Stout defense paces CB Titans boys’ basketball to successful weekend
Written by Than Acuff   
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Hold opponents to 31 points per game

The Titans boys’ basketball team won two out of three games at a tournament in Meeker this past weekend, led by tight defense and patience on offense, bringing their record to 5-1.
The Cowboy Shootout in Meeker, Colo. attracts some quality high school boys basketball talent from the northern Colorado-southern Wyoming area and traditionally proves to be a tough weekend for the Titans basketball team.
As Titans head coach Brandin Hamilton said before the tournament this past weekend, “If we come out of it with a winning record, I’ll be satisfied.”
The Titans had a rough, literally, start to the tournament against Meeker on Thursday, December 6.
“They were super physical,” says Hamilton. “They’re in your ear and in your face.”
The Titans jumped out to an 11-8 lead after the first quarter and were handling the pressure well until foul trouble reared its ugly head in the second quarter.
Efforts by the Titans top scorer senior Kane Hamilton to swat shots out of the gym resulted in fouls and he picked up his third personal foul midway through the second quarter, forcing Brandin to sit him out.
The Titans hung tough until halftime but Meeker went on a 15-6 scoring run in the third quarter as the Titans continued to struggle with foul trouble.
“I think they just wore us down,” says Brandin.
Despite missing key starters in the fourth quarter, the Titans cut Meeker’s lead down to two points due to the efforts of senior Ryan Costello in the middle and juniors Tommy Rainville and Pal Kollar and sophomore Joe Hayes off the bench.
The Titans had one last shot to win it but the attempt missed its mark as the Titans fell 37-35.
“Our bench really had to step up,” says Brandin. “I think it built confidence in our bench.”
Costello finished the game with another double double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
The tough loss rallied the Titans for their next game on Friday, December 7 against Soroco.
“The boys came out fired up and we took it out on Soroco,” says Brandin.
Given the glaring example from the night before of how foul trouble can hurt them, Brandin had his team focus their defensive efforts against Soroco.
“I wanted their defense to be cleaner, just challenge shots instead of trying to swat them,” explains Brandin.
After giving up the first six points of the game, the Titans defense clamped down and their offense went to work to finish off Soroco 50-29.
Kane led the team with 20 points and junior Clif Gibbens added in 14 points from the perimeter.
The Titans carried their defensive effort into the final game of the weekend against Rangely on Saturday, December 8. Rangely was fresh off a tight game with the top team in the tournament the night before so Brandin and the team knew it would be a tough match-up.
A couple of key moves prior to the game had the Titans prepared though, as sophomore Grant Johnson shut down Rangely’s hot shooter and found gaps in the Rangely 1-3-1 zone defense.
The Titans took a seven-point lead into halftime as they held Rangely to 12 points all half.
“The feeling was just keep doing what we’re doing,” says Brandin.
The Titans did just that, holding a 10-point lead all second half to defeat Rangely 39-27. Kane led all scorers against Rangely with 16 points but senior Jesse Reeves was the big difference, with 10 points and a flurry of assists and rebounds.
“Jesse had a Steve Nash-type game,” says Brandin.
The Titans will hit the road once again for a tournament in Colorado Springs December 17-19.