BAYFIELD Wrong place.
The Bayfield High School boys basketball team, looking to bounce back from a conference loss in overtime last weekend, instead ran into one of Utahs hottest teams Tuesday night.
Monticello, with a tenaciously active defense that fueled a fast-breaking offense, frustrated Bayfield from start to finish, dominating the interstate game 72-23 before a subdued crowd at the BHS gym.
The visiting Buckaroos, who led by 20 points at halftime, surged in the second half, all while holding the Wolverines to single digits in each quarter.
My philosophy is you win games by defense, Monticello head coach Rhett Maughan said.
We focus in on defense. We work on defense a lot a lot, he said.
We figure our best offense is a good defense, Maughan said after his Buckaroos feasted on Bayfield turnovers to improve to 17-3.
Victory No. 17, ironically, came against a Bayfield team that had beaten Monticello 47-44 on Dec. 4 in the Cortez Tournament.
My kids got beat by this team in the second game of the year, Maughan said.
Thats why my kids are really good ... now. They (vowed) after that loss to ... play great defense and great team ball. Thats what is so neat about (Tuesday night), said the Monticello coach, whose team is ranked No. 3 in Utahs Class 1A.
Dallin Duncan, a 6-6 senior, led the balanced Buckaroos in scoring with 19 points.
Senior teammate Devin Wright had a unique double-double for Monticello: 18 points, 11 steals.
Cory Young, a 6-2 senior, added 11 points.
That team outplayed us in every facet of the game, Bayfield head coach Bill Hesford said.
We couldnt buy a bucket from 2 feet or from 20 feet or from 10 feet or the free throws line ... a very frustrating game, Hesford said as the BHS boys fell to 10-6 overall.
And they got their hands on everything, didnt they? he said of multiple Monticello deflections on defense. Post entry ... ball tipped away. On the perimeter ... same story.
Junior Derek Hillyer led Bayfield with five points and four blocked shots.
Junior Seth Posey added four points.
We need to come back strong from this tough loss and get ready for Alamosa on Friday, Hesford said of his teams return to Intermountain League play. Coming together as a team is important right now, I think.
Take (better) care of the ball, and take care of each other as teammates, Hesford said. We need to get back together and play as a unit.
BHS will host rival Ignacio High School next Tuesday.