Fresh off a week of practices dominated by shooting drills, the Dolores High School girls basketball team’s shots consistently found the bottom of the net throughout a 51-30 road victory over Mancos on Tuesday.
Leading the Lady Bears’ shooting onslaught was senior guard Josie Majors, who knocked down a three-pointer and two long-range jump shots in the second quarter to help her team build a 21-7 halftime lead.
We’ve been working really hard in on shooting this week in practice,” Josie Majors said. “It’s one of our weakest points as a team, so I’ve been really trying to focus in. I just came out and tried my hardest.”
Also playing a significant role in the Dolores victory was the play of junior forward Tatum Majors and junior center Morgan Milligan, who dominated the paint throughout the night.
Setting the tone early in the first quarter, Milligan muscled her way into the lane before taking an inbounds pass and scoring an easy layup to put Dolores ahead 8-0. Tatum Majors continued her team’s low-post scoring in the second quarter with two easy buckets down low.
“Morgan and I have been working on our post moves,” said Tatum Majors. “We’re just really trying to help our team. I just try to spin off and feel the defense because that’s what we’ve been working on. I just try to make points for my team.”
After Dolores pulled ahead 36-11 after a long corner jumper by Cody Archuleta, Mancos began to find its form and outscored Dolores 17-13 in the fourth quarter.
Keying the Mancos run were senior captain Ashley Cole and sophomore Isis Jaime, who each knocked down a pair of free throws during the final eight minutes.
Freshman Madi Hale also provided a highlight for the Bluejays when she banked in a buzzer-beating three-pointer much to the chagrin of fans in the student section, who vigorously cheered their classmate.
“Everybody was saying three, two, one, and I was like, ‘I’ll just take it, why not?’” said Hale, when asked about her three-pointer. “It was a little nerve-wracking playing in front of the (big crowd), but once you get out there, you just kind of forget it all.”
Now 0-8 on the season, Mancos will return to the practice floor in hopes of improving its shooting prior to its next contest, which will take place on the road against Ridgway on Jan. 19.
With its record now at 3-5, Dolores’ next game will take place at home against Telluride on Jan. 11. Prior to that contest however, Lady Bears’ players plan to briefly bask in the glow of their win over longtime rival Mancos.
“It’s awesome to beat Mancos,” Tatum Majors said. “We have always been rivals, and they always bring their best and so do we. We just mentally prepared all week to play them and that’s what made us win tonight.”