Bears demolished by Bluejays

Defensive struggles, turnovers doom Dolores in 82-40 loss

Three days after experiencing the highest of highs with a come-from-behind victory over Dove Creek, the Dolores High School boys basketball team experienced the lowest of lows.

Playing on the road against Mancos on Dec. 20, the Bears were obliterated, losing 82-40 to their longtime rivals.

Unable to generate energy early in the contest, Dolores fell victim to a fired-up Bluejays squad that was clearly ready to play. After eight minutes, the scoreboard read 27-5 in favor of Mancos.

"They came out, and they were ready to play," said Bears' head coach Larry Schwartz. "It was brutal, they put a beat down on us."

Desperate to regain their composure in the second quarter, the Bears continued to struggle on the defensive end as Mancos big men Ro Paschal and Daniel Christiansen dominated down low.

In all, Paschal and Christiansen combined to score 30 of the Bluejays' season-high 82 points.

"My young guys need to step up on the defensive end or it's going to be a long season," said Schwartz.

By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Bears trailed 44-13 much to the delight of the Mancos crowd.

Although the Bears played better in the second half, turnovers hurt Dolores as they trailed 62-22 after the third quarter.

"We're just turning the ball over way too much," said Schwartz. We're giving teams too many chances to score on the other end."

Even after the lopsided defeat, Schwartz remained confident that his young team can turn things around as they continue to grow.

"It's just that up and down consistency," said Schwartz. Once the light bulb clicks and we figure out how to play defense at the varsity level, we'll be fine."

With their record now at 3-4 on the season, the Bears will enjoy a brief break before returning to action at home against Bayfield on Jan. 14.