A 20-point fourth period that included four consecutive free throws in the final moments of the game resulted in a second win this season for Hotchkiss over the neighboring Paonia Eagles. Two weeks earlier at the Delta County tournament, the Bulldogs, competing in their first year as a class 2A team, pulled off a three-point win over Paonia in a game that came down to the final seconds.
The score was close throughout the game. A late three-pointer by Cody Bartlett put the Bulldogs ahead, 15-10, at the end of the first period.
Paonia scored 21 points in the second period. Taylor Walters sank two from the line after drawing a foul early in the second, and Bartlett held on to the six-point lead, hitting another trey in the opening seconds.
Ben Linnell caught fire, sinking four field goals from the paint for Paonia, with Walters adding six and Josiah Spano another six to tie the game at 31-all heading into the half.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the third, Taylor Schreiner took a steal in for two, giving Hotchkiss a 41-39 lead heading into the fourth period. Bartlett opened with a quick two, and Tye Bayles scored, putting Hotchkiss ahead again by six. Paonia got to within two, but Hotchkiss maintained control, allowing Schreiner to score two goals and shoot 2-4 from the line. Bartlett made some last-minute attempts, drawing fouls and shooting 4-4 from the line.
With time running out and Hotchkiss holding a narrow lead, Eric Carney hit a three-pointer, but Hotchkiss continued to control the court, with Bartlett hitting 4-4 from the line for the win. Spano scored a team-high 15 for Paonia, and Linnell added 10. Walters, who was 5-6 from the line, ended the game with nine points.
Schreiner scored a game-high 18 points for the Bulldogs, with Bartlett contributing 14.
This was the first of two, 2A Western Slope League games between the local rivals. Paonia was missing starting point guard Taylor Katzer on Saturday, and shooting guard Spano, a lead scorer for the Eagles, was absent from December's game. The next game between the two schools, which will count toward their conference records, is scheduled for Feb. 19 at Hotchkiss.blog comments powered by Disqus