Team sets sights on league championship
Last year’s Crested Butte girls’ basketball team set the bar high for this year’s team to follow. The Lady Titans dominated the Mountain League with a perfect 10-0 record, the first time in the team’s history. They ended the season 18-5 and were two points away from the state tournament, losing to La Veta in the regionals 55-53.
“I thought it was an amazing year,” says head coach MaryMike Haley. “It was an amazing ride. I think it instilled a lot of confidence in the girls coming up.”
The only problem now is how to fill the shoes of Gracie Coburn and Mary Flemming, two starters from last year lost now to graduation.
“We’ve got some shoes to fill,” admits Haley. “But I’ve got a lot of confidence in these girls.”
Fortunately, Haley does have senior Emma Coburn returning, as well as a strong junior class, led by starting guard Emma Vosburg. In addition, sophomore Sydney Loyed stepped into a number of varsity games last year as a freshman and should bring that experience to the court this year.
“These juniors have the ability—it’s just whether or not they can put it together on the floor,” says Haley. “We have all the potential in the world.”
About the only thing holding the Lady Titans back is health. Both juniors MacKenzie Mailly and Kaitlin Councilman are out due to illness/injury and Coburn is still finishing out her season of running.
“Practice seems like it’s getting off to a slow start,” says Haley.
Despite the erratic pre-season workouts, Haley says the team believes they have the opportunity to return to the post-season and potentially surpass last year’s performance.
“Their mindset is they have a team they can take beyond regionals,” explains Haley. “They’re motivated and fired up about it.”
“I think that we could be really good, even better than last year,” adds Vosburg. “We just need everybody to show up and do their part.”
Vosburg sees the team winning the league again and then taking it one step further in the post-season.
“We’re hoping to go to State this year and I think that’s definitely possible,” says Vosburg. “The returning players gained a lot of experience last year. Not only are our skills getting better, but so is our knowledge of the game.”
The Lady Titans basketball team opens its season with a tournament in Ouray on Friday, November 30. Their first home game will be on Saturday, December 8 against Plateau Valley. The JV will play at 1 p.m. and the varsity takes the court at 4 p.m.