Photo by Wayne Crick Delta basketball fans have waited an unusually long time for the first home games for their varsity teams. Both teams came into Thursday’s contests with Eagle Valley holding 0-3 records from tournament play in earlier games. Delta won both games (girls; 74-42 - boys; 77-56) and are now 1-0 in league play and 1-3 overall.The Delta Panther boys basketball team began the season the same way the Lady Panthers did by losing their first three games of the season. But a 4A WSL contest against Eagle Valley started the Panthers on their way to a hopeful winning streak.
Photo by Wayne Crick Senior Doug Hawkins shoots a jumper from the right elbow during last week’s varsity basketball contest against Eagle Valley. Hawkins scored five points and had numerous rebounds in the Panthers’ 77-56 win over the Devils.Delta took an early 11-5 lead after one period of action and then exploded for a big second quarter on its way to a 77-56 win on Thursday, Dec. 20.
The big second quarter for Delta featured a trio of three-pointers by Keaton Reiher as Delta took control of the game with a 27-11 surge. The Panthers were comfortably ahead, 38-16, as the two teams went to halftime.
With the major damage having been done in the second quarter, the Panthers were content with keeping an edge over the Devils in second half play.
Both teams scored 20 points in the third quarter with Kenny Wood giving the Panthers a spark with a pair of treys in the period.
Eagle Valley's Sam Lounsberry caught fire in the third quarter and scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the period.
Play in the fourth quarter became a foul-fest with Delta going to the charity stripe for 15 shots and making nine of them in a 20-19 run on Eagle Valley. The Devils had eight freethrows and made four of them. In all, Delta was 13 for 26 and Eagle Valley made 10 of 24 attempts.
Delta's leading scorer was Chris Black who finished with 13 points. Reiher, Mitch Whiteside, and Eian Baier all had nine points for the Panthers. Kenny Wood had eight for the winners.
Photo by Wayne Crick Delta’s Chris Black is not the tallest player on the floor in most of the Delta Panther basketball games. But Black can jump and often uses that ability to score points in the paint. Black led the Panthers with 13 points against Eagle Valley.Delta played host to the 18th annual Delta County hoops tournament on Dec. 21-22. The tournament sponsor used to be Bank of the West until last year when First Colorado National Bank took over the annual event.
Due to an early deadline for sports this week, game results from the First Colorado National Bank Tournament were unavailable for today's issue. Look for stories from the tournament in next week's paper.