Through its first six games of its season, the Dove Creek High School girls basketball team has shown an ability to overwhelm opponents with a swarming defense and an unrelenting offensive attack.
The latest show of defensive pressure and offensive firepower by the Lady Bulldogs came on Feb. 13 when the team traveled to Dolores and dominated the Lady Bears in every phase of the game en route to a 66-25 victory.
Offensive leaders for Dove Creek included senior Grace Hatfield, who scored 16 points, and senior Kobie Beanland, who chipped in 15.
Sophomore Alexa Gray and freshman Kalie Gatlin added 10 points for the Lady Bears.
“We did a good job working as a team and passing the ball,” said freshman Kylie Gatlin, who pulled down numerous rebounds and scored 7 points.
“Everyone on our team enjoys playing together,” Gatlin said.
While Dolores struggled to generate offense throughout the evening, the contest was not without bright spots for the Lady Bears, who saw solid performances from junior Allie Kibel, who scored 11 points, and senior Samantha Castillo, who played well in the paint and netted 10 points.
In spite of the Lady Bears’ best efforts however, the Lady Bulldogs defense proved too much to handle as Hatfield, Beanland, junior Tara Buffington and others pressured the ball full court and caused numerous turnovers that led directly to fast-break points.
A well-balanced scoring attack during the opening quarter during which five Dove Creek players score helped the Lady Bulldogs jump out to a 21-3 lead after eight minutes of play, and 12 second-quarter points from Grace Hatfield extended the team’s lead to 44-17 by halftime.
“Our teamwork was great,” Kalie Gatlin said. “We did a good job of boxing out and jumping for the ball. It’s always exciting to get a win over Dolores.”
As the third quarter got underway with momentum clearly on the Dove Creek side, the Lady Bulldogs continued to apply pressure while Beanland showcased impressive athleticism during an acrobatic drive and finish and a transition layup that made the score 50-17 in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.
A 3-pointer by Kibel later in the quarter gave Dolores fans something to cheer about, as did several solid post moves by Castillo. Castillo’s final basket midway through the fourth quarter ranked as one of the prettiest plays of the evening and brought the Lady Bears to within 49 points, 62-13.
In spite of Kibel and Castillo’s best efforts however, Dove Creek’s fast-paced attack proved too much to overcome as the Lady Bulldogs emptied their bench at the five minute mark of the fourth quarter and coasted to a 66-25 victory.
Now 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the San Juan Basin League, Dove Creek will look ahead to a road matchup against Telluride on Friday, Feb. 19.
Meanwhile, Dolores will return to the practice court in anticipation of a home game against its chief rival, Mancos, on Friday, Feb. 19.