Mountains

Lady Bears 3rd at districts

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Leading Dolores scorer Cydney McHenry passes off to a teammate Friday versus Telluride at Montezuma-Cortez High School. The Lady Bears took third at districts to advance to regionals.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

Sometimes, a short memory is good.

After a disappointing 50-46 loss to Telluride last Friday night, Dolores had to pick up the pieces and play Saturday morning.

What a difference a day makes.

The Lady Bears couldn't buy a basket versus Telluride in the 2A District 3 tournament at Montezuma-Cortez High School. But Dolores stormed to a 14-2 lead against Ridgway and went onto defeat the Demons, 53-41 in the third-place game.

"I'm so proud of them," first-year Lady Bears coach Tim Kercher said. "We certainly didn't play our best game last night (against Telluride), but the definition of a winner is how you bounce back. They just bounced back and they came out strong."

Dolores (15-6) will play District 5 champion Meeker (20-2) on Friday in the Region 5 tourney at Grand Junction Central High School.

"We're excited," Kercher said. "I think we got a team that can surprise somebody."

The Lady Bears were the No. 2-seed at districts and faced the sixth-seeded Miners (6-11), a team Dolores swept in the regular season. But Telluride caught the upset bug and knocked out Nucla and Dolores to reach the district finals.

The Lady Bears, though, had one of those miserable shooting nights. Only senior captain Cydney McHenry had any offensive consistency.

McHenry valiantly tried to will her team to victory, as she spearheaded a 8-0 run late in the third quarter to give Dolores a 38-37 lead.

The senior hit a 3-pointer, then stole the ball and fed Brianna Schwartz on the fast-break for two to make it 37-35. A large contingent of Dolores fans erupted when McHenry sank another from downtown to give the Lady Bears a 1-point lead.

A Morgan Mackie layup gave the Miners the lead back at 39-38 going into the fourth quarter.

Telluride scored the first seven points of the final frame to up its lead to 46-38 and the Miners would hang on for the shocking win.

Shelby Brier led Telluride with 19 points, while Mackey score 16.

McHenry was the only Lady Bear in double figures with a game high 25 points.

Ridgway

On Saturday morning, a fast start to the day was exactly what Dolores needed.

The Lady Bears trailed 2-0 before going on a 14-0 run en route to a 20-6 lead after a quarter of play.

Ridgway (10-11) trimmed Dolores' lead to 27-21 at halftime. But Lexi Atkinson regained her stroke from long range with a 3 to start the third quarter and the Lady Bears were up nine, 30-21.

Dolores led 41-31 going into the fourth and kept the Demons at bay, posting the 12-point win.

"I got four seniors on this team and they did not want to end their season here in Cortez," Kercher said. "I just can't say enough about the character of this team. A great win for them."

McHenry had another solid outing with a game best 22 points. Senior teammate Atkinson scored 14.

"Wow! We really pulled it together," McHenry said. "We came out really strong. Last night was rough. We knew we had to come together and forget about last night."

Dolores plays Meeker Friday. A time has yet to be determined.

"The past three years we've gotten there, but haven't quite made it past the first night," said McHenry about regionals. "Right now I'm going, 'Get past that first night.' Then, just take it one game at a time."

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

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