“The chemistry on the team was fantastic”
by Than Acuff
For the second year in a row, the Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team finished their season with just one win. They came close on a handful of occasions to notching additional wins, dropping three other games by no more than three points in each contest, but victory eluded them.
The long season came to an end for the Titans last week as they lost two games in the district tournament to be eliminated from the post-season. Knowing full well how the playoffs would pan out, Moran used the opportunity to continue to push the girls to improve.
“The most important thing for the post-season play is to step it up,” says coach Mike Moran. “That’s how we approached it. We just wanted to get better each time we go out.”
They opened the playoffs against the Del Norte Tigers on Tuesday, March 23 falling 53-17. And while the score was lopsided, Moran points out the Titans were solid at one end of the court.
“They’re the number one team in the league and they’re scoring at least 53 points on everyone so we did well on defense,” says Moran. “We just can’t score on the offensive end of things and had too many turnovers.”
The loss sent Crested Butte across district tournament brackets to face another heavy hitter, Custer County. Using their advantage inside as well as the quickness up top, Custer County built a 34-10 lead before Moran turned to his bench with the future in mind.
“I put in all five freshmen girls,” explains Moran. “I wanted to get the freshmen some experience.”
The freshmen held on to keep the game from getting too out of hand as Custer County finished off Crested Butte 47-13.
“Custer handled us pretty well,” says Moran. “They beat us up inside and with their quickness up top. They had eight different girls score, which all of the top teams have. We did have five girls score and that’s good for us.”
The loss put an end to the season for the Titan girls and despite the long season stretching for weeks without a win and enduring numerous lopsided losses, coach Mike Moran continued to tout the resiliency of his squad.
“We just kept taking it on the chin but we kept getting back up,” says Moran.
The brightest spot for the girls program came during their game against South Park late in the season. It was during that game that Moran saw his team play four solid quarters of basketball against a good team.
“That was the highlight of the season,” says Moran. “It was the happiest I’ve been coaching in town the past three years.”
Moran also points out the constant accolades he received from opposing coaches and fans throughout the year.
“I had a guy come up to me after we lost to Sanford and mentioned that Sanford beat up other teams pretty good as well but that no one stuck it out like our girls did,” says Moran. “We have the same heart and mentality as the other teams, we just don’t have the experience to play with this league. The chemistry on the team was fantastic.”
Looking ahead, Moran knows what the team needs if they ever want to compete.
“There’s no doubt that we don’t spend enough time in the gym,” says Moran. “The girls are serious about it but it’s really up to them how much success they want to have. If they play 30 games in the summer, they can compete.”