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The City Journals

Slow starts lead to tough losses in January for Cottonwood boys hoops

Feb 27, 2017 04:05PM ● By Brian Shaw

Cottonwood Colts boys basketball team. (Stock Photo)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

According to Cottonwood head coach Lance Gummersall, the boys basketball team may have a win or two up their sleeves yet. Despite losing some games early on, the Colts have managed to stay in some games. They just haven't found a way to win yet.

West Jordan 67, Colts 54

Back at home after getting pummeled by nearly 50 points at Copper Hills, the Colts finished up the second of two against West Jordan-area schools by hosting West Jordan on Jan. 20. The Jaguars are a longtime region power—having had several players go on to play Division I college basketball under legendary head coach Scott Briggs.

The Colts started off rather sluggish against the Jaguars trailing 20-11 after one quarter. But in the second quarter the defense stiffened and each team scored 10 points in the second quarter. Down 10 points, the Colts managed to claw back into the game on the strength of 18 points from senior Andrew Lujan.

But the Jaguars depth was just too much for the Colts, who despite the loss still shot a respectable 18-of-23 from the field. West Jordan had four players score in double figures to drop the Colts who also got 13 points from senior Malik Johnson and 10 from Britton Jensen.

Taylorsville 72, Colts 70

After showing such promise against West Jordan, the Colts really upped the ante against the Warriors. As was the case against West Jordan though, the Colts started slow in the first quarter. 

Trailing 11-6 after one though, the Colts slowly climbed back into it thanks in part to a balanced scoring effort from four players scoring in double figures. Some players are bound to have off nights and that was the case for Lujan in this Jan. 24 contest on the road.

But, Spence McDonald worked the nets for 20 points nailing three, three-point shots from behind the arc for Cottonwood, who went into the break trailing by double digits. By the end of the third quarter, the game looked out of reach.

Then the Colts stormed back, outscoring the Warriors 37-20 in a frenzied final stanza that only was out of reach for Cottonwood. Other than that, it seemed like the Colts were on a roll and about to turn the corner. But the Colts were about to take on a perennial state power.

Brighton 69, Colts 45

In Brighton on Jan. 27 the Colts got a tough test from a young Bengals team featuring two Krystkowiaks. For those unfamiliar with the sons of Utah Utes basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak, he has two kids playing for the Bengals and they appear to be pretty good, too. Cam, a 6-foot-8 -inches junior and his oldest, came as good as advertised scoring 21 points for the Bengals, who roared out to an 11-point lead at halftime. 

The Bengals would pull away in the third, extending their lead to 23 points after three quarters. The Colts actually only missed three shots in the game—going 9-for-12 from the field. But the  Bengals, who got 7 points and 10 rebounds from Luc, the other younger Krystkowiak, took twice as many shots and made about 70 percent of them en route to the easy win. For the Colts, Spence McDonald had 11 points.

To round out the month of January going into February, the Colts lost 86-64 to a Jordan team they beat to open region play. Since that point in the season, the Colts haven't won, losing in blowout fashion to Copper Hills (98-40)—but they did come close in those earlier games against West Jordan and Taylorsville, two teams they'll meet again to close out the season so hopes are high to get a W or two.