Lady Titans earn fourth place finish during state tournament

Talk of the tournament after opening day upset

The Crested Butte Lady Titans made their presence known on the opening day of the 2008 1A state tournament held in the Cadet Coliseum at the Air Force Academy.




The Crested Butte Lady Titans made their presence known on the opening day of the 2008 1A state tournament held in the Cadet Coliseum at the Air Force Academy.
The Lady Titans entered the tournament the number six seed and faced the number three Haxtun Fighting Bulldogs on Thursday, March 13.
Haxtun is no stranger to the state tournament having qualified the two years prior and finishing as high as third place.
“They’re the real deal,” says Lady Titans coach MaryMike Haley. “They were looking to go to the championship round.”
It turns out, they were looking too far ahead as they ran into a brick wall in the Lady Titans in the first round.
Crested Butte was unfazed by the pageantry and pressure of playing its first game in the state tournament in the team’s history. In addition, a wave of illness that took a firm hold of several Lady Titans players prior to the weekend, fell by the wayside temporarily as they prepared for their tournament debut.
Despite battling a serious case of the flu, senior Emma Coburn was rejuvenated once she walked onto the floor of the Cadet Coliseum.
“I was so excited and I got this overwhelming feeling,” says Coburn. “I couldn’t wait to play. I think the whole team was psyched to play.”
Haley and assistant coach Paul Holder formulated a game plan and the team responded by implementing it flawlessly.
“We knew they (Haxtun) didn’t press and that they weren’t used to ball pressure,” says Haley.
After falling behind 10-2, the Lady Titans shifted gears on defense to pressure the Haxtun guards from end-to-end.
In addition, the Lady Titans controlled the boards. Coburn pulled down 20 rebounds and juniors Jessie Frame and Kaitlin Councilman each had six rebounds to offer up several fast break opportunities for the Lady Titans.
The run-and-gun play of Crested Butte wore down Haxtun through the first two quarters and the Lady Titans climbed back into the game to take a 22-19 lead by halftime.
Crested Butte opened the second half with six unanswered points and outscored the Fighting Bulldogs 14-9 in the third quarter to build a 36-28 lead.
The fatigue on Haxtun’s side set in for good in the fourth quarter as their shooters were ice cold from the floor throwing up shots in an effort to make a comeback.
Meanwhile, the Lady Titans’ running game continued to produce quality shots and forced Haxtun to foul in an effort to stop the onslaught.
Crested Butte built an 11-point lead three minutes into the fourth quarter and never looked back closing the game out with seven straight points for a 52-36 win.
Coburn led the team with 23 points followed by junior Emma Vosburg with 21 points.
“I was really proud with how they dealt with the pressure,” says Haley. “We just played phenomenal defense. We were able to frustrate them enough that they just couldn’t shoot the ball.”
The win sent a shockwave through the auditorium and the Lady Titans soon became the talk of the tournament with the opening round upset.
Unfortunately, once the adrenaline wore off, the team’s illness set in two-fold as they took the floor on Friday, March 14 to face the Eads Eagles.
Eads is the defending state tournament champion and entered this year as the number two seeded team.
Eads took notice of the Lady Titans and prepared accordingly, determined to shut down both Coburn and junior Emma Vosburg.
Crested Butte looked to run on the Eagles just as they had against Haxtun but the Lady Titans were noticeably worn down in the opening quarter of the game.
Eads opened the game on fire playing a well-run half court offense with their star post player as the key ingredient.
Any time the Lady Titans collapsed to double team inside, the Eads all-star would kick the ball back out to a wing for the eight foot jumper.
Furthermore, Eads had one, sometimes two players, designated to box Coburn out on every rebound opportunity.
On the other end of the court, Eads’ defense was brutal, meeting Vosburg at half court with a double team and then collapsing on Coburn inside with another double team.
The combination allowed Eads to control the tempo of the game as they took a 20-4 lead in the first quarter and carried their momentum the entire game to finish with a 57-25 win over the Lady Titans.
“I get a lot of rebounds and we run our fast break from them,” explains Coburn. “That’s a big part of our game and we couldn’t do that so we couldn’t tire them out.”
Councilman led the Lady Titans with eight points followed by Sydney Loyed with six points. Vosburg scored five in the game and Coburn was held scoreless.
“That’s a quality team and they just shut us down,” says Haley.
“The whole season we’ve never played two intense games back-to-back,” adds Coburn. “I think we were all super-drained.”
Eads went on to win the state title for the second year in a row.
The loss left the Lady Titans with a battle for third place on Saturday against the McClave Cardinals who entered the post season the number one team but were upset in the second round.
The Lady Titans played McClave tight the first two quarters trading baskets and doing some damage at the free throw line hitting eight of 10 free throws in the first quarter.
The Cardinals took a nine-point lead midway through the second quarter until Vosburg turned it on to score eight straight points.
Junior Allie McFarland hit two free throws to close the Cardinal lead down to two points but McClave closed the quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 33-21 lead by halftime.
The Lady Titans tank ran dry in the third quarter as McClave forced turnovers and continued to push for baskets with an explosive breakout.
The crushing blow came with the Lady Titans shooting troubles as they shot 18 percent from the field in the game.
“None of our shots was falling and that was super-frustrating,” says Coburn.
The Cardinals outscored Crested Butte 17-6 in the third quarter to take a 50-27 lead. Crested Butte refused to give up in its final quarter of the state tournament and outscored the Cardinals 14-11 in the fourth quarter with Coburn closing her high school career with an offensive rebound and a basket for the Lady Titans final two points of the 61-41 loss.
Vosburg finished with 19 points and Coburn scored nine points, grabbed 18 rebounds, nine steals and had six blocks in the game.
“I was really proud of them in that they gave it their all,” says Haley.
The Lady Titans ended their season fourth place in the state tournament with an overall season record of 21-5.
In the end, Coburn is proud of the team and everything they accomplished this season.
“It was amazing and getting into the final four surpassed everyone’s expectations,” says Coburn. “Winning the Haxtun game was the best feeling ever. Being a senior it was bittersweet but it was the best season I could have asked for.”

Check Also

Big fourth quarter leads to Titans lacrosse win

Home game Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m. By Than Acuff   The Crested Butte …