Tigers Steam By Sailors With Second Half Run
Special to Basketball Colorado
The Grand Junction Tigers boys basketball team came into the game against the Steamboat Springs Sailors, at the Warrior Challenge, 1-0. Steamboat Springs also 1-0 after having a tough game against Fruita Monument the first game of the tournament. In the first game for Steamboat the team rode center Garrett Bye, 12 points, to the win vs. Fruita. Setting up a battle in the post for Grand Junction vs. Steamboat Springs, Garrett Bye vs. DJ Wells- Grand Junction.
The first quarter between Grand Junction and Steamboat Springs had both teams trading bucket for bucket. Such as, something from a title fight where the fighters trade punch for punch. The Grand Junction Tigers played through their big man DJ Wells. Wells started the game shooting 2/2 from 3-point land, even creating turnovers and blocking some shots of Steamboat Springs. Grand Junction having the three pointers fall from Wells only mustered 10 points, however, for the quarter. The 10 points for the Tigers can be credited to the Steamboat defense slowing the Tigers passing down to draw even for the quarter, 10-10. Not only the Steamboat defense holding the Tigers to 10 points, but Robby Powers hit two 3’s of his own, two of his seven for the game keeping Steamboat in the game.
The Steamboat Springs Sailors at the half held a 27-26 lead on top of the Tigers, fueling the Sailor lead the man splashing down three’s Robby Powers. Powers scored two more three’s off of an awoken offense moving the ball inside and then right back outside. The inside outside game gave Powers the space to drain the long three’s. As the Sailors were getting the huge offensive contribution the Tigers got their offensive ball movement going, back to form from their first game. This season the Grand Junction offense is all about quick passing and moving on the floor without the ball. At the half the big man matchup had Wells at nine points and Bye at four points.
Then came the second half where everything started going to another level for Grand Junction. Grand Junction came out of the locker room down 27-26 and their defense needing to find a way to stop Steamboat. That is exactly what happened as Grand Junction opened up the third quarter on an 18-2 run. Getting turnovers left and right all of sudden on the Sailors offense causing chaos. The Tigers gave up only nine points for the quarter to the Steamboat offense. Robby Powers the answer for the Sailors yet again, hitting two more three’s, most of the offense in the third quarter for them.
Give a ton of credit to the Steamboat squad after getting dominated in the quarter keeping their composure to get their offense going in the final quarter. Getting the score to a 54-50 game by the two minutes to go mark in the game. The Grand Junction defense looking completely different from the third quarter where they did no wrong. Once the score got close the Tigers head coach Isaac Madison called a timeout. Madison needing to re-focus his squad on the defensive end, trying to get that third quarter defense back, to stop the Steamboat offense that found their touch. The Tigers offense played through their defense for the fourth quarter, having their defense lead to fast-break offense and easy scores. The defense coming back, late in the fourth quarter, for the Tigers sealing the win getting them to the final score 64-52. Grand Junction flexed their back muscle withstanding the run for Steamboat letting their defense take center stage.
The leading scorer for the game Steamboat’s Robby Powers 25 points, hitting 7 total 3’s. Not only Powers hitting all the three’s, but Powers scoring them gave a lift to the rest of the team. For the Tigers their new star, after Broderick Robinson graduating last year, DJ Wells notched 18 points in the game. The other big on the floor Garrett Bye, Steamboat Springs, finished at eight points.