Titans walking a winning path
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Paul Harvey has a list of quotations compiled he likes to draw from on game days.
On Tuesday, the Coal Ridge boys basketball coach shared a Zen proverb with his players. It read: “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
The Titans took the quote to heart.
With a 78-54 win over visiting Cedaredge, Coal Ridge kept on marching in the right direction.
Running in the right direction might be a more appropriate way to term it.
Attacking the basket for easy layups and scoring loads of points in transition, the Titans’ fast-paced approach yielded high-percentage look after high-percentage look.
“We want to run against everybody,” said Harvey, whose team improved to 9-4 overall and to 6-1 in the 3A Western Slope League. “That’s our philosophy. Cedaredge wanted to run with us. It was a fun, fast-paced game.”
Cody Walls scored a game-high 18 points to lead Coal Ridge. Nathan Terrin added 11, Tyler Guettler 10, Brandon Bates and McCade Cox nine apiece and Darik Brown and Bryant Hernandez eight apiece.
“Not a lot of teams play man on us,” said Walls, who drilled a trio of 3-pointers and shot 7-for-10 from the field. “Most teams play zone and sag off. They played straight man and that gave us a chance to get to the rack and make some open shots.”
The Titans took a 22-13 lead after a quarter and extended that advantage to 49-35 at halftime.
Holding the Bruins to just six points in the third quarter, Coal Ridge’s lead grew to 60-41.
Cedaredge never threatened in the fourth.
With just one league defeat, the Titans are in the thick of the 3A WSL title race. Roaring Fork and Rifle also have just one loss.
“We control our own destiny right now and we’ve got six games left,” Harvey said. “If we keep winning out, we’ll be right where we want to be.”
T.K. Ullery led Cedaredge (2-11 overall, 0-7 in the 3A WSL) with 12 points. Luke Wiebern scored 10 and Blake Oard and Reid Gates chipped in with eight apiece.
Coal Ridge’s girls don’t typically win games with offense.
In a 61-54 win over Cedaredge on Tuesday, the Titans strayed from that script just a bit.
“I told the guys, ‘We needed every one of those 61 points,'” Coal Ridge coach Rick Schmitz said. “We’re not known for our offense.”
But the Titans are known for their defense, and that defense produced big stops down the stretch and fueled a 9-0 run to close out the game.
“The last two minutes we got some stops,” Schmitz said. “[Cedaredge] shot lights out there for that stretch late in the third and early in the fourth. What’d they hit, five or six in a row? And they were tough perimeter shots.”
Coal Ridge trailed at halftime, 27-19, and then unearthed some offense in the second half. The Titans scored 21 points apiece in the third and fourth quarters to reverse the momentum.
“At halftime, we knew we could play better,” said Coal Ridge freshman Paige Ryan, who scored a game-high 17 points. “Coach really fired us up in the locker room. We came out and we knew we had to do it. We don’t lose at home.”
Ryan and the Titans improved to 7-2 on their home floor. They are now 10-3 overall and 6-1 in the 3A WSL.
Carly Cloninger’s 13 points helped Coal Ridge’s cause. Ashlie Bowles scored 11 points and Chasity Gonzales finished with seven.
Amber Farr led Cedaredge (3-10, 1-6) with 16 points. Leah Burnett added 14.
“You know, I think we’re improving,” Bruins coach Allen Golden said. “I told the girls, ‘I’m not good with losing speeches. I’m running out of things to say.’ We’re playing much better, but there’s obviously not enough intensity.”
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