TELLURIDE – Telluride’s high school basketball teams established last weekend that Miner fans had better buckle up – this season is going to be an exciting ride.
Friday night proved especially exhilarating, when the teams returned to the friendly confines of the Minerdome after a testing series of road games.
Standing in the spotlight during the boys’ victory over the Nucla Mustangs, 89-47, was senior leader and basketball star Ian MacCracken. Prior to the opening buzzer, the One to One Foundation’s John Cohn made the surprise announcement that MacCracken had won the organization’s Quest Scholarship – a four-year college scholarship sponsored by the Benchmark Partners, Carstens family and the Telluride Foundation.
“The roar from the crowd was incredible,” Cohn said later of presenting MacCracken with the scholarship award. “It was a whole community effort to bring this young man along, and being able to award him with this scholarship serves as an example of what this community’s all about.”
MacCracken is the second senior on this year’s basketball squad to earn a four-year college scholarship; Mike Matthews was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at Ft. Lewis College in Durango.
Before stepping up to win the tip-off to begin Friday evening’s game, MacCracken had a few words for his fans, who had all begun chanting, “IAN!”
“This is a town that takes pride in raising its kids. And I’m proud to make you proud. Go Miners!”
And go they went, leaping ahead of the Mustangs with three baskets scored in just the first minute of the match.
After posting a win Friday night, the team went on to extend their winning streak to nine with a blowout 74-12 victory over Dove Creek on Saturday.
Lady Miners Deliver in Overtime
This year’s Telluride girls’ basketball team (all freshmen, aside from three seniors) may not have a lot of experience playing at the high school level, but they are quickly growing accustomed to fighting for a win.
The Miners fought hard for their Friday night victory against Nucla, winning 43-40 in overtime.
“They’re starting to see what it takes to finish,” said head coach Justin Ludwig of the team’s second consecutive home court win.
Nucla and Telluride went basket for basket throughout the game, and with just seconds left on the clock in regulation play, Telluride senior Nickey Goldsworthy scored to send the game into overtime.
A rebound and fast break to lay-up, delivered single-handedly by Telluride freshman Josephine Bush, helped fire up the Miners in overtime. The team also maintained their composure on the free throw line to score critical points. Freshman Emily Langley sunk a free throw to put Telluride up 41-40, after which fellow freshman phenom Emy Ludwig secured the win with two more free throw points.
On Saturday, the young Telluride team was rattled by a strong Dove Creek team, which placed fifth at the state tournament last year, losing 58-13.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s two homecoming games, Coach Ludwig said he felt confident his team would be ready to return to their winning ways at home.
Both the Telluride boys’ and girls’ basketball teams play Ouray on Friday and Dolores on Saturday. The homecoming king and queen will be crowned on Saturday night.