BAYFIELD – Layne Bulwan wasn’t going to let the Bayfield senior night get away from her.
Bulwan translated aggressive play into six first-quarter points to keep the Wolverines within striking distance of the Monte Vista Pirates through a sluggish start, then added four more in the final two quarters to help lift Bayfield to a senior night win, 52-39 on Friday at BHS.
“Being senior night, I was thinking ‘This is all we’ve got ... and I just wanted to play with them,” Bulwan said of her senior teammates.
After two quarters, that desire finally rubbed off on everyone else.
The Wolverines (8-8 overall, 2-3 Intermountain League) entered the second half trailing their league rivals 22-20, following Haley Clarke’s last-second 3-point play.
Clarke followed that up with the first points of the second half, becoming one of seven Bayfield girls to score in the final two quarters after the Wolverines picked up some of Bulwan’s attitude in the locker room.
“We really got our focus back at halftime,” Bulwan said. “It’s important just to take a breath sometimes. It can make all the difference.”
It did. The Bayfield girls cruised through the points in transition in the third quarter, going on an 18-5 run that gave them back their lead for good at 26-24, appropriately on a Bulwan basket. They finished the quarter up 38-27 and rode out the margin through the final quarter, until Micaela Knickerbocker’s free throws to end play gave the Wolverines their final 13-point gap.
“Kudos to Layne Bulwan for keeping us in the game early,” Bayfield coach Ronnie Posey said. “When you ask what I liked, I really liked Layne Bulwan’s contribution.”
The Wolverines found contributions from almost everyone else, too. Knickerbocker, a senior, scored nine; senior Destini McGhehey, Jaida Ross and Clark each scored eight; senior Kirby Brown scored four; Andrea Lahoz scored three; and Carrie Yost added two.
Senior Chanel McCloskey didn’t score Friday, but her second-half defense and assists from the guard position were integral to the Wolverines third-quarter run.
“Really it comes down to mental,” Bulwan said. “If you get your mind on something, you can do anything.”
On Friday, “anything” was a final home win for the seniors.
“Everybody’s a senior once, but it’s no less emotional,” Posey said. “I suppose you say it every year, but I’ll say it this year: This is a good group of girls.”