Hotchkiss' girls basketball team has gained respect after getting off to a 6-2 start in the 2A District 5 League standings. The Bulldogs' two losses were against the top-seeded 1A team in the state, De Beque, and 3A Delta, which is fourth in RPI rankings and ninth among Class 3A teams.
The Bulldog boys are not as successful as their counterparts, as far as wins and losses go, and find themselves eighth in overa ll standings in 2A District 5 play with a 2-5 start to their 2018-19 campaign.
Hotchkiss' impressive start to the current hoops season includes a victory over Paonia's Eagles, a feat not accomplished for several years.
A five-game win-streak started the season and set the tone for success at Hotchkiss. With a core of talented players returning from last season's team, Hotchkiss plans to make noise as the season continues in 2019.
Helping make that improvement a reality is the play of guards Elsie Vazquez, Kaiya Firor and Shay Glaser. Vazquez heads the stats chart with an 8.9 scoring average, four rebounds a game plus four steals each time out.
Firor's contributions include a 7.5 scoring average with two rebounds and six steals per game.
Glaser's 6.6 scoring average and three rebounds and 2.6 steals a game makes Hotchkiss' trio of guards some of the best in the league.
Girls coach Hailie Taylor knows her team will be a potential contender if the offense can connect on more of its shots.
Play in the middle is dominated by senior Carson Collins, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring with a 16.1 average and 10 rebounds a game. Senior Kaleigh Little provides more than 5.8 rebounds a game to help Hotchkiss control the boards.
Despite having the tallest player in the league, 7-0 foot senior Jacob Stucker, Hotchkiss has not been able to find consistency in the early stages of the season.
Stucker is leading Hotchkiss scorers with a 12-point average followed by juniors Jacob Palecki (8.5), Evan Mattison (6.5) and Hunter Bryant (6.0).
The Bulldogs have a number of aggressive players but have not been able to transition that energy into more than two wins so far this season.
Hotchkiss coach, Eric Hollembeak, is still looking to solve the mystery of finding the right combinations of players in a given game.
Hotchkiss entertained Caprock Academy on Jan. 8 with results of that meeting scheduled to appear in next week's paper.
The Bulldogs are at home Jan. 11 and 12 with West Grand in town on Friday and Hayden on Saturday.