Still a relative unknown, Bayfield newcomer Maddy Oltmanns won't be a secret much longer.
"She's a great athlete. She plays hard, but what I'm most impressed with is her maturity so far," head coach Josh Kitchen stated. "I mean, she's a freshman, and it's hard to come up and play at the varsity level! We have a lot of expectations for her when it comes to how she operates within the team, and she's doing great."
"I think her teammates appreciate that."
And, like said teammates, still somewhat thinking about how close to victory the Wolverines had been in Buena Vista against Granby Middle Park just three days earlier, the freshman guard helped the foul-plagued squad separate from a scrappy Mancos crew - also hunting a first win - Tuesday evening, Dec. 11. Oltmanns scored eight fourth-quarter points and a game-high 16 as BHS prevailed 58-33.
"I don't know," she said, asked about her late barrage. "There was a good pass, an open shot, and I was like, 'You know, I'm just going to shoot today!' So I shot, made them, and just kept going because I was on a roll."
"We'd got really close our last game," noted Oltmanns, who'd managed seven points against the Panthers, "but we just didn't push through; our defense was not doing so great. This.was way better; we pushed through and we wanted to win. It feels great."
Coming off an eight-point effort against MPHS, senior guard Tymbree Florian netted nine of her 14 points before halftime as Bayfield (1-3, 0-0 3A Intermountain) built leads of 16-7 after one quarter and 27-15 through two with seven different players booking at least two points each.
"We have a lot of unselfish girls on this team.that want to help each other put points up on the board," Kitchen said. "We just need to really capitalize on the opportunities when we do have a mismatch like Macee (Schultz), or even (Nyana) Salazar or (Aubree) Farmer down low. I thought they did a really good job of creating space down there."
Schultz, who'd led the Wolverines with 10 points against Middle Park, registered nine against Mancos. She also blocked about a half-dozen shots and grabbed double-digit rebounds, with many being of her own disrupted attempts as a 20-point night was a real possibility.
Farmer scored seven points while joining Brooke Merchant, Oltmanns and Schultz in playing with four fouls (Oltmanns, Schultz and Farmer had played with four against MPHS, while Merchant and Salazar fouled out). Starter Madison Wells and reserve Cayenne Carlson each chipped in four points.
Isis Jaime came off the bench to score seven for Mancos, hitting a promising three-pointer during the second quarter and also sinking four of her six free throws (those makes served as MHS' entire third-quarter production). The visitors collectively made 12 of 23 - slightly bettering Middle Park's 11-of-28 - while BHS went 5-of-14.
Mancos freshman Rhiley Morgan-Montoya contributed six points and sophomore Tia Imel four. Slowed by three first-half fouls, senior guard Ericka Peacock finished with just three.
Up next, Bayfield will travel to Blanding, Utah, on Friday, Dec. 14, for a test against 3A San Juan (3-4, 0-0 UHSAA Region 15), then return to the Beehive State the next afternoon to challenge 1A Monticello.
"San Juan's a good team, and they beat us last year, I think we lost by about 15 or 20, so we're going to have to come out and give them our all," Kitchen said. "Need to clean up turnovers - tonight, we had too many - and silly mistakes we made, but if we do that we can compete with both teams this weekend. No reason we can't walk away with wins, but we're going to have to clean the game up."
"Obviously it's nice to get the first win of the season," he noted. "Since it's such a young team, I think it'll help with our confidence, and look forward to more games that we can compete in."
Mancos, meanwhile, will head into the San Luis Valley on the 14th to clash with Center (2-2, 0-0 2A Southern Peaks) before visiting nearby Sargent the next afternoon.