After finishing the regular season in fourth place, Delta's girls looked to improve on a final standing with games at last week's district tournament in Grand Junction Central High School.
The Panthers made sure they would play in this year's district tournament with a big 51-36 win at home over Gunnison Feb. 20.
Delta stubbed its toe in a semifinal round game against No. 1 seed Moffat County, 45-29, on Friday and then lost in the third place game on Saturday to Cedaredge (for the fourth time this season; see related Cedaredge girls story, B5), 45-36.
Even with the losses, Delta made the final cut as the 17th seed and will travel to the campus of Kent Denver High School for Round 1 play in this year's 3A state tournament. The Panthers will face 16th seed Resurrection Christian (17-5) on Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m.
On the opposite side of the bracket, top seed Kent Denver (19-3) and the 32nd seeded Eagle Ridge Academy (12-9) will play to see who advances to play the winner of the Delta/Resurrection Christian game in a Sweet 16 game on March 3.
The remaining portion of this year's 3A state basketball tournament will take place on the campus of Denver University (Hamilton Gym) March 8-10.
Delta 52, Gunnison 36
The Panthers defeated Gunnison twice in regular season play and made it three in a row with Tuesday's 52-36 win.
Delta started with a 14-7 first quarter and had to hold on in the second quarter to earn a 22-20 halftime lead.
Play in the second half was controlled by the Panthers with 13 and 16-point efforts in the third and fourth periods, respectively.
Junior Missa Webb tossed in 17 points (16 in the first three quarters) to pace Delta shooters.
Delta senior Aubrey Jones scored 10 points, had six rebounds and made three steals in the win. Sophomore Sara Geddes was good for nine points, 12 rebounds and four steals while junior Jenna Sutliff had nine points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Freshman Alexa Huff pulled down six rebounds for the Panthers in the win.
Gunnison's Jenna Wise scored nine points and Kylie Travis added seven in the loss.
MCHS 45, Delta 29
Delta got to the Bulldogs, 54-25, on Feb. 16 but had no repeat performance for Moffat County on Friday. The Bulldogs gained an early advantage in the contest and held on for a halftime lead of 28-20.
A two-point third quarter was devastating for the Panthers and eventually resulted in a 45-29 loss and a fourth-place finish in the tournament.
Geddes' 12 points was the most scored by a Delta player while Jana Camilletti was Moffat County's top gun with 17 points followed by Tiffany Hildebrandt's 11 counters.
"Too many turnovers and missed shots," was Delta coach Kyle Crowder's post-game remark. "There were too many mental mistakes. We're young and hopefully we will get better. Turnovers are always the key. We had too many to overcome against good teams like Moffat County and Cedaredge."