Durtsche: Bulldogs can play better despite sweep

David Peck

Not too bad but could be better.

That statement would appear to sum up the performance of the Lovell Bulldogs after they pulled off a home sweep of Southwest 3A foes Mountain View and Lyman at Winterholler Gym over the weekend, according to head coach Shane Durtsche.

Lovell stopped Mountain View 49-36 Friday and Lyman 41-30 Saturday at Winterholler Gym, improving to 17-5 on the season.

“Overall, I was pleased with the weekend,” Durtsche said. “I thought we played really good defense in both games, and on offense we played well in spurts. I was pleased with how we played overall, but I wasn’t pleased with how we closed out the games.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 19-6 lead over Mountain View by the end of the first quarter Friday night, then saw the Buffalos win the second 10-6, still leading at halftime 25-16.

“We came out of the gate and played well,” Durtsche said. “We turned defense into offense and got some good looks. We came out and pressured them and did something a little different, a more aggressive halfcourt man-to-man defense, denying the ball. That helped our kids get going.

“In the second quarter we didn’t shoot well. We ran out of gas and kind of took our foot off the pedal, as well.”

The Bulldogs came out strong in the third quarter again, scoring the first 11 points to lead 36-16, Durtsche said, adding, “Then, it’s like we put it in cruise control, and I wasn’t pleased with that. I wanted to get it (the lead) up to around 25, but we didn’t make very good decisions.”

Mountain View scored the final six points of the quarter to cut the margin to 14 points, 36-22 and edged Lovell 14-13 in the fourth.

For the game, Lovell shot 40 percent from the field but hit just one shot from beyond the arc (1-12).

“I still think we have good shooters,” Durtsche said. “It’s not like we’re not taking good shots. We’re just not knocking them down.

“We’ve won six of seven games, and I still don’t think we’ve had a game where all five of our (starting) guys have clicked offensively.”

Sophomore center Owen Walker finished with 23 points to lead the Bulldogs, hitting eight of 11 shots from the field and seven of 10 free throws. He also had 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Parker Anderson added 9 points, six rebounds and five steals, Matthew Newman 7 points, Davin Crosby and Blake Wilson 4 points each, Kaeson Anderson 2.


The Bulldogs trailed Lyman 10-8 late in the first quarter, then took charge with a 12-0 run. Robert Romero answered a Lyman three-pointer with a trey of his own, and Parker Anderson hit a jumper to put Lovell up 13-10 after the first quarter.

Continuing the outburst in the second quarter, Walker scored on a put-back, and Parker Anderson drained a trey, then slashed for two as Lovell led 20-10. Lovell went on to lead at halftime, 24-17.

Lovell started the third quarter with an 8-2 run to lead 32-19, only to see Lyman close the quarter with a 7-2 mini-burst, cutting the margin to eight at the quarter break, 34-26. Lovell edged Lyman 7-4 in the fourth to win by 11, 41-30.

“I was not happy after the third quarter when Lyman made a late run and hit that three (-pointer),” Durtsche said. “We’re just not closing out (games) like we need to. Those little things are what win and lose regional (tournament) ballgames. We need to clean some stuff up.”

Parker Anderson led the Bulldogs with 14 points, hitting three of five shots from two-point range, two of six three-pointers and two of two shots at the line. He also led the team with four assists.

“That was good to see,” Durtsche said. “Parker had his mid-range game going. He does a lot of things for us.”

Walker had a solid line with 12 points, nine rebounds, four steals and four blocks, and Crosby added 6 points, four rebounds and three assists. Newman and Romero scored 3 points each, Kaeson Anderson 2 and Wilson 1.


The Bulldogs will wrap up the regular and conference season tonight (Thursday) in Powell, with tip-off times scheduled for 4 p.m. (JV games), 5:30 (girls varsity) and 7 p.m. (boys varsity).

Although the outcome of the game cannot alter Lovell’s second-place league finish, the Bulldogs are hoping to improve on their performance of January 25, when they fell to Powell at home, 54-29.

“Our mindset is to go in there and compete,” Durtsche said. “We want to play hard and see what we do leading into the regional tournament. We want to show those guys we can play with them.”

Recalling that the Panthers outmuscled the Bulldogs in the last game, Durtsche said he and his staff will have some things ready to counter what Powell did defensively the last time.

“Powell’s a really good basketball team, and we have a chance to play a good squad to end the year, with nothing to lose.”

The Class 3A West Regional Tournament will be hosted by Thermopolis February 29 through March 2.