The Hotchkiss girls basketball team opened its season with two non-conference wins. In their Dec. 3 season opener, the Lady Bulldogs topped Ridgway, 49-38.
The Lady Demons had the height, but Hotchkiss had the speed.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed by eight to start the second half. Shooting guard Aleksus Wilson opened the half with a quick layup on an assist from Arial Duncan.
Wilson then scored after stealing the ball at half court, narrowing the Lady Demons lead to four points.
Post Katie Richards drew two consecutive shooting fouls, sinking all four free throws to tie the game.
With just under five minutes remaining in the third, point guard Natalie Anderson pulled down a defensive rebound and made a break but was fouled on her way to the basket. She hit both free throws to give Hotchkiss a 27-25 lead.
Hotchkiss held Ridgway to four third-period points to take a five-point lead heading into the final period.
With just under a minute remaining in the game, Anderson took a steal full court for the score, then added another goal after intercepting an inbounds pass.
Anderson scored a game-high 20 points. Wilson opened the game with a 3-point goal and ended with 12 points for Hotchkiss.
Katie Richards scored nine points and was 7-for-9 from the free-throw line. Duncan ended the game with five points. Tiffany Clock came off the bench to score from just inside the three-point line late in the first half.
Haley Crozier scored a team-high 17 points for Ridgway. Rane Dickerson scored 10, and Grace Benasatti added five.
Despite being outscored 14-6 in the final period, Hotchkiss defeated the Lady Cowboys, 40-33, Thursday night at Gunnison.
"They had to work for it," said head coach Eric Hollembeak. "Gunnison is a good team. They had to play hard." It's a tough place to play anyway, said Hollembeak. Wintry weather made for a three-hour bus ride, and it was cold.
Richards scored six first-period points to lift Hotchkiss to an 11-4 lead. Anderson was 7-of-7 from the line and hit one trey to end the game with a team-high 14 points.
Kylie Hodges scored nine points and Wilson scored six points. Marissa Cantrell scored one of two treys recorded in the game for Hotchkiss.
Lady Cowboys' Leah Huizenga shot four treys for a total of 16 points, and Jordan Wallin scored 14 points.
Gunnison had some height, much like Ridgway, but the girls were able to overcome their disadvantage for the win. "We're hopeful we can keep doing that," said Hollembeak.
The Lady Bulldogs travel to Plateau Valley for a 5:30 p.m. game on Friday.blog comments powered by Disqus