The Bayfield High School boys basketball team knew it would take some time to get into the flow of basketball following the football season, and it appears the Wolverines have made the transition pretty quickly following their 73-52 win against San Juan High School (2-3) of Blanding, Utah, on Dec. 15 at BHS.
During Friday night's warmup, the BHS boys wore black T-shirts with "Aztec Strong" on the back. An Aztec Tiger logo was on the front, along with the saying, "Our heads bow down but our hearts are strong."
There was a moment of silence at the start of the game to honor the memories of two students killed at Aztec High School on Dec. 7.
BHS head coach Jeff Lehnus said it was good to see the Wolverines (2-3) not let up after building a big lead early in the game, as they did last week against Salida, and praised the team's ability to play inside out.
"We're starting to see some of the guys come back into the game of basketball - the flow and the feel, and it was good to see," Lehnus said.
Dax Snooks led the Wolverines with 26 points behind four made 3-pointers. Ryan Phelps recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. McKay Wells added 10 points, and Dawson Heide, who missed last season with injury, came off the bench to grab eight rebounds.
It wasn't all roses for the Wolverines, who struggled at the free-throw line and made only 6 of 17 attempts.
Bayfield also got a scare from Turner Kennedy, who was slammed on the floor hard and suffered a shoulder injury.
On Saturday, Bayfield got out to a hot start on the Front Range, but a tough shooting performance in the third quarter slowed down the Wolverines.
Bayfield (2-4) fell 56-52 Saturday at Colorado Springs Christian (4-1).
Phelps led the team with 15 points, Hayden Farmer scored 13, and Snooks finished with 11 points.
Bayfield led 15-10 after one quarter but trailed 29-25 at halftime. The third quarter ended up being the difference, BHS head coach Jeff Lehnus said.
"Man, we had early fastbreak opportunities and didn't convert," Lehnus said.
"We went from being in a great position to go up to going down. Missed shot opportunities and missed free throws summarizes it as much as anything."
Bayfield will host the Southwest Classic Tournament on Jan. 5-6 and face 2A Ignacio and 4A Durango.