Photo by Wayne Crick Reilly Quist sizes up the opposition before deciding what she will do to get around a Grand Junction High School player. The Lady Tigers took advantage of Delta’s miscues to score a 48-30 decision in the first round of tournament action in Fruita.Delta High School's Lady Panthers haven't seen the floor in a varsity basketball game as of yet, but the junior varsity squad got a taste of action with a pair of contests in tournament action in Fruita last weekend.
The young Panthers were not in sync with each other in their opening round game against Grand Junction on Friday.
Poor shooting and first-game miscues cost the Lady Panthers a 48-30 loss. Game two on Saturday was more to the liking of junior varsity coach Ryan Hilbig. His Lady Panthers responded with a 48-32 win over Central.
GJ 48, Delta 30
Friday's game against the Lady Tigers from Grand Junction had some glimpses of things to come for Delta. A slow start, caused by numerous turnovers, resulted in a 15-7 deficit for the Panthers.
Grand Junction stayed ahead of Delta with a 10-7 run in the second quarter to take a 25-14 lead at halftime.
The young Panthers started quickly in the third quarter and cut Junction's lead to single digits before the Lady Tigers could regroup after a time out. The Tigers managed to hold off the determined Panthers with a 13-8 surge and a 38-22 lead heading into the final quarter.
Grand Junction went on to outscore Delta 10-8 in the fourth quarter making the final score 48-30.
Junction's L. Swander led all scorers in the game with 14 points while Reilly Quist and Bailey Massano topped Delta shooters with seven points each. Haley Millard finished with six points for Delta.
Delta 48, Central 32
The Lady Panthers had the hot hand in Saturday's contest against Central. As the two teams prepared to play the second quarter, Delta had outscored the Lady Warriors 17-11 in the opening frame.
Delta's defense got serious in the second quarter and held Central to just three points while its offense netted 12 more points and a 25-14 lead at the break.
Each team scored six points in the third quarter as the game's tempo slowed. The final stanza went to the Warriors by a 12-11 count making the final score 48-32.
Millard and Desirae Smith shared team scoring honors for the Panthers with 10 points each. Kenzie Jones finished with eight counters and Katie Puderbaugh and Taylor Jensen had seven and six points respectively.
Coach Hilbig saw a big change in play from the first day to the second. "Our girls looked nervous in the first game, which is pretty typical for an early season game against a tough team. Our game against Grand Junction was not representative of what this team is capable of. Against Central on Saturday, we played like I expected us to play this season. We had tough defense and solid offensive contributions from everyone."
Hilbig gave plenty of praise for the play of his guards. "Our guards stepped up and looked great distributing the ball and creating offense. I think we gained a lot of confidence in that second game and we will use it as a platform to keep getting better. These girls have been working hard in practice against a tough varsity all season and it showed against Central. These Panther girls are gonna be tough."
The junior varsity team played Montrose on Tuesday and will not play again until Dec. 20 when Eagle Valley comes to town. There is a junior varsity tournament, played at DHS, that coincides with the First Bank of Coloado Tournament that is scheduled for Dec. 21 and 22 at Delta High School.