“We had a shot to win and that’s a testament to our seniors and a testament to our team”
[ by Than Acuff ]
The Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team dropped their first league game of the season Saturday, February 6 when they fell to the Center Vikings 46-43.
The team got off on the wrong foot in the first quarter as Center jumped out to an early 14-6 lead.
“What I’ve noticed is that we don’t come out firing,” says head coach Amanda Reynolds. “We’ve been able to get away with it but our league is very competitive.”
Once they shook it all off, Crested Butte then proceeded to start chipping away at the lead outscoring the Vikings 15-10 in the second quarter to cut the Center lead down to three by halftime. Throwing in a press helped the Titans change gears as well as take a couple of deep breaths to focus on what they are capable of doing.
“I just reminded them of the things we’ve already gone over,” says Reynolds. “When you’re running hot on defense at that pace, it’s really hard for any team to slow down on the offensive side. It’s hard to process but they did and they really settled in.”
Crested Butte continued to find their game, and execute it in the third quarter. While Center did throw a new defense at the Titans that slowed them down a bit, Crested Butte adjusted eventually to then outscore Center 18-8 in the third quarter to take a 39-34 lead into the fourth quarter. It did come at a cost though as they lost their second leading scorer to foul trouble.
“Even missing our second leading scorer, they didn’t stop, they kept going,” says Reynolds. “We leaned on our seniors a lot and they came up with some critical rebounds.”
Center recovered to open the fourth quarter scoring the first six points and retake the lead 40-39 with four minutes left to play and in the bonus putting the Vikings at the line with every foul.
Center hit two free throws to go up 42-39 and was looking to run the clock down with long possessions on offense. The Titans defense remained patient and Colleen Harris picked the pocket of their point guard to go the length of the court for a lay up closing back to within one point.
Center knocked down two more free throws to keep a slight edge but on the Titans next trip up the court, mad scrambling left Sophia Truex open and she knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game. Or so it seemed; but the officials saw otherwise, gave her two and the Titans were down 44-43 and forced to foul to stop the clock.
Center knocked down both of those free throws as well to go up 46-43 but the Titans would have the last possession for a shot at tying the game up and Reynolds called a time out.
“I had 35 seconds to draw up the play and it needed to go perfect to even get the shot off,” says Reynolds.
It did go perfectly, well almost, as Truex got an open shot but the ball bounced off the rim and the buzzer sounded during the scramble for the loose ball. Harris led the team with 21 points.
“Was it a tough loss? Absolutely,” says Reynolds. “But, they just didn’t quit. We had a shot to win and that’s a testament to our seniors and a testament to our team. We’re still getting to know each other as a team and it boils down to tying all aspects of our game together. We’ll have a breakout game.”
The Titans look to take what they learned in their first league game and make the adjustments as they have more league showdowns this coming week. They face Trinidad on Saturday, February 13 and Sargents on Tuesday, February 16. Information for watching the games online can be found on the Crested Butte Athletics Facebook page.