Blackened under her left eye from an elbow earlier in the week at Alamosa, Bayfield senior forward Jessie Roukema was still standing, smiling and looked fully recharged last Saturday for a third 3A Intermountain League rumble in five days.
"We're bruised and beaten," head coach Briana Simbeck quipped afterwards to that effect. "We've had a tough week.we were excited to finally get home and play in our home gym!"
For the first time in the 2014-15 season-after a winless start-the team was in action inside BHS Gymnasium, against IML newcomers Montezuma-Cortez. BHS Guard Aspen Pinnecoose didn't waste the opportunity to try making a statement.
"She didn't score quite as much yesterday [at Monte Vista, a 57-29 loss], but she was a big leader for us points-wise and energy-wise on Tuesday and then again today," said Simbeck, after her junior took the Panthers to task.
"That's a whole different ball game if Aspen didn't play the way she did."
Pinnecoose helped the Wolverines claw back from a 14-5 first-quarter deficit and almost parallel M-CHS' pace during the ensuing three quarters. Cortez put up 42 points, the hosts 39-before the Panthers ultimately prevailed 56 to 44.
"I've seen some leadership definitely coming out of Aspen," stated Simbeck. "And I'm seeing our younger kids step up, and that gives me hope that we can definitely build a program with our young 'uns."
"The girls played hard and I will never be upset with them for playing their hearts out."
Junior guard Maddy Duran scored eight points for Bayfield (0-11, 0-3), and freshman forward Courtney Bayles-who'd paced the team at MVHS with seven-netted six, including two just before the final buzzer. Roukema fought for four, guard Jade Sanders two and forward Savannah Kaufman (who'd scored four versus the Lady Pirates) one.
Oh-fer their previous league outings, Montezuma-Cortez (5-6, 1-4) at last profited after having four players post double-digit scoring. Junior guard Kiselya Plewe led the way with 13 points, and seniors Abby Chupp, Savanna Jacket and Naomi Pinnecoose each contributed ten.
Senior Katrina Lee booked seven, junior Abri Conklin four and classmate Kelcie Ralstin two.
Up next for the Wolverines will be a road trip tonight to powerhouse Pagosa Springs.
The Pirates are 10-0 this season.
"We know they've got great post play and prepare for that," Simbeck said. "We're all a little frustrated, but I think it takes a lot of courage to come out and play hard when you're in a situation like this where we haven't got a win. That's something I'm very proud of as a coach. We've just got to see more and more of that improvement."