NUCLA – Four local schools kicked off the high school basketball season last weekend at the Mountain Shootout tournament in Nucla.
The Ridgway boys took the championship match on Saturday from the Norwood Mavericks, 69-51. In a bit of revenge for Norwood, the Maverick girls outscored their Demon counterparts, 49-42, in the championship game.
The Ouray Trojans opened their season at the Shootout with both teams suffering tough losses to Norwood. The Lady Trojans were clobbered by the Lady Mavericks, 68-11, on Friday night, while the Trojan boys were doubled up by the Mavs, 88-44.
Ouray Athletic Director Bernie Pearce noted that both Norwood teams are entering the season “well-tuned and motivated to take up where they left off.” Norwood’s boys are fresh off a very successful football campaign, which saw them reach the state semi-finals. And the Norwood girls, who took a 21-3 record to the state tournament last year, also made it to state as volleyball players this fall.
In Saturday’s games for third place, Nucla’s girls beat Ouray in a close one, 38-35. And the Ouray boys defeated Nucla’s Mustangs, 52-26.
The Trojans are essentially starting over, new Ouray boys’ coach Craig Kaminsky told The Watch in an email. “After losing four seniors and their head coach from the 2010-2011 team, this year's Trojan squad features a new coaching staff and a bevy of young players currently working hard both to learn a new offense and play together as a team,” he wrote.
“In the Shootout, the Trojans ran into a tough Norwood squad on Friday and were undone by a cold shooting night and an inability to slow down the Mavericks' offense. However, the team met early Saturday to review Friday's game and came out focused and fired up in the consolation game against Nucla. The team responded very well. The offense was much improved, with better ball movement and improved shot selection. More importantly, the team committed to playing lockdown defense against Nucla, resulting in a great overall defensive effort and keeping the Mustangs below 10 points per quarter.
“The Trojans were led by senior Captain Steven Duce and senior Kyle Kinsel, both of whom provided strong leadership and focus to this young team during crucial moments throughout the weekend. Junior swingman Jacob Fedel was the team's top scorer, pouring a team-high of 13 points on Friday and 23 Saturday.”
Trojan girls’ team coach Shawn Carroll sent this report following the Shootout:
“We played our first game of the year with a young team – half of the team are freshmen! We played an experienced, well-coached Norwood team that made a deep run in last year's state playoffs. They beat us badly, showing us how the game should be played. We had over 30 turnovers! Saturday, we had a team meeting and walk-through prior to the game. We got the kids to relax and be patient offensively, and not panic against a press. Lost by four to Nucla, and probably should have won.
“I was happy with our play on Saturday. We still had too many turnovers, but cut them by half. This year is a big change, especially for our freshmen. Stepping up to the varsity level and being expected to contribute is not easy. We also are throwing an entirely new offensive and defensive scheme at them.
“We will get there! I expect good things this year!”