First home game of season this Saturday at 4 p.m.
by Than Acuff
Remarkably, after a slow start to pre-season workouts with players trickling in and practices uprooted by a menagerie of things, the Crested Butte Titans boys basketball team is off to a 3-1 start, including a 45-19 trouncing of Antonito on Saturday, December 10.
Typically, the team struggles through the early stages of the season but this year has been different, so far. While the pre-season workouts were spotty at best, the team got a huge boost of confidence from a win in the opening week of play and is capitalizing on their recent momentum.
“I think the win over Moffat really helped with our confidence,” says head coach Brandin Hamilton. “It was a gritty game and those usually don’t go our way. That set the tone for our practices and we’ve had some really productive practices since then. We’re working on defense and we’re making strides.”
While the latest win over Antonito was somewhat expected, Hamilton was looking for more than just a win; he was looking for a complete game from his team.
“I was looking for consistency on both sides of the ball,” explains Hamilton. “We can play good defense for about a minute and then there’s a lull, so I wanted to make sure we maintained solid defense the entire time.”
The Titans jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter based almost completely on their effort on the offensive boards, especially from David Wasinger.
“David had four offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone,” says Hamilton. “He went on a personal 7-0 run.”
Things cooled off a bit for the Titans in the second quarter as Hamilton went to the bench and had a couple of starters flirting with foul trouble that he needed to protect just in case.
“I wanted to get some kids some time and experience and Antonito has some scorers that, if they get hot, can be dangerous, and I had players in foul trouble so I was a little nervous about that,” says Hamilton.
The Titans carried a 26-12 lead into halftime and Hamilton used the break to remind his team of their roles defensively and give a quick tutorial on how to break apart Antonito’s 1-2-2 defense, one that is rarely seen in their league play.
The chalk talk worked wonders as the Titans outscored Antonito 13-1 in the third quarter paced by a series of three-pointers in the opening minutes. The bench then closed the game for the Titans as they cruised to the 45-19 win.
“I think we had good mental focus on what our game plan was for the entire game,” says Hamilton.
Wasinger led the team with 13 points and nine rebounds, Joseph Cummins scored 12 points going four-for-six from behind the three-point arc and had five assists, and Noah Dumas tacked on eight points.
Crested Butte will hit the road to play Telluride on Friday, December 16. The game was already going to be tough for the Titans but will be exceptionally hard, as they will be missing Wasinger for the game.
“That’s a big loss,” says Hamilton. “David is having the best season of his high school career.”
The Titans return home on Saturday, December 17 to host the Ridgway Demons in Mt. Olympus. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.
“It sounds like they’re struggling a little this year so I think it’s a game we can handle,” says Hamilton.
The team will then head into the Christmas break with their next games not until January. If all goes well, they could enter the break 5-1 for the first time in a long time.
“The way preseason went I thought 3-3 would be a good start,” says Hamilton. “5-1 would be great, 4-2 will still be a good start but now, if we go 3-3, I will not be happy.”