Chris Dickey                    Lane Bacialli dribbles down the court looking for an open teammate.
Chris Dickey Lane Bacialli dribbles down the court looking for an open teammate.

GHS Boys Basketball — After a long, five-game road trip, Gunnison High School (GHS) boys basketball team returned home to a packed house as they took on Norwood this past Saturday. The Cowboys (1-5) didn’t disappoint in their home debut as they obliterated the Mavericks (0-5) 56-24.

The Hulbert brothers kicked things off for GHS, recording the first six points of the game. Caleb Hulbert scored the first basket of the match-up, knocking down a wide open threepointer. Norwood looked lost and confused throughout the first quarter as they turned the ball over countless times, resulting in the Cowboys racing out to a 16-0 lead.

Hunter Wood drained the second three-pointer in the quarter for GHS, pushing the lead to 19-0. With 1:07 left in the first quarter, the Mavericks would finally get on the scoreboard after knocking down a heavily contested three-pointer.

Norwood continued to struggle to hold onto the ball, as Wood stole the ball from a Maverick player resulting in an easy lay-up and extending the Cowboys’ lead to 25-3 with 6:38 left in the quarter.

Norwood’s offense showed up for a glimpse, as they knocked down another threepointer, cutting the lead to 29-6. GHS, however, wasn’t fazed. Adam Engleman secured the ball in the post, before making a move on a Maverick defender and pushing the lead to 33-6.

Norwood made one more three-pointer before the quarter was over, going into halftime down 37-9.

Mavericks fight back

The Mavericks came out of halftime looking like a different team, as they went bucket-forbucket with the Cowboys. GHS’ offense continued to light up the scoreboard, as Engleman made a free throw and Aiden Hulbert added a three-pointer, helping extend the Cowboys’ lead to 41-9. Norwood responded right away, knocking down their fourth threepointer of the game. The Mavericks wouldn’t stop there, knocking down two jump shots to cut the lead to 41-16.

Wood ended the Mavericks’ run, as he knocked down his second three-pointer. Wood accounted for the last six points scored in the quarter, as GHS went into the fourth up 47-19.

The Mavericks went on a 5-2 run to start the fourth quarter before costly turnovers caused to lose momentum and helped the Cowboys coast to victory.

In his first game in front of GHS fans, Wood recorded 15 points, five assist and four steals.

“It felt great to get the first win of the season in front of this town,” said Wood. “It gives my teammates, the coaches and I a lot of confidence leading into the rest of this season.”

Engleman was close behind Wood, recording 12 points of his own. Rounding things out for the Cowboys was Caleb Hulbert, who scored nine points.

Overtime thriller

On Tuesday, GHS (1-6) was on the verge on winning backto-back games at home, and would have two chances to hit a game-winner. However, Palisade (2-7) made a dramatic comeback, defeating the Cowboys 45-40 in double overtime.

The Bulldogs started their comeback late in the third quarter after Lane Bacialli knocked down a contested three to extend GHS’ lead to 25-17. Palisade went on an 8-2 run to close out the third quarter down 27-25.

Things would go horribly wrong for the Cowboys in the fourth quarter, as they couldn’t seem to make a single basket. The Bulldogs scored the first points in the quarter with 7:35 left in the game.

As the buzzer sounded, the score was tied at 27, with both teams prepared for an intense overtime game.

Palisade took a 32-27 lead to start the extra minutes, before Caleb Hulbert and Wood knocked down two tough shots to tie the game at 32. With 20 seconds left on the clock, the Cowboys would have a chance to end the game. However they missed the game-winning jumper to force a second overtime.

GHS fought hard to keep the game close, and would get within two points of tying the game after Engleman made a lay-up with 35.3 seconds to go in the game. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late and the Bulldogs held on for victory.

(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or brandon@gunnisontimes.com.)

Prevail against Norwood, nearly slip past Palisade