17-2 season sets them up for playoff action
The Crested Butte Lady Titans high school basketball team won its last three games of the regular season to finish with a 17-2 record, undefeated in league play and earning its second Mountain League title in a row.
As a result, they will enter the District tournament in Delta Thursday through Saturday, February 28-March 1 the number two seed and look to advance to the Regionals in Gunnison on Saturday, March 8.
It was a tough start to the final week for the Lady Titans as they headed to Antonito on Tuesday, February 19 and were handed a scare by the feisty San Luis Valley squad.
It took the Lady Titans three quarters and some “inspirational” words from coach MaryMike Haley and junior Emma Vosburg to spark a comeback for the win.
The Lady Titans were down 26-24 at halftime and traded baskets with Antonito in the third quarter to enter the fourth quarter staring in the face of a possible upset loss.
Fortunately, the team rallied in the final eight minutes to outscore Antonito 25-9 and come out of the San Luis vortex with a hard fought win.
Vosburg led the team with 29 points, senior Emma Coburn scored 13 and pulled down 22 rebounds despite being in foul trouble and junior Jessie Frame crashed the boards for eight rebounds.
“They’re a different style of play,” says Haley. “They were scrappy and we were a little bit intimidated. But I thought it was a good game because we didn’t give up and we didn’t freak out.”
The Lady Titans then headed to Ridgway to face the Lady Demons on Friday, February 22 and suffered again from the first quarter snooze.
After an even first quarter of play, the Lady Titans took over in the second quarter outscoring Ridgway 24-9 and never looked back.
While Vosburg and Coburn led the team in scoring with 26 and 23 points, respectively, and Coburn had an astounding 28 rebounds in the game, several other Lady Titans continued to put up solid numbers as well.
Frame had an outstanding game with six points and nine rebounds; junior Allie McFarland scored six points as well along with some strong defense, and sophomore Sydney Loyed threw in an additional six points to the Lady Titans’ 73-34 win.
The Lady Titans closed the regular season at home in Mt. Olympus with a 68-24 slaying of the Debeque Dragons on Saturday, February 23.
First-quarter intensity, or lack thereof, continued to plague the Lady Titans against a feisty Dragons team.
The two teams traded baskets for most of the first quarter but closed it out with four straight points, including an end-to-end run from Vosburg for a 12-7 lead.
Once that was over it was nothing but net for the Lady Titans, outscoring Debeque 19-4 in the second quarter.
McFarland opened the quarter driving to the hole on the first possession for a basket, and junior MacKenzie Mailly sank a jump shot to put the Lady Titans on top 22-7.
Freshman Shannon Holleran came off the bench to close the second quarter rally with an offensive rebound and basket and then an assist to Vosburg, giving Crested Butte a 31-11 lead at halftime.
Debeque had no hope against Crested Butte’s speed in the second half as the Lady Titans picked up the tempo to wear out the Lady Dragons and go on a 29-9 romp in the third quarter.
Foul trouble spelled the end for Debeque as Crested Butte rolled to the 68-24 win. Coburn led the team with another double-double with 26 points and 27 rebounds. The win capped the Lady Titans’ second undefeated season in league play, and second Mountain League title, in a row.
“I’m happy with the season and hopefully we can have a good post-season,” says Haley.
The post-season is where the Lady Titans will face their biggest challenge as they head into the District Tournament to face teams they have yet to see this year.
Therefore, Haley will spend this week preparing the team for the new level of talent that lies ahead.
“If we go in against one of these tougher teams asleep in the first quarter we’re in trouble,” says Haley.
Fortunately, most of the Lady Titans were on the team last year that went to Districts and Regionals and are more prepared than before.
“They know what it looks like and what it takes and to go in with a different level of intensity,” says Haley. “I think we’re better off this year because we have more of a supporting cast. They’re a year older and I think they know what it means now. They’re consistent in who’s contributing and how they’re contributing.”
The top two teams from the District Tournament go on to Regionals. Haley is looking for a strong showing from her team and to hopefully win the Districts to set up a more favorable Regional match up.
“If we could come out of the District Tournament on top that would be huge,” says Haley. “It could be the difference between playing La Veta or Aguilar at Regionals and La Veta is crushing everyone in their way so far.”