“We have players that are all in”
[ by Than Acuff ]
After rolling through the first games of the season, the Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team has struggled as of late falling to both Telluride and Trinidad this past week.
The Titans hosted the Telluride Miners in mighty Mt. Olympus on Tuesday, February 9 looking to hand the Miners another defeat after beating them earlier this season.
But, Telluride had learned their lesson from the first match-up and it was obvious they came into the Titans’ house prepared for the showdown. The Miners continued to push the ball inside to their big player and jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead. Crested Butte switched up their defense and looked to break up Telluride’s momentum with their press but the Miners adjusted accordingly and continued to maintain their lead.
“I think they did a good job of adjusting and our press didn’t have the impact it did in the first game,” says coach Amanda Reynolds.
Crested Butte had some adjustments of their own though and they slowed Telluride down late in the first quarter to stem the tide and both Colleen Harris and Mara Pennie came up with key buckets to keep the Miners well within striking distance.
The Titans continued to chip away at Telluride’s lead with Harris scoring four more points and Hayes Freeman spinning to the hoop to score and pull within one of the Miners. But Telluride closed the quarter with a 9-1 run and was up 20-11 at halftime.
Halftime offered the Titans a chance to regroup and they came out in the third quarter to take back the game. Harris, Blakeley Reynolds and Ellie Duryea all produced on offense as Crested Butte outscored the Miners 12-1 and pulled back within one.
The two teams then spent the fourth quarter trading off baskets but Crested Butte tied it up down the stretch to force the game into overtime. They carried that energy into overtime but a couple of uncharacteristic misses and untimely turnovers led to the Titans’ demise as the Miners scored in the final two seconds for the 29-28 win.
Crested Butte suffered a similar fate just four days later when they hit the road to face Trinidad. Due to the February break and some injuries, the Titans were missing a couple of key players so Reynolds looked to her bench to face the Trinidad team.
“We adjusted our line-up and the girls answered the call, says Reynolds.
But their first half woes remained as the Titans fell behind 14 points at one point during the first half.
“We haven’t had a good first half yet,” says Reynolds.
Once again though, Reynolds turned to the chalkboard during halftime and her team rallied in the second half. Led by 18 pointes from Blakeley and the rebounding work of Freeman and Pennie, Crested Butte proceeded to pull back into the game and, once again, forced the game into overtime. The game remained undecided after the first overtime but Trinidad eventually took advantage of Titan turnovers and hit a big three pointer to eke out the 48-44 win. Blakeley led the team with 38 points and Freeman pulled down double digit rebounds.
“They wanted it so bad, they just have to get used to being in that position and doing what it takes,” says Reynolds.
While losing back-to-back overtime games stings, Reynolds and the team continues to keep their heads up as the frantic pace of the season continues.
“We’re 2-3 and I did not expect that but they’re not hanging their heads,” says Reynolds. “We need to get healthy for sure. There’s still so many bright spots, we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. They just keep putting it all out there. We have players that are all in.”
The Titans host perennial state powerhouse Sanford on Friday, February 19.
“Sanford plays a great game up and down the court,” says Reynolds. “We might throw some different things at them and see what sticks. We’ve never had a solid rebounding team but we’re getting there. We have to hit the boards hard to give ourselves a shot.”
Check out the Crested Butte Titans athletics Facebook page for information on where to watch the live stream of the game as fans are still not allowed to attend.