By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Growing up is hard to do.
Juniors Joe Padon and Pablo Loya have had to grow up quickly to meet their varsity roles. And, the two players have done so in the first two games of the season.
In their Friday night loss against the Aspen Skiers (69-53), the two juniors combined for 21 points. This was the first varsity game of the year. Then, Saturday night, playing the Roaring Fork Rams in Carbondale, Padon and Loya combined for 30 points. Taking the Bulldogs to a 58-50 win. Loya led the team with 18 points scoring 11 of his points from the line, while Padon stroked in five from the field.
The juniors, who are the two newest members of the Bulldogs starting line-up, are reassuring to coach Blaine Corlett. Corlett said the two juniors abilities to score is a sign the Bulldogs are on the right track.
"We know we'll get the points from our seniors Kyle (Hazelwood) and Mike (Charchalis)," he said. "Having two guys off of last year's junior varsity step up into scoring roles early like Loya and Padon let's me know the guys are getting used to each other, and that not all the pressure is going to be on the seniors to score."
Friday night against the Class 3A Aspen Skiers, it was a senior leading the scoring. Senior Kyle Hazelwood was one of two players who found the hole on a consistent basis against the No. 4 ranked team. Hazelwood shot for 66 percent from the field, and put up 19 points total for the evening.
Despite Hazelwood shooting for 19, and Loya putting up 13, the Bulldogs still fell to the Skiers, and never led once in the game.
Behind the inside shooting of six-foot four-inch senior Jeff Brence and the outside shooting of six-foot junior Teddy Farrell, the Skiers started their scoring run. A run that lasted the rest of the game.
The two Skiers combined for a total of 36 points in the game, with junior Zac Paris chipping in another 16.
While the Bulldogs were able to score 11 points in each of the two opening quarters, the Skiers shot 18 in the first and 24 in the second sending the game into halftime 42-22 in the Skiers favor.
"We just had a horrible second quarter where we couldn't defend their fast break, and we didn't score like we should have," Corlett said. "We just got so far behind by half that it was too much to come back from."
The second half saw the Bulldogs pull themselves out of their slump and out-score the Skiers in the third quarter, 15-11. The two teams then shot identical in the fourth quarter, with 16 apiece.
Although, the Bulldogs had renewed vigor in the second have of the game, the deficit they accumulated in the first half was too much to overcome.
"We just had some small mistakes that cost us big against a good team," sophomore Anthony Loughran said. "Not to mention, I think as a team we went into the game with a lot of opening season jitters."
The next night was a different story, with the Bulldogs 58-50 win against Roaring Fork.
"We really needed a boost from the loss we had Friday against Aspen," Loya said. "Coming off an opening game loss kind of makes you feel like your backs up against the wall."
The Bulldogs started slow against the Roaring Fork Rams, heading into halftime with the Rams ahead 27-26. But, the minuscule difference in scores set the stage for a Bulldog come back in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs staved off the Rams in the second half by outscoring them by nine points. At the end of the game the Bulldogs had to keep their lead without the help of their biggest floor leader Hazelwood, Corlett said. The senior missed the last minute and a-half after fouling out, but the remaining Bulldogs kept hold of the lead and won the game.
The defense was probably the most improved aspect of the Bulldogs game from Friday to Saturday night, and was shown through the ability of the Bulldogs to hold all but two Rams under 10 points. Levi Applegate and Juan Quintero were the two Rams who found the net Saturday combining for 25 points.
The shot selection was also improved from Friday, Corlett said. Four Bulldogs shot in the double digits Saturday, with Charchalis shooting 14, Hazelwood 10, Loya 18 and Padon 12.
"And what was really impressive is the rebounds that Charchalis got, not only against Roaring Fork but Aspen too," Corlett said. "He got 13 in each game, which is impressive since he's a six-foot post."