Injuries wreak havoc on young squad
The Lady Titans are a young team and with inexperience comes mistakes. Still, as the season progressed the Crested Butte girls basketball team started to find its groove.
They showed flashes of brilliance amongst the quarters of chaos and soon the good started to outweigh the bad.
Unfortunately, a young team finding its groove is often thrown in complete disarray with issues such as injuries.
Such was the case for the Lady Titans as they headed to face league nemesis Sierra Grande on Friday, February 12.
The Sierra Grande Panthers can be downright mean, and have been a thorn in the side of the Lady Titans ever since they joined the Southern Peaks league.
But this season coach MaryMike Haley is leading a youth movement with her team and as they headed into the weekend, part of that movement involved a win over the Panthers.
Or so Haley hoped, until two days before the game she lost starting post player junior Shannon Holleran to a bad ankle sprain. Then Haley lost starting guard junior Karleigh Dean to the flu.
Losing two starters, let alone two junior starters on such a young team, proved too much to overcome against the Panthers.
After fighting to stay in the game through the first quarter, things fell apart for the Lady Titans as they fell to Sierra Grande 42-27.
“We just couldn’t execute our press,” says Haley. “We were like a deer in the headlights. We get another shot at them in districts hopefully.”
No matter who Haley looked to on the bench to spark the Lady Titans no one could rally the team for the battle.
“I used my whole bench,” says Haley. “But missing two starters, two juniors, was tough.”
Nevertheless, Holleran’s time on the bench with the injury gave her a chance to witness the game from the sidelines and has her primed to return to the floor on fire.
“Shannon saw what’s going on out there and she’s hungry,” says Haley.
Down but not out, the Lady Titans then rallied the following afternoon, flashing some more of that youthful brilliance in a big win over Aguilar.
After a slow start on both ends of the court in the opening quarter, the Lady Titans built momentum in the second quarter and exploded in the second half.
The Lady Titans dominated the third quarter alone building a 30-point lead before easing back on the throttle to cruise to a 47-30 win.
“They have these moments of greatness,” says Haley.
The Lady Titans have some time before the opening round of districts and Haley hopes to have the team back to full strength in time for the post season.
“I’m hoping the week will give us a chance to get healthy and refocus on our potential,” says Haley. “We can beat anybody in the league, we just need to believe it. We’re still capable of doing something.”