“We didn’t start out flat-footed, which was nice”
by Than Acuff
Despite a tough two-point loss to Ridgway right before the holiday break, the Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team was feeling good, having scored 40 points in the loss and gaining experience with each game. The break did take some players out of town for practices, but coach Vaden Holmes still held workouts to continue development and maintain the team’s energy.
“We did a lot of technical stuff, a lot of live play and shooting drills and had them going into the Creede game feeling good,” says Holmes.
Even better, while some players missed practices over the break, Holmes had a full roster for the Creede game and had aspirations, albeit reserved, for a Titan win.
“I felt like it was going to be a good game,” says Holmes. “I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go, but I’m always hoping for the win.”
In an effort to put the pressure on Creede, and to test her own players, Holmes decided to mix things up against Creede defensively.
“I really like ‘man’ defense (man-to-man) but we never really have the personnel to do it,” says Holmes. “I kind of decided to do it on a whim. It definitely kept up the intensity.”
The new defense had an immediate positive effect for the Titans. While they often find themselves down 12 or 14 points at the end of the first quarter, the new defense helped keep the game close through the opening eight minutes.
“We didn’t start out flat-footed, which was nice, and didn’t have to dig ourselves out of a huge hole,” says Holmes.
In fact, the Titans were never really far behind all game as they pushed the pace to keep chaos on the court and create whatever possible, whenever possible.
“We were playing at a quick pace and pushing the ball more than we usually do,” says Holmes.
Unfortunately, a high-paced game spurned by person-to-person defense also has a downside as it can lead to turnovers and eventually foul trouble. Every time the Titans would come close to pulling even with Creede, an errant pass or forced play would leave the Titans short of tying the game.
Kelly Sherman then fouled out at the end of the third quarter and Siena Truex followed suit in the final minute of the game, allowing Creede to close out the 41-31 win.
“If we’re able to cut down turnovers it’s a different game completely,” says Holmes.
The Titans return to league play this weekend as they head to Del Norte on Friday, January 11 and then host Sanford on Saturday, January 12. Saturday’s games start at 1 p.m.
“Two tough games for sure,” says Holmes. “I’m hoping we can fluster them and prove ourselves a little more to the big dogs.”