No. 8 Montrose girls basketball rallies to beat Grand Junction

MONTROSE — After being shut out in the first quarter, and trailing 10-6 at halftime, eighth-ranked Montrose girls basketball rallied to beat Grand Junction on Tuesday.

Montrose won, 27-24, in the cross-classification matchup.

"We missed shots in the first half," said Montrose junior Joise Eccher said. "We fought all the way through the game."

Montrose chipped away at a 6-0 Grand Junction lead in the second quarter to make it 10-6 at the break. Then, a 15-9 advantage gave Montrose the lead at 21-19 after three quarters.

One key moment in that quarter came on a 3-pointer by Kennadie Minerich that tied the game at 14. Later, with Grand Junction up 18-16, Minerich hit another 3-pointer to give Montrose the lead.

In the fourth quarter, Montrose's Michaela Ladage hit a key free throw which pushed her team's lead to 26-22.

"It was a great match up and always is," Montrose coach Steve Skiff said. "They came in with a ten-game winning streak. We talked about playing for 32 minutes. Our offense got off to a slow start and our defense carried us in the first half. Brenna Moss and Kennadie Minerich played the whole game which isn’t easy to do.

"We kept fighting to the end."

Minerich finished with 14 points to lead Montrose. She also had six steals.

"Tough, tough game,” Grand Junction coach Sam Provenza said. "We need to finish our shots in the first half. I thought our defense was really good. ... We stayed close, we just didn't get it done. We will put this behind us and prepare for Central and Durango Friday and Saturday."

Montrose (17-2, 4-0 in the Southwestern League) is off for a week, and will be at Grand Junction Central on Feb. 5. Grand Junction (13-5, 2-1) hosts Grand Junction Central on Friday.