A pair of wins, including an exciting venture to Parachute, elevated Delta High School boys' basketball team to third place in the final 3A WSL standings.
The Panthers rolled to a much-needed victory over league foe Moffat County on Friday, winning by an 80-43 margin. Saturday's game against Grand Valley came down to a wild finish with Delta claiming a 63-62 decision to finish regular season play with a 6-3 league mark and 13-6 overall.
Coal Ridge (9-0, 17-2) won the league title with Roaring Fork finishing second (8-1, 17-2). Grand Valley was fourth (6-3, 16-3).
Delta 80, MoCo 43
Moffat County's Brent Cook made the Panthers' life miserable in the first quarter with 10 points in a 19-11 Bulldog run in the opening quarter.
The Panthers took a deep breath and regrouped in the second quarter and turned Andrew Baier loose in a Delta 20-6 run. Baier's 10 points, and a pair of 3s from John Ames, propelled the Panthers on their run and a 31-25 halftime lead.
Six players combined in the third quarter to generate 27 points offensively for Delta. Ames, who finished with six 3s, hit another pair in the period with Logan Freed and Baier chipping in an equal number of points (six). Jaspar Carmichael contributed another five points in the huge run by the Panthers.
Moffat County finished the third period with an 11-point effort leaving the Panthers on top, 58-36.
Felipe Bedoy and Ames canned a pair of 3s each taking Delta on another big run of 22 points. A seven-point effort by the Bulldogs in the period made the final score 80-43.
Delta finished the game with 11 three-point goals.
Baier collected most of his game-high 19 points in the middle quarters for the Panthers with teammates Ames (18), Carmichael (14) and Freed (11) adding double-digit scoring support in the win.
Cook's 17 was high for the visiting Bulldogs.
Delta 63, GV 62
Delta took an early lead and held onto it for most of the game. A three-point lead at the end of one period was sparked by the play of Freed who had six points in the period.
Carmichael led Delta scorers in the second period with seven points helping the Panthers outscore Grand Valley 19-13 for a halftime lead of 33-24.
Second half play was highlighted by Carmichael's 11-point third quarter and Freed's eight-point fourth quarter.
Grand Valley made a furious run to close the gap with a 22-point fourth quarter to come up short in a 63-62 loss. The Cardinals had a pair of chances at the end of the game but could not convert the winning goal as time ran out.
Delta's Freed and Grand Valley's Garrett Magee shared game-high scoring honors with 20 points each.
Carmichael finished the game with 19 markers for the Panthers with Ames finishing the game with three 3s (nine for the weekend) and nine points.
Kade Hurst (16) and Indra Griggs (14) gave the Cardinals three players with double-digit scoring.
The Panthers played on Tuesday against sixth-seeded Olathe with the winner advancing to district semifinal play at Central High School in Grand Junction on Friday (Feb. 23). Tuesday's winner would face either 2 Roaring Fork, 7 Gunnison or 10 Moffat County at 5:30 p.m. with a title game awaiting the winner Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Central High School.