TELLURIDE – The Telluride High School basketball teams have overcome their first post-season hurdle, as both the girls and boys teams triumphed over adversity at last weekend’s District tournament and are now Regional Tournament bound.
Despite scoring lapses during which the Miners couldn’t seem to find a way to the basket, both boys and girls teams fought back to win berths to the upcoming Regional Tournament, taking place this weekend in Alamosa.
The boys are currently ranked #1 in the 2A District 3 seeding, while the girls go into the Regional Tournament ranked third.
THS Boys Set Sights High for State Tourney Bid
With a commanding 16-4 overall record, the Miners established their supremacy on the league level: Their next challenge awaits, as they gear up for their upcoming Regional matchup against high-ranked Sanford.
The road to the Regional tournament has not been without hardship, head coach and THS/TMS athletic director Mike Hughes attests. Their most recent setback came at the hands of Ignacio Friday, March 1, at the District Tournament in Cortez, during a game that culminated with a second-half scoring drought that left the Miners out in the cold
“It was a difficult set of circumstances the guys had to break through,” Coach Hughes admits of their first game of the District Tournament last weekend. Although the Miners started out on the right foot, with Telluride coming in at just two points behind the Bobcats at halftime thanks in part to Junior Connor Courter leading the offensive charge, Telluride couldn’t find the net in the second half. “There was this sense of exasperation, wondering when the ball was going to fall into the bucket. We just couldn’t seem to catch a break,” Hughes said of the second half, which ended with Ignacio ahead 49-33.
Telluride hadn’t finished a single game this season with less than 50 points scored, so the loss came as a surprise to the team. But that didn’t stop them from turning the tables on Ridgway the following day, beating their rivals 55-51.
With the win, Telluride secured the top seed going into the Regional tournament.
The boys travel to Alamosa this Friday, where they’ll find a good match against their first-round challengers Sanford. If they win, they will go into the final game Saturday, where there will be a State tournament berth on the line.
“It will be a tough task for us, but we’re really looking forward to the opportunity,” Hughes says of the upcoming Regional tournament.
Girls Succeed in Claiming Regional Tournament Invite
If the Telluride Miners’ boys’ team had a rough road to this year’s Regional tournament, the school’s girls’ team had a downright grueling journey into the post-season. Sporting an 8-10 record on the season, the girls had to sharpen their competitive edge in recent games to continue their season.
The Lady Miners found their groove Tuesday, Feb. 26, with a 55-42 win over Nucla on the Mustangs’ home turf in the District “Pigtail” tournament – winning a District Tournament berth in the process. The girls kept the momentum going into Friday, when they met rivals Dolores for a tight-played match that saw tough defense from THS players Sierra Sandoval, Carson Brumley and Erin Pihl. Telluride came up with the 50-46 victory, thanks in part to 17 points apiece from the team’s high scorers Morgan Mackie and Shelby Brier.
In the next day’s game against Ignacio, the girls were cursed with the same scoring famine as their male teammates had experienced in their previous day’s game against the Bobcats. The Miners were down by double-digits at the half, after scoring only five points in the first two quarters. According to Head Coach Michael Lee, most teams would have mentally packed up and gone home after suffering the same first-half fate: The Lady Miners, however, had other plans. They picked up the pace, beat the no-scoring curse, and actually outscored the Bobcats in the second half. Although they ran out of time to post the win, the performance spoke to what the Lady Miners are capable of, Lee said.
The weekend split gave Telluride a ticket to this weekend’s Regional Tournament, where they’ll meet Evangelical Christian in Alamosa this Friday. It is only the third time in more than 50 years that the Telluride Lady Miners basketball team has made it this far into the post-season, Lee says.
“In spite of the ups and downs, we seem to be gelling at the right time and the team is feeling good about going into the weekend,” he says of the girls’ next stop at the Regional tourney.