Pope, BHS put Mancos away early
Written by: Joel Priest
In terms of size disparity, Joey Webb probably couldn’t help feeling a little ‘low’ last Friday.
Figuratively and literally; most of his best drives to the hole against Pagosa Springs ended ‘short’ of expectations, and usually underneath the outstretched hands of 6’5” Garek Erskine.
“I almost felt bad,” the senior Pirate center said after PSHS’ 65-38 commandeering of BHS Gymnasium in 3A Intermountain League play, “when I even got the one he double-pumped on.”
“We just came out really rattled,” said Bayfield’s senior point guard, conceding some possible intimidation. “I think maybe we were too hyped for it, and we just needed to settle down, play our game.”
So in preparation for tonight’s opponent, Centauri —Webb simply returned to his element Tuesday night in Mancos…running the offense.
“Well I’ve been waiting for my shot to fall all season, and it finally fell tonight,” he said of canning his first two tries for treys, and netting 10 of his game-high 14 points in the first quarter—after which the Wolverines, leading 20-9, had already silenced the Mancos fans.
“Felt good!” said Pope, after a 53-28 victory which truthfully wasn’t that close. “Mancos is a lower-level [2A] team, but we came with intensity to beat ’em because we’ve been looking for that win.”
“Geoff was shooting the ball really well off the get-go, and I think that got us focused in on the jump shot a little bit,” said head coach Bill Hesford, “where we need to be focused on getting the ball inside—like we did at the end of the game. That helped us, to close it out.”
More like close out each half. With Bayfield scoring 12 points in the second and fourth quarters, posts Preston Hardy and Tyler Kerr combined for eight apiece in each of them, and both Wolverines finished with11 points and ruffled the Blue Jays’ feathers a bit as well.
Kerr was fouled on a successful basket 2:59 before halftime, putting BHS up 28-11. His free throw did not fall, but before the attempt MHS’ Wyatt Cox was tagged with a technical foul and Hardy capitalized with two [he’d finish 5-of-6 at the line] distraction-free makes.
“Disciplined, waiting for the inside looks that we wanted,” Hesford said of the painters’ production. “The jump shots were there, but that’s not our game; we need to get it inside. So, a good ‘comeback’ [from the loss to Pagosa] win; needed to take care of this tonight and we did.”
Reserve guard Conner Kennedy’s lay-in seconds before the buzzer maintained a 17-point (32-15) pad going into intermission, and Pope put an early punctuation on the triumph with baskets beginning, and ending BHS’ third-quarter output—and collected a rebound of a missed Nigel Henry FT with 0:02 left.
Reserve Trevor Gabbard polished off the night with a slick, double-clutch layup—off an accidental deflection to him while he was rushing in for weak-side rebounding duty—underneath a Jay.
“We just needed to get this win, so we came into it ready to play…and went after it,” Webb said.
Webb finished with three points, Gabbard four, Kennedy and Dillon Hoselton two each, and forward John Fisher six as Bayfield improved to 2-10 overall (0-2 IML) prior to hosting CHS (9-4, 1-2).
“We’re just looking forward to coming out hard against them and doing the same thing,” said Pope, also looking ahead to tomorrow’s visit from Alamosa (10-3, 2-0 entering tonight vs. PSHS).
“We’re going to change defenses, make them react,” Hesford said. “And we’re going to play pressure basketball, play from the inside out the way that we did tonight…take care of the basketball.”
Senior forward/center Branson Mitchell led Mancos (6-6 overall) with eight points, Brandon Hood-Farley scored six, and Cox and Henry each dropped in five.