29-point first quarter sets tone
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans boys basketball team set off running from the opening tip-off, racking up 29 points in the first quarter alone and then cruised to a 59-29 over the Antonito Trojans on Saturday, December 9.
The Titans set the tone in the first 30 seconds as Joseph Cummins drained a three-pointer, then stole the ball to drop in an easy bucket, forcing the Antonito coach to call a timeout 26 seconds into the game.
The break did nothing to cool off the Titans as they continued to press, forcing numerous turnovers and then converting on their ensuing possessions. Jovany Aguirre followed up with another three-pointer, Tommy Linehan picked off a pass and drove to the basket for an easy lay-up and then Cummins and Aguirre knocked down back-to-back three-pointers for a 16-0 lead four minutes into the game.
Linehan joined the Titans perimeter assault with a three of his own and then the Titans followed with continued pressure to steal another pass and fire off two quick passes, including a pinpoint feed from Toby Goldberg to set up Linehan for another quick basket, putting the Titans up 23-0 and causing Antonito to call another time-out.
Antonito finally broke the Titans seal to score five points in the final minutes of the opening quarter but the Titans closed out their opening attack with one last three-pointer for a 29-5 lead after one quarter.
“We’ve got some good shooters and they were all hot at the same time and our pressure really caused Antonito problems,” says coach Brandin Hamilton.
Hamilton then turned to his bench to get his players key minutes in a varsity game. They tacked on a couple more three-pointers as both Tristan Davis and Ethan Bacani hit from beyond the arc before Antonito scored a few more buckets. The Titans finished the first half with another three-pointer from Bacani to carry a 27-point lead into the third quarter.
“They threw some different defenses at us and the guys identified that and attacked it,” says Hamilton. “That was nice to see.”
Cummins returned to the floor in the third quarter to hit three more buckets from behind the arc and Ty Sherman came in to battle in the paint, scoring four points for a 57-22 lead after three quarters of play.
Hamilton then sat all of his starters for the fourth quarter but the bench did their job to score seven more points as the Titans closed out the 59-29 win.
“I think they showed progress overall as a group, especially with improved decision-making on offense,” says Hamilton.
The Titans finished the game with a total of 12 three-pointers coming from five different players, Cummins led the team with 29 points, Mike Winn grabbed eight rebounds and Davis led the team in assists.
“I used the remainder of the game to work on other aspects and get kids experience, not just for now, but for the future,” says Hamilton.
The Titans will now prepare for two tough games this week as they hit the road Friday, December 15 to face the Ridgway Demons and then return home on Saturday to host the Telluride Miners.
“Ridgway has shown that they have a very stingy defense and Telluride is always tough,” says Hamilton.
Tip off for the varsity boys’ game on Saturday in Mt. Olympus is at 4 p.m.