“There was something about our style that really kept them on their heels”
[ by Than Acuff ]
Old, or rather older, eyes led to my inability to recognize that it was Ben Barney, not Jacob Bernholtz, who hit a three-pointer in the Crested Butte Titans basketball game last week against Gunnison. My apologies for the oversight, or lack of sight.
It wasn’t the best game all around as the Titans fell to Gunnison, but the boys rebounded this past weekend as they took down league opponent Center 38-26 on Saturday, February 6.
Strong non-league opponents such as Gunnison early in the season give both the players and the coaches a sense of what needs continued work and they used what they saw against Gunnison to prepare for the Center game.
“On the defensive side we wanted to dictate and control possessions,” says coach Brandin Hamilton. “That was our biggest takeaway from the Gunnison game, we were reacting.”
The team focused on making that switch as they headed into their game Saturday against Center. They knew Center had some shooters and they knew that they also had a solid inside game and so the Titans had a couple of areas of focus, all without key inside player Grayson White.
Hamilton looked to Alan Prieto and Harper Smith to take care of Center’s key players during their man-to-man defensive scheme and the two answered the call.
“Alan did a great job guarding their top player inside man-to-man and Harper shut down their top shooter,” says Hamilton. “There was something about our style that really kept them on their heels.”
The Titans opened the game building a slim lead and then following an 11-2 outburst, Crested Butte was up 12 points midway through the second quarter. A lull allowed Center to pull closer toward the end of the second quarter but the Titans still held a 19-9 lead at halftime.
“The game was pretty slow-paced and both teams had long possessions,” says Hamilton. “They did a good job keeping us from scoring off transitions.”
The pace continued through the second half. Center did cut Crested Butte’s lead down to four points in the third quarter but before things could fall apart, a series of offensive rebounds kept the ball alive for Crested Butte and Erik Wasinger hit a three-pointer to quash the Center comeback. The bucket helped turn the tide back in Crested Butte’s favor as they rebuilt their lead and carried that to the final buzzer for the 38-26 win.
Wasinger led the team with 17 points with Owen Forsythe scoring eight and pulling down six rebounds.
“We’ve been working a lot on conditioning and I think in that fourth quarter conditioning helped us,” says Hamilton.
The Titans remain on the road for the next week as they have games against Telluride, Trinidad and Sargents. Their next home game is Friday, February 19 against Sanford.
“We’re road warriors right now,” says Hamilton.
All Titan basketball can be watched on either nfhsnetwork.com or the host school’s Facebook page. All info for how to watch upcoming games can be found on the Crested Butte Titans athletics Facebook page.