Ranked in the top ten in the state
The Crested Butte Titans boys’ basketball team gained statewide recognition with its spate of recent wins and are now ranked ninth in Colorado among all class 1A teams.
The team’s latest triumph came on Friday, January 18 when they defeated Debeque 71-50, led on offense by junior John Wright with 25 points and senior Daniel Hargrove, who had a career-high 18 points.
Despite the 21-point difference, Crested Butte coach Robin Loyed says the win didn’t come easy, as Debeque threw an amalgam of game plans at the Titans.
“They threw everything in their playbook at us,” says Loyed. “They ran five different defenses.”
The ploy by Debeque, combined with a frantic pace, helped to hold the Titans close throughout the first half.
The Titans took a six-point lead by the end of the first quarter and were up 32-21 at the half, but Loyed was far from comforted by the 11-point advantage.
“We were out-hustled by Debeque the entire first half,” says Loyed. “We were just giving them points on the offensive boards.”
Debeque then moved to yet another defensive strategy with a man-to-man mark on Wright and a zone defense inside the perimeter at the start of the third quarter.
Ultimately, the plan backfired, as Loyed moved Wright outside and lit up the scoreboard, hitting four three-point shots.
“We moved John out to the perimeter and he just took over the game,” says Loyed.
Wright sparked a 26-point quarter as the Titans built a 58-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Senior Randy Evans joined Hargrove and Wright on offense, scoring 14 points, and junior Robbie Holleran led the defense hustling for loose balls and crashing the boards.
Loyed was pleased with the win against Debeque and his team’s ability to adjust to the initial pace set by their opponent.
“Anytime you go into Debeque and come away with a win, it’s a good win,” says Loyed. “I was really proud of the team because they ran into a buzz-saw in Debeque and the boys regrouped and their maturity took over.”
The Debeque game kicks off a succession of league games for the Titans with its next contest at home against Ridgway on Friday, January 25 at 7:45 p.m.
“We’re starting to get a little noticed but we need to keep getting it done,” says Loyed. “It’s league play now, we need to keep executing.”