Open new plan with a win
by Than Acuff
After spending the entire 2018-2019 season without a single win, and the years before that with only a handful of wins, Crested Butte Titans girls basketball head coach Vaden Holmes and athletics director Jarrod Hinton decided to follow a similar path to the Gunnison high school football team and resign the team to a JV schedule for the 2019-2020 season.
“We decided to do that due to a lack of numbers and a lack of experience,” says Holmes.
The Titans play in one of the most competitive 2A leagues in the state and the Titans team has suffered the brunt of numerous huge losses as they struggled with learning the basic fundamentals of the game while trying to prepare for their opponents week in and week out.
“Every year it seems we struggle with time,” says Holmes. “This season we won’t be so pressed for time to compete with these really competitive teams.”
According to Holmes, the decision was met with some trepidation from the players at first, as there is always the dream to play on a varsity team in high school athletics.
“I think they were disappointed at first but I think they do understand that for us to grow, this is what needed to be done,” says Holmes. “My goal for the girls has always been to build their basketball IQ and develop their skills.”
The similar plan followed by the Gunnison high school proved worthwhile. With low numbers and a young team, the football program spent the past two seasons playing JV games. Numbers have jumped up, quality of play has improved vastly and they will return to a varsity schedule next season. And, they won games.
“It’s been done before, so that helps,” says Holmes.
The new plan bore immediate fruit this past weekend as the Titans headed to Grand Junction on Friday, December 6 to face Caprock Academy and came away with a 23-10 win, their first win in two years.
Holmes admits that with the focus on fundamentals, she had yet to delve into defense and offensive plays as their first game drew near. As a result, she gave them a quick cram session on the basics and the girls executed the plan to come out fast. The pace overwhelmed the Caprock team and kept them in a state of chaos and on their heels for all four quarters.
“I kept it limited and kept it simple and they went into the game and executed,” says Holmes. “We came out fast and quick and ready to push the ball—it was good.”
Blakely Reynolds led the team with 10 points, followed by Alex Downey with eight points.
“We came out with a win, which was awesome,” says Holmes.
The Titans will have this weekend off from games but face Gunnison next week and will continue to follow the JV game schedule plan through the season.
“The girls need a little bit of a confidence boost after the past couple of seasons. I think it’ll be good for the program,” says Holmes.