Titans girls hoops look to build off last year’s success

New coach, new players

By Than Acuff

After 12 years of losing records, the Crested Butte Titans girls basketball team closed out last year 14-8 finishing in fourth place in their league and made it to the second round of the post season before being eliminated by Highland. It was coach Amanda Reynolds’s third year at the helm, but Reynolds has now stepped down as the coach, handing the reins over to Anna Bressnick.

“I’m jumping right in,” says Bressnick. “It’s going to be a big commitment but I’m excited about it.”

Bressnick grew up playing in the driveway with the boys in the neighborhood and in high school but stopped short of playing in college. Although, she admits, there’s no shortage of love for the game.

“I didn’t quite have the skills or support to play in college, but I love the game,” says Bressnick. “I’m a big sports fan and college basketball is always on in my house. I’m a student of the game.”

Bressnick has Ethan Bacani as her assistant coach. Bacani played for the Titans back in his high school days and continued playing the game while at college and has been part of the Titans basketball program for several years now.

“He’s been very helpful and knows so much about the game,” says Bressnick.

Bressnick and Bacani have a small crew to work with this season with just 14 girls out for the team, that is now down to 13 due to an injury to one of their juniors. The team is led by two seniors, Annie Collins and Lexi Pickering, who have taken the bull by the horns prior to the official start to the season.

“They were at every open gym, often showing up early and the last to leave,” says Bressnick. “They’ve been helpful to the girls and to me. I can already see their leadership is fantastic.”

The team is young but Bressnick looks to build off their inherent athleticism as the year progresses. They started off with fundamentals and fitness and toward the end of the first week, started implementing their foundation for their offense.

“We want to put the players in the best position for them to succeed,” says Bressnick. “We’ll start off with the basics for our first game and build our offensive structure as a foundation and work off that.”

One key thing that Bressnick has noticed sits outside the Xs and Os of basketball, and she feels it will help them as they make their way through the long season.

“There’s a good bond among all of them, they all click,” says Bressnick. “I think we’re going to be scrappy, hustle and heart can go a long way and that’s going to serve us very well.”

The Titans season opens at home when they host the Telluride Miners on Friday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. 

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