Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Girls basketball returns to the court

Continuing the rebuilding process

by Than Acuff

Head coach Vaden Holmes is back for her third year at the helm and while wins have been few and far between in her first two years, she remains on point to bring the program back to its competitive ways of years gone by.

“I really enjoy coaching the sport and the girls are just a good group,” says Holmes. “Also I feel a responsibility to rebuild the program and I think having some consistency as a coach is important.”

Unfortunately, it may be another tough season for the Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team. Last year they finished without a win and then lost a handful of key players to graduation. As a result, their numbers have dropped as they went from 18 players in the 2018-2019 season down to 11 players for the upcoming year.

Holmes jumped into the volleyball scene over the fall to help out there with the hope of building some additional interest in the basketball team for the winter season. While it didn’t play out as well as hoped, Holmes looks for it to pay off over time.

“There was no turnaround right away for this season but I think it will over time,” says Holmes. “I do think it helps me become more of a familiar face for the players, especially the new ones.”

The girls hit the court to start pre-season workouts as a team on Monday, November 18. Holmes has Cydney Alvarez joining her on the coaching staff this season. Alvarez is coming off of two years of playing for Otero at the junior college level as well as one year at Western Colorado University. The coaches spent the first week getting back to basics with a variety of talent showing up to play.

“We still have our core group of juniors but there are some new players as well as some freshmen,” says Holmes. “Definitely a bit slower start having some newer players so there’s been a lot of work on fundamentals.”

With the Thanksgiving break sending players in all different directions, Holmes had to suspend practices this week but will get everyone back together for another week of pre-season workouts on Monday, December 2. At that point she hopes to continue working on the basics while tacking on additional concepts, both new and old.

“We hope to get more into live basketball that second week,” explains Holmes. “A majority of what we will be doing will be the same but with our changes in personnel from last year there will be some new things as well.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is their league. Year in and year out the Southern Peaks 2A league is one of the toughest in the state and the Titan girls suffer numerous lopsided losses as a result. Therefore, Holmes’ goals, as well as the team’s, are less results-oriented.

“I think our goals remain with just improving within and small achievements over the course of the season,” says Holmes. “We will have some tough games but we can benefit more from our league play than playing in a weaker league.”

In an effort to find more balanced opponents outside of the league powerhouses, Crested Butte will also line up against Telluride, Ouray, Lake City and Ridgway.

“I think that adds a good balance to our schedule,” says Holmes.

The Titans open their schedule with a tournament in Grand Junction December 6-7 and their first home game is not until December 20.

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