“We’re getting closer”
by Than Acuff
While the Crested Butte girls high school basketball team has yet to notch its first win of the season, the work that coach Vaden Holmes and the team have put in is starting to bear fruit.
They went into this past weekend of games looking to come away with a win, but fell short of that goal. Nevertheless, things looked better than ever before as they put up 35 points in their loss to Custer County on Friday, February 8 and then made a run at Center on Saturday, February 9, including winning the opening quarter, before falling.
Holmes laid out one major goal for her players heading into their match-up with Custer County: Shoot.
“In prior games we were hesitant to shoot so I went into this one telling the girls I wanted them to shoot the ball,” says Holmes. “They ended up taking a lot more shots and it worked out. Normally, 15 to 25 points is pretty good for us, and we scored 35.”
She also reminded her team that the final result really is a matter of defense and after the first half, things were working on both ends and the Titans were down just 18-13 at the half.
Unfortunately, as the game progressed, foul trouble took hold of the Titans and they eventually succumbed to Custer County. Siena Truex led the Titans’ scoring, followed closely by Madison Pankey.
“We got in foul trouble and lost our aggression,” says Holmes.
The loss stung for the Titans as they felt they missed out on a chance to win their first game of the season. As a result they looked to make up for it in their game the next day against the Center Vikings.
“We kind of had a chip on our shoulder,” says Holmes. “We expected to play better against Custer County and since we didn’t win, we felt like Center was the game.”
They certainly carried that chip through the first quarter as they overwhelmed the Vikings in the opening minutes with tough defense and quality shooting. Alex Downey’s and Pankey’s work on defense helped disrupt Center and Sophia Truex and Kelly Sherman knocked down shots for a 6-0 lead. Center battled back but the Titans closed the first quarter with the lead.
Center gained some ground in the second quarter as they took advantage of the open court to generate points. But Crested Butte responded in the half court setting with Downey knocking down an eight-foot jumper and Siena draining two from three-point land. But the fouls started racking up on the Titans and Center did more damage from the free throw line to take a 20-16 lead into halftime.
“When we played Custer County we pushed the ball but made mistakes,” says Holmes. “Against Center we were making better decisions.”
Foul trouble then reared its ugly head and Center managed to put the Titans away, outscoring them 19-4 in the third quarter and then finishing with a 47-28 win over Crested Butte. Sherman led the Titans in scoring against Center.
“Now they need to figure out that it’s a matter of knowing when to be aggressive on the ball,” says Holmes.
Still, the Titans are on the right track and hope to continue their scoring ways into their next game against South Park in mighty Mt. Olympus on Thursday, February 14; tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.
“The past two games were two of the better games all season,” says Holmes. “We’re getting closer.”