A big week of basketball success has the Delta Lady Panthers riding an eight-game winning streak. Overall, Delta is 9-2 with a 2-0 start in league games following wins against Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain last week.
Photo by Wayne Crick
Delta junior forward Callie Gafford (40) makes two of her game-high 21 points against Cortez’s Miranda Elliott. Gafford, and the Lady Panthers, were virtually unstoppable in their opening tournament game as they posted a 63-30 victory.
The Lady Panthers traveled to Cortez this past weekend where they played three games in the Cortez Tournament. After winning all three games, Delta claimed the tournament title in a 61-43 win over Bayfield. Earlier in the tournament, Delta defeated Cortez 63-30 and Shiprock Northwest 92-17.
Delta 71, EV 29
The Panthers got off to a great start to their big week of basketball with a league win against Eagle Valley on Jan. 3.
Delta started fast and stayed in rhythm the whole way in earning the 71-29 victory. The Lady Panthers set the tone for the rest of the game with a 19-2 run in the opening quarter. A 15-4 surge in the second period gave Delta a 34-6 halftime lead.
In the second half, Delta kept their offensive edge to outscore the Lady Devils 37-23 and coast to the win. Skylyn Webb and Shelby Curtis led an 18-15 Panther run in the fourth quarter with seven points apiece.
Webb finished as the game's leading scorer with 17 points with Taylor Zunich next high with 12 markers. Curtis finished with 11 points and Callie Gafford scored 10 giving Delta four players in double figures. Lauren Thorpe had 10 points to lead Eagle Valley.
Delta 56, BM 14
Delta didn't score as high as they had against Eagle Valley, but their defense did a superb job in limiting Battle Mountain to just 14 points in four quarters of play.
Delta jumped to a 14-3 first-quarter lead and never looked back. It was 28-6 at the break with seven different players scoring points in the first half.
Second-half play was much the same as it was in the first half with Delta's defense dictating the game's tempo. The Panthers outscored Battle Mountain 28-8 in the second half.
Four players shared team-high scoring honors for Delta with eight points each. Webb, Curtis, Carissa Sidor, and Taylor Zunich were the top four scorers for Delta. Gafford finished with seven points and Alyssa Goff and Katie Kahrs had six each.
Battle Mountain's Misha Harrison stole the game-high scoring honor with nine points.
Delta 63, Cortez 30
Photo by Wayne Crick
Delta’s Brooke Taylor (dark jersey) and three Cortez players find themselves in a scramble for the loose ball which seems to be hanging in mid-air. Delta swept through the two-day basketball tournament with three wins to capture the team title.
In their first game of the Cortez Tournament, Delta was matched against the host Cortez Panthers. Delta made sure there was no doubt as to which group of Panthers was going to win the game as they roared to a 20-9 lead after one period.
Callie Gafford had the game of her career against Cortez with 21 points and numerous rebounds on both ends of the floor. Gafford had 10 of Delta's 20 points in the first quarter and tallied another eight in a 23-9 Delta run in the second quarter.
With a 43-18 halftime lead, the Panthers' bench players saw plenty of action in the second half of play.
Gafford's 21 points was game-high with Webb next in line with 16. Cortez's Sydney Bayles scored 11 points to lead Cortez.
Delta 92, Shiprock 17
This contest was a mismatch from the tip. The Lady Panthers got their fastbreak going early and often on their way to a 29-7 first quarter. Webb and Kahrs paced the torrid offensive attack with eight and six points respectively.
Junior Erin Zunich sparked Delta's offense in the second quarter with eight points as the Panthers raced to a 23-4 advantage and a 52-11 halftime lead.
Delta's reserves got the majority of playing time in the second half with Patti Chapman scoring six points in a 22-5 run in the third quarter. Taylor Zunich contributed five points to the run and Gafford another four.
Shiprock had numerous turnovers in the fourth quarter as they took chances in an effort to get back into the game. Delta's defense met the challenge and held the Lady Falcons to just one point in the period.
Four players scored double figures for the Lady Panthers with Taylor Zunich's 15 leading the way. Webb's 14 was next high followed by Gafford's 13 and Erin Zunich's 12 counters.
Delta 61, Bayfield 43
Bayfield fought back from an early deficit to make the first quarter close. Delta had an early 9-2 lead but found the Lady Wolverines a bit more competitive than they wanted. The Panthers, behind Gafford's eight points, finished the opening quarter with a 15-13 lead.
Delta applied more defense in the second frame and outscored the Wolverines 19-8 for a 34-21 lead at the half. Webb's nine points paced Delta's offense as did the nine steals the Lady Panthers recorded.
Bayfield's Candace Shaw scored seven of her team-high 18 points in the third quarter to keep the Wolverines within touch.
Taylor Zunich and Webb scored seven and six points respectively in Delta's 13-9 run in the fourth quarter. Webb finished the game with 21 points while Gafford had 12 and Taylor Zunich 10.
Delta faced league rival Palisade on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and is slated to play in Glenwood Springs this Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Next week's schedule has the Lady Panthers playing at Central High School against the Lady Warriors. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.