Hoping to pick up two key league wins last weekend, the Dolores High School boys basketball team fell short of its expectations. The Bears did guarantee that they will finish the regular season with a winning record however, thereby accomplishing one of their preseason goals.
Serving as the high point of the team’s weekend contests was the team’s game against Norwood on Feb. 8, which resulted in a convincing 55-37 road victory.
Dolores got off to a slow start and trailed 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, but the team seized back momentum in the second quarter and led 26-22 heading into halftime. Thanks in large part to staunch defense throughout the third quarter, the Bears extended their lead to 42-27 entering the fourth quarter before coasting to an easy victory.
Senior Justin Purkat drilled four 3-point field goals scored a season-high 33 points to lead Dolores, while junior Tristan Swagerty chipped in 8 points and junior Dakota Smith and junior Thaddeus Lee each scored 6. Norwood was led in scoring by JD Brantingham and Donovan Dowden, who each scored 13. Two days after defeating Norwood, Dolores traveled to face Telluride in a key San Juan Basin League matchup and lost, 59-43. Swagerty led Dolores with 17 points and 17 rebounds and Smith scored 9 points and 12 rebounds. Reed Schacht scored 19 points to pace Telluride.
Now 10-8 overall and 7-5 in the SJBL, Dolores will return to the practice court in anticipation of a home matchup against Mancos, which will take place on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. The game will mark a rematch of an overtime classic between the two rivals earlier this season that resulted in a 73-66 overtime victory for Dolores.