Entering the Class 1A District 1 Tournament, the Dove Creek High School girls basketball team was shooting for nothing less than a championship.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, a district title was not to be, yet by virtue of their second-place finish in the tournament, the team advanced to regionals.
Bulldogs crush North Park
Opening the District Tournament against North Park on Feb. 28 in Olathe, the Bulldogs sprinted to an easy win, dispatching of their overmatched opponents 61-38.
Key to the Bulldogs’ victory was a solid opening quarter that ended with Dove Creek leading 13-2.
Things continued going well for the Bulldogs in the second quarter as they expanded their lead to 25-7 entering the half.
“We were able to play our game and play tough defense in the first half,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Jim Buffington. “That allowed us to get out on the fast break.”
Especially impressive for the Bulldogs was the play of seniors Madison Young and Jessica Guynes, who combined to score 38 total points.
Young scored 21 while Guynes scored 18.
“Those two gals were pretty strong in that game offensively,” said Buffington. “We were able to get the ball inside and we had a pretty nice inside/outside game.”
With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to the District 1 Championship.
Bulldogs fall to Norwood
Facing off against Norwood with the district championship on the line, the Bulldogs were unable to find their magic, suffering a 40-33 defeat at the hands of their San Juan Basin League foes.
Early on in the hotly contested contest, things went Dove Creek’s way as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-9 lead after eight minutes.
Continuing to push the pace throughout the second quarter, the Bulldogs built an 18-13 halftime advantage.
“In that first half we were able to get out and run,” said Buffington. “We didn’t’ convert all of our fast breaks, but we were able to get the ball down the floor.”
Unable to maintain their pace in the third quarter however, the Bulldogs hit a rut as Norwood turned a five-point deficit into a 27-20 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
“Things started clicking for them,” said Buffington. “We still had our same type of game going, but we didn’t convert any shots offensively.”
Although Dove Creek battled throughout the fourth quarter, a late run by Norwood put the game away.
Senior Jessica Guynes led the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points while junior Ana Lee chipped in seven.
By virtue of their second place finish at Districts, the Bulldogs advance to Regionals, where they will face off against La Veta High School on March 8 in Grand Junction.
If the Bulldogs beat LaVeta, they will move on to the Colorado State Tournament, which will be held in Denver, Mar. 13-15.