BHS boys aim for 100 at Dolores
Written by: Joel Priest
Hot shooting bodes well for home opener Jan. 17
By Joel Priest
Times sports correspondent
A spotlight highlighted each Bear in Larry Schwartz’s starting basketball lineup Tuesday night in Dolores.
But like the full moon shining outside, it ultimately served to change the visiting Bayfield boys into…well, were-Wolverines.
Six players contributed to a 19-10 lead through the first quarter, seven did so in the second as the lead ballooned to 42-16, and eight boys scored in the third as BHS carried a 70-21 advantage with them into the blowout’s closing eight minutes.
“Right now we’ve got a ‘team,’” said head coach Randy Stephens. “Everybody’s contributing and everybody’s doing what we’re asking out of ’em.”
And though Stephens’ first-stringers sat, they often didn’t for long as their backups were possibly even hungrier to test the limits of the Dolores scoreboards. Sophomore guard Brody McGhehey, who’d ended the third with a three-pointer, began the fourth quarter with a baseline jumper—in front of a sizable Dolores student section—off an assist from senior guard Geoff Pope.
Sophomore forward Noah Loutherback then booked six of his nine points, junior guard Conner Kennedy five of his 11, and McGhehey five of his eight.
“Well we learned that you’ve got to move the ball a lot quicker,” said sophomore guard Taed Heydinger, alluding to resistance encountered in Aztec at the Tigers’ Rumble in ‘The Jungle’ [Jan. 9-11]. “Just good ball movement…all-around teamwork. And hitting shots and being on the boards!”
Heydinger ended up leading the bench brigade with 14 points, five coming in the fourth and two of those via free throws after a technical foul with 4:16 left against Dolores’ Mikeal Ford (the high Bear with 10 points), making the score 82-26.
“We did a lot of shooting practice, and we came out with the energy—we wanted to win by a lot, come out with the energy to stun them,” said Pope (11 points off the bench), who sank two freethrows in the second quarter. “And we hit our shots; we did what we needed to do.”
The Bears almost hit a new level of low when Wolverine Luke Webb (five points) swished what appeared to be a buzzer-beating three, 33 seconds after Ford collided with a teammate, crashed hard to the floor and was helped off favoring his left elbow, hip and knee.
The shot was ultimately disallowed, but nothing could be done about Bayfield’s 94-26 rampage.
“We play tremendous competition throughout the season, and it’s nice to be battle-tested,” said Stephens, acknowledging BHS’ 72-46 domination of 3A Bloomfield, N.M., and losses to 5A Fruita Monument (73-70) and 4A Farmington, N.M., Piedra Vista (61-47) at the Aztec tourney.
“Learned from every game we’ve played, and the kids have gotten better—that’s the main thing.”
Starters Trevor Gabbard, Preston Hardy and Zane Phelps each scored 10 for the Wolverines (4-4), Trey Lange scored four and Dillon Hoselton two.
“Now we’re getting into the meat of our schedule, playing some conference games,” Coach Stephens said. “The other nice thing is that we actually get to play at HOME. It will be nice to play Friday night against Monte Vista…step up and put on a really good show—show everyone that we are for real. Not a one- or two-shot wonder…good, consistent basketball.”
A ‘receiving votes’ team in this week’s CHSAANow.com poll, the Monte Vista Pirates stand 7-2 overall, with their only losses courtesy of 3A Taos, N.M. (currently 12-2 overall), and 2A Sanford (currently 7-1).
“Everyone’s really stoked…anticipating the first home game,” said Pope. “I think the energy’s going to be really sweet in the gym—it’s going to be packed, it’s going to be awesome!”
“I think if we keep the same energy, come with the same intensity, everyone’s going to do well.”
“Oh it’ll be fun!” agreed Heydinger, of the designated ‘PURPLE-OUT’ date. “With all the community there, it’ll be great to finally play at home!”