Hard to imagine a 15- point victory serving as wakeup call, but for the Dove Creek Bulldogs girls basketball team, that is exactly what a recent blowout victory may have been.
Playing in Dolores on Dec. 17, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead before briefly letting up during a 57-32 win in a game that was closer than the scoreboard might indicate.
Looking every bit the part of an undefeated team early on, the Bulldogs, led by seven first-quarter points for senior Corissa Guynes, jumped out to a 17-2 after one.
Beginning the second quarter however, it became clear that Dolores was not going to go down without a fight.
Led by senior guard Brianna Schwartz, the Bears clawed their way back, cutting into the Dove Creek lead several times, before entering the half with the score 28-13.
“We know when we come to Dolores, it’s going to be a knock down, drag out,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Jim Buffington. “I guess we got complacent because they came back and made it a ball game.”
Early in the third quarter, things stayed tight as Schwartz repeatedly diced through the Bulldogs’ defense to score.
“We knew she was going to do that,” said Buffington of Schwartz.
Eventually, the inside play of Bulldogs senior Madison Young changed the course of the game however, as the senior scored seven of her team high fifteen points during the third quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 43-21 lead, the Bulldogs found their form, scoring from everywhere on the floor in route to their 57-32 victory.
“Having a balanced attack is a great advantage for us,” said Corissa Guynes. “Last year, it was mostly just the posts doing all the work. This year, the guards have really stepped up too.”
In all, Dove Creek’s guards combined for 38 points, led by 15 points for Corissa Guynes, 13 points for Shelbie Knuckles and 10 points for Jessica Guynes.
With their record now at 5-0, the Bulldogs will match up at home against Grand County (Dec. 19) before taking time off during Christmas break.
“We need to improve on our passes and getting open,” said Corissa Guynes, describing her team’s goals for upcoming games.
“We cannot be complacent,” added Buffington. “If we can’t keep our focus for four quarters, that may be our downfall.”