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Bulldog boys ousted in 2A

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Photo by Wayne Crick Hotchkiss senior Clayton Oxford (00) makes his way to the ball during game action at the District 5 tournament held in De Beque.

The basketball season for Hotchkiss' boys' team has drawn to a close following last weekend's competition in Region 3 play. The Bulldogs were the Region 3 Pool 1 number eight seed entering tournament play.

Prior to last weekend's Region 3 play, the Bulldogs finished a week of District 5 competition with a 1-3 record against WSL foes. The Bulldogs started with a 67-46 win on Monday, over Soroco, to make the trip to De Beque for semifinal and final-round action on Friday and Saturday.

Hotchkiss was matched with its longtime rival Paonia on Friday. The Eagles scored a 61-38 win, sending Hotchkiss to consolation-round play on Saturday. Hotchkiss' foe on Saturday was Vail Christian. The Saints prevailed, 52-45, and sent the Bulldogs to Coal Ridge as an eight seed.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the eight seed was matched against No. 1-seeded Resurrection Christian in Pool 1 play. The Cougars lived up to their billing and eliminated Hotchkiss with a resounding 98-49 victory.

When asked if he would like to play Resurrection Christian in a rematch (jokingly), Bulldogs' coach Eric Hollembeak responded with, "Ah, sure I'd like to play them again. We stayed kinda close for awhile. I think we frustrated them by guarding their three best players and took our chances with the rest of the team. Once they (Cougars) figured out what was going on things changed."

"We were within nine late in the first quarter and a 3-pointer put them up by 12. After that they went on a 6-0 run and began pulling away," quoted Hollembeak.

In all, Hollembeak noted that the Cougars were the best team he had seen this season.

The loss ended Hotchkiss' basketball season with a 9-14 overall record. Resurrection Christian will take its 23-0 record to Pueblo for this week's 2A state tournament.

The Cougars enter this weekend's tournament as the state's No. 2 seed. Sanford, 24-0, is seeded first.

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