Titan girls basketball season ends at Districts last weekend

“We made more out of the season and the squad than I think anybody expected”

By Than Acuff

The Crested Butte Titans girls basketball season came to a tough end with back-to-back losses at the District tournament last weekend.

It was tough because the Titans had a great close to their regular season, winning four of their final five games to finish 9-10. They faced Bayfield in an extra game to see who would move onto the District tournament and took down Bayfield 41-31 on Tuesday, February 20 to earn a spot in the post season.

They had their hands full in the post season, though. While the Titans are technically a 3A team, they play most of their season against 2A teams due to their league structure. Once they hit the post season, they jump into 3A.

They opened the District tournament against the Centauri Falcons, the number one seed in the District tournament and a top five team in the state in 3A.

“They’re a fantastic team,” says coach Anna Bressnick. “Tall, fast and fundamentally sound all the way around.”

It was no surprise what the Titans were in for so Bressnick just made sure they focused on areas they could control.

“I just told them, be as solid as we can defensively, control the things we can control,” says Bressnick.

The Falcons jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and then held the Titans scoreless in the second quarter to build a 25-4 lead by halftime.

With Centauri’s height advantage, Bressnick called on her taller players from the bench to get some minutes in the second half and they did what they could to keep battling. The third quarter provided some bright spots as Bressnick saw her team adjust as directed.

“We were able to space the floor out more and moved the ball better on offense,” says Bressnick.

The Titans eventually fell 49-12 which sent them to face the Ignacio Bobcats on Saturday, February 24 for a chance at third place in the District tournament.

Bressnick and assistant coach Ethan Bacani had a plan in place for Ignacio and called on senior Annie Collins to lead the team.

“They run everything on offense through their post player and she’s their high scorer so we told Annie, this is your game, we need you to disrupt her,” says Bressnick. “She was up to the task and battled with her every second of the entire game.”

Despite the height advantage of the Ignacio post player, Collins denied her any room inside and the Titans smothered Ignacio’s players to disrupt their flow and crashed the boards for rebounds to deny Ignacio second chances. Meanwhile, free throws from Molly Miller and Lexi Pickering and another bucket from Miller held Ignacio to a slim five-point lead. Miller scored to open the second quarter, but an Ignacio run late in the first half paced them to a 30-13 lead by halftime.

“We were able to limit their scoring opportunities most of the first half and get into more of a flow on offense,” says Bressnick.

Despite Pickering, Collins and Miller all playing with three fouls, the Titans matched Ignacio bucket for bucket in the third quarter, but the deficit was too big to make a dent in their lead and the Titans eventually fell to the Bobcats 51-30 bringing an end to their season.

“We saw some competition we haven’t seen this year,” say Bressnick. 

The Titans finished the year 10-12 overall and two spots away from making it to Regionals. Given they had just two seniors, a new coach and a host of younger players, Bressnick looks back at the season as a success and looks forward to the future.

“I wasn’t sure what we were getting into and what we were working with when I started, but the season far exceeded my expectations,” says Bressnick. “We made more out of the season and the squad than I think anybody expected. There are positive things ahead of us.”

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