Photo by Wayne Crick With Palisade’s Jesus Aguirre crowding him, Delta sophomore Eian Baier focuses on the rim during a shot last week in Palisade. The Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss at the hands of Delta with a 69-42 win.The Delta Panther boys' basketball team began the weekend on a winning note after beating Summit in a rematch. The Panthers defeated Summit 65-54 last Friday.
Saturday's battle with Palisade was the reversal of an earlier victory over the Bulldogs. Delta fell to Palisade 69-42 to remain in third place in the 4A WSL.
Delta 65, Summit 54
After falling to Summit 66-53 earlier in the season, the Delta Panthers had looked forward to their rematch with the Tigers last Friday night.
A big night for Ryan Whiteside and Keaton Reiher provided offensive fuel for the Panthers and their 11-point victory. Both players scored five points in the opening period with Delta outscoring the Tigers 12-10.
Whiteside and Reiher scored six points each in the second quarter to lead the Panthers on an 18-15 run and a 30-25 halftime lead.
The Panthers shot 27 free throws in the second half and made 17 of them to help Delta to a 35-29 advantage over the final two periods. Delta finished the game with 28 of 44 free throws in the game.
The big night for Whiteside resulted in 24 points on six field goals and a 12 of 20 performance from the charity stripe. Reiher had 17 points, including eight of 10 made free throws.
Summit's Coy Coker led the Tigers' offense with 22 points.
Palisade 69, Delta 42
Delta had one player in double figures against the Bulldogs. Jaden Cowley scored at least two points in each quarter to finish with 12 points. Eian Baier was next in line with nine points and Reiher had seven.
The Bulldogs, behind 10 points from Zach Marengo, led 35-28 at halftime.
Second-half action saw the Bulldogs continue their offensive domination with a 34-14 run.
The loss left Delta in third place with an 11-8 overall mark and 9-5 in league play. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Durango, out of the SWL, finished second in that league and automatically moves into the 4A WSL regionals as the number one seed. The Demons finished at 7-3 in league play and were 14-5 overall.
As the number one seed, Durango drew a bye and is scheduled to face either Cortez (3-7 and 6-3) or Battle Mountain (4-10 and 8-11) on Thursday at CMU beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Second-seeded Palisade, the 4A WSL winner (12-2 and 14-5) will play the winner of number seven Montrose (5-5, 7-12) or number 10 Summit (3-11, 4-15) in a game to be played at CMU beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Delta's fate was based on a pigtail game that was played on Tuesday, in Delta, against number 11 seed Glenwood Springs (4-10, 5-14), a team the Panthers defeated easily a couple of weeks ago. The winner of the game advanced to face third-seed Eagle Valley (10-4, 14-5) at Central High School. Seven teams advance from the tournament.