TELLURIDE – There was an eerie sense of déjà vu in the air on Saturday, when Telluride faced off against their toughest league rivals, Ignacio, at home.
Earlier in the season, on Jan. 17, the Miners eked out a last minute, one-point win over the Bobcats. As the clocked ticked down on Saturday, Feb. 14, it seemed a similar finish was in the works. But unfortunately for the Telluride team, this time the ball would fall in their rivals favor, handing the Miners only their second loss of the season, 55-54.
“You couldn’t have been a part of a more high pressure, intense, fun environment,” said THS boys’ basketball coach Mike Hughes of the Valentine’s Day match-up.
Telluride senior and star Mike Matthews stormed the court with 20 points on the night, followed by fellow senior Ian MacCracken with 12 and sophomore Kevin Doody with 11.
The loss ended the Miners’ 14-game win streak, but coach Hughes said the team’s determination hasn’t been impeded as they prepare for games this weekend, Friday in Nucla and Saturday at home against Dove Creek.
“We will learn a lot from the game and hopefully that will help us with our upcoming games,” Hughes said. The Miners are ranked second in the league, just below Ignacio.
Telluride’s exciting Saturday game followed closely on the heels of a victory over Norwood, 79-49, in which Matthews and Carl Schroedl piled up 20 points apiece, followed by MacCracken with 11 and Doody with 10. Norwood kept it close through the first half, but Telluride pulled away in the second to climb to a healthy lead.
“It is always a tough win to get, and one that you are very glad to get when you can,” Hughes said of beating the well-coached Norwood team.
The Miners’ junior varsity also posted an exciting win this weekend, beating a strong and talented Ignacio JV squad on Saturday, 38-36. “The JV game was probably the highest intensity game we have had all year with that group,” said Hughes. “They have made fantastic progress and show great signs for the future. To finish the season strong like that was great for those kids.”
The district tournament is scheduled for Feb. 27-28 in Dove Creek.