Lady Bears win districts

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 5:13 PM
Journal/Sam Green
Cortney Brunner falls backwards after being tripped up while pulling down a rebound with teammate Mindy McCracken on Friday night against Ridgway.
Journal/Sam Green
Lexi Atkinson looks for a shot under the basket Friday night against Ridgway at Montezuma-Cortez High School.

The No. 1-seed Dolores Lady Bears basketball team crushed the No. 4 and No. 3 seeds Ridgway and Telluride, 52-31 and 62-31, en route to the 2A San Juan Basin League district tournament championship at Montezuma-Cortez High School on Friday and Saturday.

Dolores (15-6, 10-3 2A SJBL) grabbed a 30-17 halftime lead over Ridgway and cruised to victory. The Lady Bears swept the Lady Demons 3-0 on the season.

Cortney Brunner led Dolores with 17 points, while Kaitlyn McGee and Cheyenne McCoy had 14 and 11 points respectively.

On Saturday afternoon, the Lady Bears sought revenge against third-seeded Telluride after the Miners upset them 32-30 in Dolores two weeks earlier.

The Lady Bears came out inspired and scored the first five points of the game. Dolores increased its early lead to 10-2, but Keelin Nickerson gave Sonja Erickson a hard push, while on the ground, and was called for a technical foul. Erickson made both free throws and Josephine Bush sank two more, and it was a 10-6 game.

However, that was the only drama in the game, as the Miners never challenged again. Mindy McCracken got inside for the deuce before the first quarter buzzer sounded, and the Lady Bears led 12-6 after one. Dolores would turn McCracken’s hoop into a 16-0 run and a 26-6 lead in the second quarter. Erickson stopped the bloodshed with a 3-pointer, but the Lady Bears went into the locker room up 29-11.

It didn’t get any better for the Miners in the third. Telluride was outscored 16-7 in the session and trailed 45-18 going into the fourth quarter. Senior Jaycee Gallaher had six points in third frame and a 2A SJBL district title was well in the Lady Bears grasp.

Dolores High School coach John McHenry put in his reserves at the 3-minute mark, and the Lady Bears coasted to a 62-31 win.

DHS had a well-balanced attack with everybody getting on the scoreboard. McGee had a game-high 16 points, and Cydney McHenry added 12. McCoy had eight points, and Brunner and Gallaher each recorded seven.

“It’s awesome,” Brunner said about the win. “We’re so flexible that we can run so many different things, like defensive and offensive. It really helps out towards our advantage. Having a deep bench is awesome.”

Emily Langley led Telluride with 10 points. The Miners were without the services of starters Sarah Wontrobski and Emy Ludwig. The duo, who were playing in the state hockey tournament for Telluride, combined for 20 points in the Miners 32-30 win at Dolores on Feb. 11.

“This win is kind of bittersweet. Yes, we got the win, but they are minus both their ball handlers tonight,” John McHenry said. “We looked forward to avenging that game, so we’ll take it this way, than none at all.”

Dolores will stay close to home when they travel to Durango High School to face Swink (12-9) on Friday at 4 p.m.

“That is huge to be as close as we are,” John McHenry said about regionals in Durango. “We can sleep in our own beds, have a normal routine of a school day on Friday. We’ll go over there and get ready.”

If the Lady Bears beat Swink, then they’ll play the winner of Hayden and Custer County on Saturday at 1 p.m. The season ends with a loss.

“That’s probably the best part of the weekend is that we can go to Durango,” Brunner said. “More of our fans can come and watch. We’ve played in that gym multiple times, so we’re familiar with everything.”

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