 3-pointer at the 4:00 mark to make the score 41-34, Grand Valley had seized the momentum and prepared for one final push.
The Titan’s Foreman said that calm and confidence were the order of the day for her team at that point.
“We got a bit nervous when they started to come back because they have a strong team,” said Foreman. “We just decided to calm down and play our game.”
With the Cardinals in a full court pressure mode, and the Coal Ridge lead at a precarious 41-40, Grand Valley coach Jake Higuera was charged with an ill-timed technical foul.
Standing all alone at the foul line in front of the raucous Cardinal gathering, Martinez calmly sank both free throws to give her team a bit of a cushion from which the Cardinals could not recover.
Cardinal coach Higuera gave credit to the Titans following the game, but knows his team will keep improving.
“Give credit to Coal Ridge. They played great defense tonight. We’ll just keep taking one step at a time and believing in each other,” said Higuera.
Martinez lead Coal Ridge (6-8, 6-3) in scoring with 21 points, Detlefsen had 12 points, Foreman chipped in with 6 points. Grand Valley (8-6, 5-4) saw Chenoweth lead the way with 16 points, with Scott contributing 10 counters.
BOYS: GRAND VALLEY 73, COALC RIDGE 52
PARACHUTE — The Grand Valley boys used scoring runs of 12-2 to start the second quarter and 9-2 to open the second half to break open a close game en route to a 73-52 conference win over Coal Ridge.
Coach Paul Harvey’s Titans kept things tight, only down 29-28 at halftime, but a slow start to open the second half, and a barrage of Cardinal 3-pointers, led by slick guard Sam Parker, who finished the night leading his team with 26 points, was too much for the Titans to overcome.
Coal Ridge (6-8, 5-4 league) got solid games from Greyson Keener (14pts.) Brandon Herrera (13pts.), Hunter Gerber (11pts.), and Ruben Ruiz (7pts.) Along with Parker, Grand Valley (12-2, 8-1) got big contributions from Johnny Parker (13pts.), and Tanner Magee (12pts.)
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Senior quarterback/safety/punt returner Trey Caldwell used his legs to make up for some mistakes Rifle football made on Friday night and momentarily kept their hopes for a 2A state title alive.