But what they lack in experience, the Miners make up for in spirit, says boys’ basketball coach and TMHS Athletic Director Mike Hughes.
“We have certainly been doing a lot of growing as a team,” Hughes admits of the 2009-10 season. “The boys are working so hard and will play nothing less than their hardest, which makes me incredibly proud,” he adds, noting that this year’s roster is comprised almost entirely of new or novice players, due to the graduation losses of three key starters last year, a few transfers, and some veteran players who simply didn’t go out for the team this year.
The girls’ team is in the same boat, with a team roster consisting of 11 freshman and sophomores and only one senior (who is playing for the first time.) The girls have stepped up to the challenge of making up ground this season, posting their first win two weekends ago in Ouray, winning by a 30-point cushion.
Both teams will have their work cut out for them, however, when they meet Ridgway this Friday for their Homecoming games.
Both Demons squads, although not in the same conference as Telluride, will prove to be stiff competition for the still-green Miners; Ridgway’s boys boast a winning 8-2 record, and are ranked at the top of the District 1 1a charts. The Lady Demons have also proven they’re hard to beat this season, with a 6-4 record. Both teams unseated the Ouray Trojans at last weekend’s Homecoming games in Ouray, with the boys pulling out a nail-biter 62-61 victory over the home squad (ranked #2 in the league) and the girls handily beating the Lady Trojans 50-28.
To achieve that elusive home court win against the Demons, Telluride’s boys will need to be firing from all engines this Friday. “They play well in spurts, but they’re still trying to get back to playing four consistent quarters start to finish,” Hughes says. “When they pull it all together they do quite well, but the success of this team in the near future is going to depend on our kids making a real commitment to playing the full 32 minutes; right now they’re playing only 24 or 25 minutes a quarter, and it’s those other minutes that are costing us. That’s when we dig a hole that we’re not able to come out of.”
The Miners did nearly manage to upend Norwood on Mavericks home turf last weekend, however, getting to halftime with a three-point cushion 33-30. Yet the Mavericks kept the pressure on in the second half, emerging from the fray with a four-point lead 57-53.
“We are making strides each and every game, but have a lot of work to do to get where we would like by the end of the season,” Hughes says.
The Miners’ Homecoming games had originally been scheduled against Dove Creek High School this Saturday, however Dove Creek has since had to drop their boys’ basketball program due to a lack of participation. The Miners will instead play Ridgway at home on Friday for Homecoming. The Lady Miners will still play Dove Creek on Saturday as a finishing touch to Homecoming week, with the THS Homecoming dance to follow Saturday night.
Friday’s Homecoming festivities start at 4 p.m. with the JV Boys, followed at 5:30 p.m. by the Varsity Girls then the Varsity Boys at 7 p.m.
THS Girls Varsity will play at 5 p.m. against Dove Creek on Saturday.