Delta began its basketball year with three wins before a 61-48 loss to Palisade on Dec. 11 squashed the Panthers' win streak. A loss to a good Basalt team on Dec. 12 provided a wake-up call for the Panthers. A 40-34 win in Carbondale on Tuesday of last week had the Panthers seemingly back on the right path. A trip to Glenwood Springs on Friday, however, produced a 70-44 setback that left a bad taste in everyone's mouths.
Instead of making excuses, the Panthers (1-2) played a solid game against Battle Mountain (1-1), a top-three team in the 4A WSL, and held on for an exciting 52-50 win.
Delta 40, RF 34
Kyle Mock scored 10 first-quarter points against the Rams last Tuesday in Carbondale. That was almost double what Roaring Fork had at the end of the first period. Delta finished the opening frame leading 14-1.
The Rams found where the game ball was in the second quarter and figured out how to make it fall through the rim as they rocked Delta with an 18-9 run, cutting the Panthers' lead to four, 23-19. Dylan Hollenbeck stepped up for the Panthers with some offense that provided six points to help keep the Panthers in front at halftime.
The third quarter could have almost been played without a ball, with Roaring Fork winning the period, 5-4, to shave yet another point off Delta's lead.
Beau Byers and Hollenbeck contributed four points each to a 13-9 Delta run to seal the win, 40-34 in fourth quarter action.
Hollenbeck finished the game with 14 points, and Mock had 12 to lead Delta's offense. Gustavo Olivia topped Roaring Fork's point-production with 13 points.
Demons 70, DHS 44
Glenwood Springs' Cam Horning provided a huge lift to the Demons' offense with big shot after big shot. Horning scored nine points, all by way of the 3-ball, to lead Glenwood to a 22-13 lead after eight minutes of play.
Mock scored seven points and Jonny Ponce another six accounting for the Panthers' 13 points in the first frame.
The Demons kept momentum in second-period play and scored 19 points, behind Horning's six and Mason Yellico's five counters. Jaspar Carmichael scored five points and Ponce was 4-for-4 at the charity stripe to lead the Panthers.
Glenwood Springs didn't take much out of its game plan in the third period and kept pressure on Delta's offense while scoring 18 points on offense. Horning seared the nets with 11 more points in the third quarter.
A nearly even quarter was played over the final eight minutes with the Demons scoring three more points than Delta to make the final score 70-44.
Mock's 12 points were the most scored by a Panther. Ponce chipped in another 10.
The Panthers were without the services of Carmichael late in the game after he bounced his head off the floor in the late going.
Horning's 27 was tops for Glenwood while AJ Crowley and Angel Garcia added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Delta 52, Huskies 50
No one player held a hot hand in the opening quarter for Delta. Five players shared the ball for 11 points combined in the period while Battle Mountain stayed close, with 10 points, due in part to Abdoulaye Dath's five points in the period.
Point production went up for both teams in the second quarter with Delta's offense outscoring Battle Mountain's shooters, 19-13.
A stagnant third quarter, both offensively and defensively, allowed the Huskies to do some catching up with a 15-9 run. Delta had the lead, 39-38, as the teams began fourth-quarter play.
Both teams played hard in the fourth quarter with the Panthers holding on for the two-point win, 52-50. Carmichael's free-throw shooting lifted Delta over the top with 3-for-6 performance good enough to get the job done. Byers and Hollenbeck were 1 of 2 in their trips to the line.
Carmichael finished the game with 16 points to lead all scorers. Byers had 11 counters and Hollenbeck another eight in the win for Delta. Mills Joerz had 13 points to lead Battle Mountain.
With limited practice schedules over the holidays, the Panthers will resume league play on Jan. 8 in Rifle. On Jan. 9 the Panthers are scheduled to host Steamboat Springs for junior varsity and varsity games beginning mid-morning.
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