Times Staff Writer
GHS Boys Basketball — The year will end on a high note for the Gunnison High School (GHS) boys basketball team. After dominating at a tournament at Florence High School this past weekend — winning all three games — the Cowboys have extended their record to 6-2.
“It’s super exciting. Gunnison hasn’t had a team start out the way we have in a long time,” said senior Caleb Hulbert. “We still have a lot of room to grow as well, which is exciting. We are still just getting started.”
Additionally, the Cowboys will go into 2019 riding a six-game winning streak — while going undefeated in the month of December. By way of comparison, GHS had posted a 1-7 record at this point last season.
GHS’ defense was on display in their first of three games of the tournament this past Thursday. Salida High School shot 37.8 percent from the field and turned the ball over nine times.
While the Cowboys turned over the ball 14 times, Salida’s offense couldn’t get anything going — scoring zero points in the paint through the course of the game.
From the start, it was clear GHS was on the road to victory. The nine points the Cowboys gave up in the first half was the same number GHS scored in the first quarter.
At halftime, GHS held a 19-9 lead.
Salida’s offense began to pick up steam in the second half, scoring seven points in the third quarter to the Cowboys’ 10.
In the fourth quarter, Salida finally outscored GHS — 19 to 17. Yet, the Spartans still fell 46-35. Out of the 46 points the Cowboys scored, 30 came in the paint.
The Wood brothers led the way for the GHS. Hunter Wood recorded 15 points, and Braden Wood scored 10.
Aidan Hulbert also had an impressive showing — nearly recording a double-double — by scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds.
In game two, the Cowboys scored 46 points again and produced a nearly identical result from the game before — winning by double digits. GHS defeated Florence 46-31, despite starting slow and shooting 29.2 percent from the field.
After trailing 7-6 to start the game, the Cowboys’ offense finally got rolling.
Over the next three quarters, GHS scored 40 points — outscoring the Huskies in each of the final three stanzas en route to picking up their second win of the tournament.
While the Cowboys struggled offensively, their defense stepped it up once again. The Huskies shot 25.6 percent from the field and turned over the ball 19 times — which GHS converted into 13 points.
Of Florence’s 19 turnovers, 11 were steals.
Pascual Lerma led the way for GHS, recording his first double-double of the season by posting 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“Having a double-double is a huge accomplishment of mine,” said Lerma. “This year has been a big step up year for me. The double-double shows how working hard and spending extra time in the gym pays off.”
Hunter Wood also recorded 10 points.
By the third and final game of the tournament on Saturday, it was clear the Cowboys weren’t going to be stopped. GHS destroyed the Weld Central Rebels 67-46.
The Cowboys scored 21 points in the first quarter, while holding Weld Central to six points.
In the second quarter, the Cowboys recorded 16 more points.
While the Rebels never gave up — trailing 37-12 at halftime — the deficit was too much to overcome.
Weld Central scored 34 points in the second half but was unable to make a dent in the lead.
Hunter Wood led the way for GHS, scoring 16 points, while Braden Wood contributed 12 points. Aiden Hulbert scored 11 points.
Hunter Wood and Caleb Hulbert also were named to the all-tournament team at the close of the weekend.
“I think the best part about being where we are right now is that there is still better basketball out there to be played,” said head coach Matt Smith. “We saw some glimpses of our true ability level this past weekend, but I don’t think we’ve played at our full potential for a complete game yet this season.”
GHS will return action at home Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. against Moffat County.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com.)