Fighting their 4A-level neighbors to a near-draw during the second half of their 2014-15 season-opener was special. But it wasn't enough for Bayfield to swipe a road victory in Durango last Saturday night.
"We've got to go back, pick up the intensity in practice, and have.more of a four-quarter run instead of a one-quarter run," Wolverine head coach Bri Simbeck said following a 56-31 loss, in which the Demons outscored BHS just 24 to 23 during the third and fourth quarters.
"I think the third quarter.we looked like what I see our potential being."
"Came out.ready," said junior guard Maddy Duran. "We had fire in our eyes, in our feet.we knew what we were doing! Fourth quarter, we got a little tired but overall I thought we did excellent."
In other words, an absolute 180-no, 540-degree about-face (and then some) from about as forgettable a first half through which any team would ever want to slog, in which Bayfield bettered Durango in pretty much one category: Fewer free throws airballed, with one compared to two.
"You know, it's early-season," DHS head coach Tim Fitzpatrick said. "Both teams had mistakes trying to do what each wanted to do. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but at least they kept playing hard and battling."
Committing seven fouls in just 5:48 inside the DemonDome, BHS was fortunate to trail by only four points, 10 to 6, after the initial eight minutes had elapsed, and after 5'10" DHS sophomore Taylor Edwards-sister of former Lady Wolverine Jordan, who was in attendance-got the game started with two easy baskets inside.
After two hard quarters for BHS, the Demons hold a 32-8 advantage at the half.
"We talked about not giving them so many open looks and closing out, and just pure heart," Simbeck said of her halftime chat with her charges. "In my mind you don't have to be the best player to be a good defender, but you have to hustle and want the ball more than.your opponent. So we talked about playing with pride.and giving a good fight for the second half."
Led by senior forward/center Jessie Roukema, Bayfield did. Held to just a second-quarter freethrow in the first half, Roukema registered 14 second-half points and led an inspired rebounding effort with 10 at the board that provided a badly-needed confidence boost.
"As a team we were doing good," she said. "I was just trying to help them out even more, and just see what I can do! We all knew what was coming towards us, so we knew we could do it."
Senior Andrea Zelinski scored five points for BHS (0-1, 0-0 3A Intermountain) in the game, Duran and sophomore Aspen Pinnecoose each chipped in three, Taylor Morris and junior Emily Peinado each had two and sophomore Jade Sanders had one.
"We learned a lot, so that's always good," said Simbeck, "and learned we CAN be a good team!"
Up next, the Wolverines get back into action this weekend, Dec. 12-13, at the Buena Vista Invitational before then traveling to 5A Aztec, N.M., on Dec. 16. At Buena Vista, Bayfield will first play Lafayette Peak to Peak (0-4 overall) at 4 p.m. today, then dance with the hosting Demons tomorrow at about 2:30 p.m.
Also slated to attend are 3A's Pagosa Springs (3-0 going in), Parachute Grand Valley, Salida, Granby Middle Park, Gunnison, Federal Heights The Pinnacle and Broomfield Jefferson Academy.