Delta High School's girls' basketball team got its first taste of a new season with a new coach and new offensive and defensive systems. The results were not totally successful, with the Panthers winning just one of three games played in last weekend's First Colorado National Bank basketball tournament.
The Panthers began play with Coal Ridge on Thursday night. Both teams showed signs of jitters, with the Titans weathering the storm better to score a 37-26 victory.
Friday's second-round game against Olathe proved to be a better experience for Delta as the Panthers overcame their first-game loss to defeat the Pirates 44-39.
On Saturday, Cedaredge's Bruins thumped Delta with an aggressive pressure defense and some good outside shooting. The Bruins won that contest, 50-20.
Titans 37, Delta 26
Both teams were working hard to solve the puzzle of being consistent in their first games of the 2015-16 prep basketball campaigns.
Coal Ridge, on the strength of four points each from Santana Martinez and Aiyana Castorena earned a 10-4 lead after one period of play.
The Panthers found the same groove in second-period action where they turned the score around for a 10-4 edge and a 14-14 halftime score.
A 23-12 second-half advantage was enough for the Titans to claim the win. Coal Ridge scored eight points in the third frame and finished with a 15-point effort in the fourth quarter.
Alexys Holder was Coal Ridge's leading scorer with seven points. Three other players had six for the Titans.
Delta's top scorers were Lily Lockhart and Mykayla Music with six and five points respectively.
Delta 44, Olathe 39
Olathe had an early advantage and threatened to pull away before the Panthers' defense dug in to keep the score at 8-5 after one quarter.
The Panthers got a 3-point goal from Music and five points from Lockhart in the second stanza to match Olathe's 13 points in the period.
Game momentum shifted in the second half, albeit not much, with the Panthers taking a 27-25 lead.
Delta outscored the Pirates 17-14 and stretched its lead to five, 44-39, by game's end. Jenna Sutliff spearheaded Delta's biggest offensive output, in a quarter, of the weekend with eight points. Sutliff made two field goals and was four for four at the free-throw line. Lockhart and was four-for-six from the line for a total of six points in the quarter.
Olathe's Brown was the game's leading scorer with 12 points. Sutliff finished with 11 points, and Lockhart had 10 for the Panthers.
Delta's 50-20 loss to Cedaredge is detailed in a story found on page C2.
Delta's girls will play in Palisade on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. and again on Saturday in Basalt with another 6 p.m. start.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Panthers are on the road to Carbondale for a 5:30 p.m. contest against Roaring Fork's Rams.