It was a great learning process for Delta High School's boys' basketball team. A mixture of players ranging from freshman to senior athletes created a season which produced plenty of highs and lows. A few of the highs included wins over teams which finished with better records than the Panthers.
Delta wasn't sure if it was even in the district tournament until last week.
A matchup with 5A/4A Durango was Delta's assignment in last Thursday's first round of the 4A WSL District Tournament.
The Demons, due to their high finish in the 5A SWL, were tabbed as the No. 1 seed for last week's tournament. Durango was third in the SWL with an overall record of 16-7 and 6-4 in league play.
Against Delta the Demons were unconscious, and automatic, from about everywhere on the floor when it came to shooting. Durango hit six 3-pointers in the opening quarter and opened a 26-6 lead after the first period had ended.
Delta bounced back to win the second quarter, 15-11, and trailed 37-21 at halftime. Beau Byers led the Panthers with seven points in the period.
Durango regrouped during the break and came out for the third period with a resolve that produced a 24-point effort from its offense. Delta's offense scored 15 points, falling nine points further behind.
Each team scored 15 points in the final quarter, vaulting the Demons to a 76-51 decision.
Sophomore Jaspar Carmichael scored 16 points to pace Delta's offense with teammates Byers and Jonny Ponce collecting 10 points apiece. Durango's Orion Clay, Lucas Baken and Kyle Kirkpatrick scored 12 points each for the Demons.
Durango went on to defeat Glenwood Springs, on Friday, in the next round and slipped past Rifle, 29-26, in the title game played at Grand Junction Central High School.