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Titan girls suffer back-to-back losses, missing players plague team

Fall to Creede and Sanford

by Than Acuff

On a team that is already thin in numbers, any missing players can throw things into further disarray. Missing starters can make matters even tougher.

The holiday break took its toll on the Crested Butte Titans girls team with players missing workouts due to travel. Coach Vaden Holmes did make the most of what she had to work with as they prepared for two games at the end of the break.

“It was difficult,” says Holmes. “It’s hard to build continuity but, for the most part, I thought it wasn’t too big of a struggle.”

Low numbers remained an issue for the Titans as they headed into last weekend’s games. Holmes was missing four players, including two starters, and called upon three freshmen to take the floor when they hosted the Creede Miners on Friday, January 5.

“With the freshmen there’s a lack of confidence and just getting used to the speed of the high school game,” says Holmes.

During the warm-ups prior to the Creede game, it was obvious the Miners would enjoy a height advantage and a deeper bench. They took advantage of that, building a 19-0 lead during the first quarter.

“I think in the beginning it was obvious we were missing our normal groove and Creede took advantage of that,” says Holmes. “It took us a while to get on our feet.”

While Creede kept coming, the Titans kept fighting, with senior Catherine Washburn leading the charge on offense and defense up top and freshman Alex Downey and junior Kelly Sherman battling Creede’s big girls for rebounds. Washburn ultimately took things into her own hands at the end of the first quarter as she drove through traffic to score and then ran coast-to-coast for another bucket to lead the Titans on a 4-0 run to close the first quarter.

Freshman Kate Sherman opened the second quarter driving to the hoop and scoring to keep the Titans’ run going, but the Miners made a couple of slight adjustments to step up the pressure on the depleted Titans team, holding them scoreless the remainder of the game to finish Crested Butte off 53-6.

The Titans then jumped from the frying pan into a roaring fire on Saturday as they faced the Sanford Indians. While both starters were back for the Sanford game, limited play over the break meant limited play in the game. Nevertheless, the addition did allow Holmes a chance to get her players some rest during the Sanford attack.

“They gave us some more numbers and that allowed me to give some of the players breaks during the game,” says Holmes.

Still, there wasn’t much the Titans could do against a well-oiled basketball machine like the Indians, leaving the Titans with little to battle against the firepower of Sanford as they eventually fell 62-2.

“Sanford is just well-coached and disciplined on both offense and defense,” says Holmes.

With the holidays over, the Titans return to full strength now as they continue workouts this week.

“This week we’re working on our sets and defense and limiting mistakes,” says Holmes. “Teams are just capitalizing on our mistakes.”

The Titans will head to Cripple Creek on Friday, January 12 and South Park on Saturday, January 13. While the Titans faced both teams in a pre-season tournament, and lost to both, Holmes is looking to come away with at least one win from the weekend as they face both teams again.

“I’m looking to take it to Cripple Creek and come out with a win there,” says Holmes. “Last time we hung with South Park some so I’d like to see us do that again.”

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