For some reason, the notion of sharing regularly gets reinforced over food.
And while chowing down last Saturday in preparation for Bayfield's first home Intermountain League game of the season, Dax Snooks received his reminder.
"One of our goals...was more assists," he said. "My dad told me when we were eating lunch before the game, 'I don't care how many points you get; I just want you to get more assists.'"
One heapin' helper in particular would leave fans talking long after the contest.
Having already seen junior Hayden Farmer throw up a perfect backside alley-oop to senior Ryan Phelps the previous quarter-highlighting possibly BHS' most complete quarter yet-Snooks took the boys' above-the-rim element to a level possibly witnessed for the first time early in the fourth.
After Farmer increased the Wolverines' lead to 70-43 with a jumper, Snooks snagged an outlet pass after a Monte Vista miss and, in transition, drew a Pirate up with him towards the rim for an apparent layup...only to bounce the ball backwards into Phelps' elevated hands for a flawless tractor-trailer, two-handed flush.
"We practice this all the time. If I have a wide-open layup and I hear 'Glass!' from behind me, I know that he's going to be there," Snooks explained. "So I just lobbed it off the backboard nice and easy for him! It's pretty sweet.to have someone be able to do that."
MVHS, meanwhile, scored only three points during the final eight minutes, and junior David Mascarenas finished a rough second half unable to add to his team-high 15 points as Bayfield ran away to an 80-46 victory, following up on a shaky 60-56 win in La Jara at Centauri not 24 hours before.
"Let's say it this way: We got to heaven by creating some 'blank' for them," head coach Jeff Lehnus said. "We wanted to come with more intensity and get after it with our approach to pressure defense, and they weren't ready for it. So defense got it going; we take pride in that."
"And I'm pleased with our continuing growth in the complexity of the offense, in terms of if we have it quick here, yes we take it, and if that means three passes one time, OK, and if it means 10 the next time, OK!"
"Yesterday we were kind of off, going over the mountain, that's how it always is, but today we definitely changed that," junior guard Turner Kennedy said of the team's road trip and home game. "We've been working on it a lot, and it definitely showed."
In the early goings, however, so did the visitors' resolve, and Mascarenas abruptly halved Bayfield's six-point lead late in the first quarter with a buzzer-beating bulls-eye bank shot from well beyond midcourt-giving the guests their momentum boost with plenty of time for their fan base to celebrate into the second stanza.
Phelps stepped out to immediately answer with a three but Monte Vista, which had trailed since just after the opening tip, would suddenly pull even at 24-24 via a trey by junior Darrius Garcia.
"When you get somebody on the ropes you want to finish it," Lehnus said. "That doesn't mean in the fourth; it means, not give them a chance to get back in it again!"
And though managing to stay within six points at intermission, the Pirates would never gain an upper hand.
Seeing extended minutes after junior starter Keyon Prior went down with a foot/ankle injury, Kennedy swiftly snapped the tie with transition layups assisted by Farmer and by Phelps.
"I saw Keyon go down and I was like, 'I've got to step up!'" he said. "And so I was just focused on hitting all the shots I could, trying to set up my teammates as well."
Farmer then banked in a two-pointer, and BHS' six-point lead grew to nine, 39-30, when Phelps powered baseline past MVHS junior Kevin Castro for a two-handed mash.
Pirate junior Steven Martinez drilled a three just before time expired, keeping the opponents' hopes alive, but with Kennedy setting the pace early in the third-via an immediate three and a direct assist to Farmer for an easy layup-and Bayfield ratcheting up their resistance, those hopes quickly faded as the home team won the quarter by a 29-10 margin and went into the final quarter comfortably ahead, 68-43.
"They're good, but we came out HOT," said Kennedy. "We had some turnovers, but we played a great third quarter-and fourth quarter too. I'm feeling a lot more consistent, definitely, a lot more confident too."
"I was real happy for Turner tonight," Lehnus said. "He has his contributions as it is; he comes in and usually gives us a little spark on defense, then contributes on offense as well."
Phelps totaled a game-best 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, with Farmer was close behind at 17 and 10. Kennedy netted 13 points and senior Dawson Heide, happy to be back after battling sickness the previous week, came off the bench to book eight. Snooks and senior McKay Wells each contributed six points, while Prior and senior Carl Heide each registered four.
"Hayden, I've been challenging him to be even more of a rebounder," said Lehnus. "I think he had eight the other night-I tell you, you give him direction and he works hard to make it happen."
"And I've asked McKay to get more aggressive offensively, and I'm starting to see that now too," he continued. "He's got more to give.and I want it, you know? And he wants it too."
"We had good chemistry as a team," noted Snooks, who pulled in nine boards to go with five assists (Farmer led with seven and Phelps had five). "Touch passes, getting it back and forth quick, rotating the defense, and that just gets it open enough. Buckets!"
"We want to be back-to-back league champions," Kennedy stated, "so we just took it out on them. Started getting steals and stuff, and they just started backing up when we'd come out; we were too fast for them."
Castro and sophomore Kaidon Wenta each scored six points in defeat for Monte Vista.
Up next, the Wolverines (7-4, 2-0 IML) will travel to Pagosa Springs (7-3, 1-1) on Friday, Jan. 19, then host Alamosa the next evening. Awarded the #2 spot in this week's CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll, the Mean Moose will enter their Friday home contest against Centauri (7-4, 0-2) standing 8-1 overall, 2-0 in league.
"We had 15 steals, so that helped make up for our turnovers," noted Lehnus, "but I don't want to have to be making up for nothing! I want us to get more solid with our ball-handling skills and decisions, and we're going to.get that 'piece' tightened up."