After suffering their second loss of the season to a team from Utah, the Dove Creek Bulldogs girls basketball team has to feel good about leaving the Beehive State for the rest of the year.
Playing their second game of the season against Grand County, the Bulldogs hung tough before dropping a hotly contested contest 45-41 in Moab on Jan. 28.
The loss represented the second of the year for the Bulldogs, who lost to Monticello early in the season.
Key to the Bulldogs’ defeat was the ability of Grand County to limit the effectiveness of Dove Creek senior Madison Young, who, fighting double-teams throughout the night, scored 10 points.
“(Madison) is getting a reputation of being tough in the paint,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Jim Buffington. “They doubled down on her. When they stop her, we need to have somebody else step up.”
Against Grand County, that somebody else turned out to be senior Shelbie Buffington, who, playing by far her finest game of the season, scored a team-high 16 points.
“Shelbie finally found her range,” said Buffington.
Even with Knuckles’ outstanding contribution however, the Bulldogs were unable to pull things out as they were outscored 12-11 in a back and forth quarter that saw outstanding play on both sides.
“It was a game where the lead was back and forth a lot,” said Buffington. “You got the feeling that whoever had the final run was going to win it.”
Especially problematic for Dove Creek was the offensive rebounding prowess of Grand County, which pulled down 15 offensive boards during the contest.
With their record now at 10-2 on the year, the Bulldogs will return to the practice floor before returning to action on Feb. 4 in Durango.
“We’ve got rebounding drills on our practice schedule,” said Buffington. “That’s an area that we need to improve.”