Titans keep ’em clapping in win over Delta
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Coal Ridge’s boys basketball team and its student fans have a ritual. From the opening tip until the opposing team scores its first bucket, the Titans’ non-starters stand and clap repeatedly. Up in the bleachers, the student section does the same thing.
On Thursday, Coal Ridge’s bench and a sizable and rowdy group of student fans got quite the workout. Scoring the game’s first 20 points and holding off hard-charging Delta down the stretch, the Titans scored a 75-63 win.
“That’s a thing I got from my school,” Coal Ridge coach Paul Harvey said. “We brought it back in the middle of last year. Some officials tell them to sit down, so you either clap until the other team scores or until the officials tell you to sit down. They really fed off the crowd. We got that energy going. … It’s not anything to show up the other team. It’s just for us.”
Brandon Bates came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers during that 20-point run. Tyler Guettler threw in five points and Darik Brown scored four as the Titans put the Panthers in quite the early hole.
“We definitely came out strong,” said Guettler, who finished the night with a team-high 17 points. “It’s nice to have a nice crowd, with everybody out here watching the game. It was definitely a lot of fun.”
Brown finished with 13 points, McCade Cox 12 and Rafael Fabela and Bates ended up with eight apiece as the Titans leveled their record at 1-1.
Coal Ridge opened the season with a 65-60 loss to Battle Mountain on Tuesday.
“We took care of the ball tonight,” Harvey said. “Tuesday night, we had 32 turnovers. We had more turnovers than a bakery.”
Delta’s Eli Baier led all scorers with 18 points on Thursday. Two of those points came on a third-quarter dunk that fired up the fans who made the drive to Peach Valley to watch the Panthers.
Aaron Sakala chipped in with 11 points and Chris Black scored nine for Delta, which dropped to 2-3.
“We turned it over a little too much, and we’ve been struggling with that, but we’ve got to rebound better than we did,” Panthers coach Von Mitchell said. “Even as we got some runs and crawled back into single digits, we gave up a couple easy ones.”
It didn’t help matters for Mitchell that Coal Ridge hit its free throws, going 20 for 27 at the line in a physical game.
Conversely, Delta hit just 12 of 29 from the stripe.
Runs of 13-0 late in the second quarter and 14-0 to start the third quarter lifted Delta’s girls to a 60-30 win at Coal Ridge on Thursday.
The Titans scored just three points in the third as the Panthers blew the game wide open.
“They played good defense and they hit the boards hard,” Coal Ridge coach Rick Schmitz said. “They got some big transition baskets and beat us down the floor a few times. They did a nice job.”
Carly Cloninger led the Titans (1-1) with eight points. Allie Ehlers, Paige Ryan and Alicia Hampton scored five apiece.
Skylyn Webb paced the Panthers (1-2) with 18 points. Katie Kahrs and Jenni Jones scored 10 apiece. Jones also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Coal Ridge’s boys and girls teams resumes their pre-3A Western Slope League schedule with a trip to Palisade tonight. Delta’s teams host Montrose on Tuesday.
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