Bulldogs advance to state tournament

Dove Creek defeats La Veta 49-37 for regional championship

Prior to the start of the 2013-14 basketball season, Dove Creek High School senior Corissa Guynes delivered the following statement.

“Our goal is to make it past the regional tournament this year and get to the state tournament,” Guynes said.

Now 22 games into the season, the Bulldogs’ goal has become a reality, thanks to a 49-37 victory over La Veta High School on March 8.

Matching up against La Veta in the regional finals in Gunnison, the Bulldogs played solidly from start to finish, relying on a well-balanced attack to secure the victory.

Key early on was the play of senior Madison Young, who scored five of her 10 total points in the first quarter, which ended with Dove Creek leading 13-9.

Although La Veta continued to hang tough, courtesy of 16 first-half points from Rena Trujillo, the Bulldogs maintained their advantage, pulling ahead 24-19 entering the half.

“We felt in control most of the game,” said Bulldogs head coach Jim Buffington. “Twelve points is nothing to relax about, but we felt like what we were doing was working.”

Beginning to open things up in the third quarter, the Bulldogs picked up the pace, utilizing several fast break buckets from seniors Jessica Guynes and Corissa Guynes to pull ahead 35-25 entering the fourth.

Jessica Guynes led the Bulldogs in points with 16, while Corissa Guynes chipped in 13.

Senior Shelbie Knuckles also played a key role for the Bulldogs, hitting several outside shots on her way to 10 total points.

“They started doubling (Young) and that opened things up a little bit,” said Buffington. “Shelbie was able to hit some big shots.”

By virtue of their regional championship victory, the Bulldogs qualified for the Class 1A state tournament, which they will enter as the sixth-seeded team.

First up for the Bulldogs will be a matchup against third-seeded Eads High School (20-1) on March 13.

“We’ve won some games up there, but we’ve never won our first game,” said Buffington. “That’s what we’re looking at.”

Updates on the Bulldogs run through the state tournament will be available on twitter @imac_34, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cortezjournal and online at www.cortezjournal.com