Lady Bears battle to win

Dolores guard Brianna Schwartz (left) battles for the ball with Dove Creek's Jessica Guynes (right) Tuesday night.

Entering the year with several underclassmen, the Dolores High School girls basketball team recognized that they could be in for a roller coaster ride during the 2013-14 season.

Luckily for the Bears, the season's first six games have produced far more ups than downs.



Kicking off last weekend's games on Dec. 13 in Telluride, the Bears provided a glimpse of just how good they can be, blowing out the hometown Miners 41-25.

Key in the Bears win was a third quarter that saw Dolores turn an 18-10 halftime lead into a 39-20 margin entering the fourth.

With the victory, the Bears improved to 3-1 on the year, while the Miners dropped to 0-2 on the year.



Looking to continue their winning ways in Nucla on Dec. 14, the Bears found themselves on the wrong end of a 71-27 final score.

Presenting a challenge for the Dolores defense was a balanced Nucla scoring attack, led by Shalyn Steffan who scored 15 points. In all, four Nucla players recorded double-digit scoring totals in the contest.



Beginning this week's play at home against the Dove Creek Bulldogs on Dec. 17, the Bears played far better than the final might indicate, giving Dove Creek all they could handle during a 57-32 loss.

After Dove Creek jumped out to a 17-2 lead following the first quarter, the Bears responded, cutting into the Dove Creek lead several times before entering the half trailing 28-13.

"We know when we come to Dolores, it's going to be a knock down, drag out, and it was," said Dove Creek head coach Jim Buffington.

True to form, the Bears battled throughout the third quarter, staying close after several nice buckets by Dolores super-senior Brianna Schwartz.

After falling behind 43-21 at the end of the third, the Bears battled hard throughout the fourth quarter on their way to the loss.

Asked about the joys of playing with younger teammates, Schwartz seemed satisfied with the energy that underclassmen have injected into this year's team.

"They are a joy to have on the team," said Schwartz. "They all just make you laugh."

With a Dec. 20 showdown against Mancos looming, the Bears hope to improve their 3-3 overall record.

"We need to improve on running our offense a little more," said Schwartz.