Struggle with 2A powerhouse Paonia
In an effort to push her team to perform under pressure, Lady Titans head coach MaryMike Haley looked outside the league and up one class for a game.
And she found it in fourth-ranked 2A powerhouse Paonia on Thursday, January 29.
Unfortunately, the Lady Titans ran into more than they could handle, losing to Paonia 68-25.
It didn’t help that two Lady Titans starters were suffering from strep throat and could barely play.
Paonia threw a full-court zone press at the Lady Titans in the opening minutes of the game, but the effort proved fruitless as the Lady Titans handled the press with relative ease to trade baskets with Paonia.
That is, relative to the ensuing full-court man-to-man press that Paonia eventually inflicted upon Crested Butte.
The Paonia pressure shut down senior leading scorer Emma Vosburg and frazzled the Lady Titans, holding them to just two points in the second quarter. At that point, the illness appeared to spread throughout the team, as the Lady Titans suffered through the second half, scoring only 12 points before leaving with something to build on.
“It shouldn’t have been what it was,” says Haley of the outcome. “We couldn’t get in our groove and play our game. It was a wake-up call, for sure.”
On a good note, freshman Sydney Jernigan continues to own the paint under the basket, battling amongst the Paonia players to pull down 10 rebounds and score five points.
“She just doesn’t let anyone mess with her under the basket,” says Haley. “She’s just always in the right place at the right time.”
Still a bit “hung-over” from the Paonia loss, the Lady Titans returned to Mt. Olympus to host Primero on Saturday, January 31.
With three players now on a steady dose of antibiotics, Crested Butte remained a bit sluggish in their game against Primero, yet continued to dominate the boards as they have all season against league opponents.
In addition, while team defense remained suspect, individual play shone through, led by senior Allie McFarland.
McFarland repeatedly shut off the base line leaving the Primero players nowhere to go as Primero tried to dump the ball down low.
Even at three-quarter speed, the Lady Titans’ transition play off of turnovers was too hot to handle for Primero, and the Lady Titans took a 15-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Senior Jessie Frame joined Jernigan in an assault on the boards, while Vosburg and junior Sydney Loyed fired shots from the perimeter.
Vosburg capped the first half, draining a three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Lady Titans took a 32-10 lead into halftime.
Vosburg, Frame and Jernigan continued to pummel Primero on offense, leading the team to a 50-20 win, to remain undefeated in league play and are now ranked sixth in the state in 1A.
Vosburg led all scorers with 20 points but the post-play of Frame, who scored nine points and pulled down 15 rebounds, and Jernigan, who had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the game, has the team looking stronger with two weeks left in the regular season.
“I’m really psyched with the way the post has been playing,” says Haley.
The Lady Titans will host Moffat this Saturday, February 7 at 1 p.m. and close the regular season with games against teams they beat earlier in the year as they look to close the season on top and move into the post-season.
“We need to play well and not take anything for granted,” says Haley. “We can’t get complacent and lazy. If we can go into districts the number one seed we should be okay.”