by David Tesitor
La Veta- The Redskins boys’ second half surge propelled them to victory last Thursday night, Dec. 13, as they defeated the 0-4 Sangre De Cristo Thunderbirds 63-40. It was not an easy road to victory though as the Skins struggled in the first half, almost letting the game get away from them. The T-Birds pressed the usually strong offensive Redskin team from the opening buzzer, forcing several turnovers and missed scoring opportunities.
While interim coach Chance Price showed some inexperience, his team rebounded to give him his first win as a coach. The Skins’ big player, Shane Brownlee was open under the boards most of the first half, but was not fed the ball. All Coach “Woody” Arnold could do was watch from the sidelines, as a spectator, keeping his usual vocalizations from surfacing. Arnold sat out the game because of a one game suspension.
The second quarter saw the Skins finally get on track. An off-balance shot by Brownlee put the Skins ahead by five with 6:03 remaining in the half. A missed T-Bird shot and La Veta rebound would have given the Skins momentum, but a turnover followed by a three pointer put the T-Birds right back into the game. In a tense moment, an apparent foul by La Veta went unseen by officials, which sent the Sangre fans into an uproar. Thanks in part to Brownlee, with two blocked shots and a strong Skins defense, La Veta went to the locker room with a 26-20 halftime lead.
The second half belonged to the Redskins. A 7-2 scoring run by the T-Birds put them within one with 3:52 remaining in the third, but that was as close as they got. The Skins came alive outscoring the T-Birds in the third 13-8, then dominated the final quarter putting the game out of the reach of the Birds and keeping them grounded. Brian Andreatta and Brownlee were on fire from the field, hitting buckets at will.
When the smoke settled and the final buzzer rang, La Veta chalked up another victory, Price’s first as a coach, and fifth team victory. Leading scorers for the Redskins were Brownlee with 23, Dylan Thomsen and Dalton Mason each with ten and Brian Andreatta hit eight.
Coach Woody said that while Price is inexperienced as a coach, and was making mistakes, he knew that he’d do well. “It’s a learning game.” In the end, his young protégée did just fine.
Coach Larsen from the other side of the bench told the Journal his team was struggling this season, losing several seniors last year. He also said his star power forward, senior Jed Lawson was out with a broken arm. While the T-bird team fields several seniors this year, they still seemed to lack the experience and ability to keep up with the Redskins.
La Veta’s next game is Jan. 11 at Sierra Grande beginning with Junior Varsity action at 5 pm.