Mountains

Bears bucked at home

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Tyler Weir grabs a pass over the top of Dillon Maughan and Sheldon Black of Monticello Tuesday night in Dolores.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

It was just one of those games in boys high school basketball at Dolores on Tuesday night.

One team couldn’t buy a bucket, while the other couldn’t miss.

One team was embarrassed and one team was jubilant.

Unfortunately for the Dolores Bears, the shots continuously clanked off the rim in their season home opener.

For the visiting Monticello Buckaroos, they used a big run to end the first half that carried into the second half.

Dolores cut Monticello’s lead to 1-point in the second quarter, but it snowballed from there.

This Four Corners match up went to the Utah school, as the Bears were whipped at home, 78-36.

“There’s no excuse for what we did today,” Dolores coach Larry Schwartz said. “They’re a good team, but we made them look a lot better. They shot the ball lights out in our gym. We shot 20 percent overall. We had a terrible shooting night.”

Dolores (1-3) played its fourth game in six days. Monticello opened its season and the 1A school brought its “A” game.

“The kids settled down in the second half, relaxed and started shooting the ball. Fortunately, we started hitting,” Buckaroos coach Kraig Black said. “We tried to move the ball inside, then kick it outside. Once we started doing that, things started falling into place.”

The Buckaroos (1-0) quickly raced to a 9-1 lead before Schwartz called his first timeout. From there, the Bears would chip away behind leaders Tyler Weir and Cody Carroll.

Monticello led 14-9 after one quarter of play. Three free throws by Hayden Plewe brought Dolores within 14-12 to open the second quarter.

Sharpshooting junior guard Austin Maloy hit his first 3-pointer to put the visitors back up five at 17-12.

Three points from Carroll and a Jackson Vermeule foul shot pulled Dolores to within 17-16.

However, the Bears couldn’t grab their first lead and the snowball effect of avalanche-like proportion began.

Behind Maloy and sophomore guard Everett Hatch, the Buckaroos ended the half on a 14-4 run to take a 31-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.

It only got worse for Dolores.

Monticello went on an 8-1 run to start the third and led 39-21. Plewe put back a Weir miss, but Tanner Eardley answered with a 3 on the other end to balloon the Buckaroos lead at 42-23.

Monticello out-scored Dolores 25-9 in the third quarter to essentially put the game away up 56-29.

Weir netted six of the Bears seven fourth quarter points, as they were out-scored 22-7 in the final frame.

“We’re disgusted with ourselves,” Schwartz said. “We’re not happy in any shape, way or form. We didn’t play good defense. Just not a good night for the Bears. I’m embarrassed as a coach and they’re embarrassed as players.”

Dolores will have a week and a half off to regroup for San Juan Basin League play against Dove Creek on Dec. 15.

“It’s time to go back to work,” Schwartz said. “We’ll work on all the fundamental stuff that we got to get done. We’ll be ready.”

Monticello will have two home games Friday and Saturday before traveling to Montezuma-Cortez to participate in the Four Corners Classic on Dec. 14-15.

The Bears renew their rivalry with the Bulldogs at home next Saturday at 5 p.m.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

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