WG hoopsters start 2012 on high note
Special to Sky-Hi News
It was a week of victories for the West Grand High School basketball teams as both the boys and girls earned victories in their respective games this past weekend.
The West Grand boys have put together a winning streak of three games after defeating North Park, 69-36, and Vail Mountain, 65-43. Against North Park, West Grand outscored the Wildcats in every quarter on the way to the decisive victory. The Vail Mountain game was a little closer throughout the contest, until the Mustangs salted the victory away with a 24-13 advantage in the final frame.
Leo Pesch’s charges continue to provide a balanced scoring attack. In the North Park game, Nick Ritschard led the way with 16 points and Casey Gore added 14, Jacob Erwin put in nine points, Travis Gore had eight points and Leo Pesch chipped in with seven points. Reno Davidson contributed six points and Dillon Willson dropped in five points.
Travis Gore led the team in rebounding with 13, while Erwin snared eight caroms, Zach Ahrens grabbed seven rebounds and Ritschard had six boards. Willson and Travis Gore led the team in assists with three apiece while Hunter Gasvoda had five steals to lead the team in that category. Ritschard and Travis Gore were credited with four thefts apiece.
In the game against Vail Mountain, Gore led the team with 23 points while Ahrens had a strong game off of the bench with 18 points. Ritschard and Willson chipped in with eight points apiece. Leading a strong effort on the boards were Travis Gore with 15 rebounds, Gasvoda with 13 and Ahrens with eight. Casey Gore led the team in assists with six while Travis Gore led the team in steals with four.
The Gore Rangers of Vail Mountain were led in scoring by Sean McKeever with 15 points, Paco Holguin with 13 points and Ben Barbour with 11 points.
The Mustangs have a 4-2 record and will square off this weekend against Hayden at home on Friday night and then travel to DeBeque on Saturday.
The Lady Mustangs earned a 53-38 victory on the road in Walden on Friday night. Vail Mountain doesn’t field a varsity squad and the West Grand junior varsity defeated the Gore Rangers, 41-23.
Coach Sara Mortensen liked the improvement she saw on Friday night in Walden. “Friday was a great game,” she noted. “The girls ran the offense great, we had great ball movement which resulted in good looks at the basket, and our shots were falling.
“We were also able to shut down their key players with great defense in the second half by Hannah Howell, Chyenne Sims and Laura Billington,” Mortensen added.
Sara Vance, a sophomore, started the game and, according to Coach Mortensen, brought lots of intensity, scoring 12 points.
“Kira Stone got the fans off the bench by hitting two three-pointers in the first quarter and ended with nine points,” Mortensen said. “Laura Billington had eight points, mostly off steals and fast breaks from great rebounding.”
Anna Cunico, Sims and Howell all ended the game with six points.
“Because of our rebounding on the second half we where able to take away their second chances and give ourselves a few second looks,” Mortenson said. “Overall, they did a lot of things right, they played with focus, heart and had fun out on the court. It was an exciting game to watch.”
Regarding the game on Saturday, Mortensen said, “It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch but a win is a win. We had a lot of young girls in this game, because we have moved a few key players to varsity positions.
“There were glimpses of both the offense and defense run well and there were plays that make a coach think of better drills to run in practice to get these young players to understand the game. I am proud of these girls and think they will continue to be a threat. They are learning a lot, which can at times be overwhelming, but they are catching on fast.”
On Saturday, Bailey Gasvoda led the way with 14 points while four players had six points. Coach Mortensen noted the efforts of, “Shannon Roller who always brings a lot of passion to the court, Payton Coleman who brings a lot of steals, Courtney Matney who is learning to take it to the hole strong and is improving with each game and Bailey Amunson who also brings speed and steals. All of these girls on the JV team play with such passion and love for the game, and that makes them hard to stop.”
The girls will play Hayden at home on Friday night and then have Saturday off this week. DeBeque High School is not fielding a girls basketball team this season.
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