The home team likely knew they would be in for a long day last Saturday.
With Centauri, already bumped down to No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll earlier that week, coming to town fresh off a 40-32 loss at #4 Pagosa Springs in Intermountain League action the night before, Bayfield's young and developing roster (defeated 49-34 last Friday at Montezuma-Cortez) would need a near-perfect performance to have had any hope of protecting their home court.
But as soon as the jump ball rose, the Falcons ran the show.
Senior forward Caroline Van Berkum gained senior center Ember Canty's initial tip in stride, took it in for a layup, and the guests were already on their way to a 57-18, mercy-rule-quickened triumph. Junior forward Melissa Wilson drained two of her three three-pointers during the opening, tell-all eight minutes, and freshman reserve Brenna McDaniel sank her first of two as CHS piled up an untouchable 17-2 lead which grew to 32-10 at halftime.
Freshman Halle Loveday's solitary basket in the third quarter served as the Wolverines' only points while the Falcons got six points alone from senior Alyssa Gomez and five from Wilson in further inflating their pad to 55-12 with eight regulation minutes still to expire.
Having received a starting-five nod from head coach Josh Kitchen, emerging freshman post Kira Riley's six points paced Bayfield (4-11, 1-5 IML), and Loveday finished with four. Regulars Tymbree Florian, Tiarra Christensen and Jordan Lanning each managed two, as did reserve Cinnamon Varnell.
Wilson totaled a game-best 13 points and Gomez a quiet, but effective 10 for CHS (14-1, 5-1). McDaniel booked eight, while Canty and sophomore reserve Kaitlyn Quinlan each chipped in six.
Up next, BHS will travel to Monte Vista (4-10, 1-5) this Friday, Feb. 2, for what should be an intriguing 5:30 p.m. encounter; Bayfield edged the Pirates 51-49 back on Jan. 13 inside BHS Gymnasium. Dug in for another week at #4 in the rankings, PSHS then visits BHS Gymnasium on Feb. 3 with action also to begin at 5:30.
Meanwhile, CHS will visit M-CHS (3-12, 1-5) on the 2nd, then host Alamosa on the 3rd.
CAUGHT SLIPPING: When the aforementioned poll's newest weekly revision was released Monday, Jan. 29, Centauri's loss-win weekend wasn't enough to stop a skid to #3, with previous #1 Colorado Springs St. Mary's (13-0 overall as of Tuesday) retaining top billing and previous #3 Colorado Springs Christian (13-2) up a notch.
Standing 12-2 overall and 6-0 in the IML prior to a 2/2 visit from AHS, Pagosa Springs remained at #4, followed by Lamar, Englewood Kent Denver, Loveland Resurrection Christian, Cedaredge, Sterling and Eaton.