The 2016 portion of Delta High School's girls' basketball schedule began with two games last week. The Panthers traveled to Rifle on Friday where they dropped a 49-30 decision to the Bears and hosted Steamboat Springs on Saturday and suffered a 46-42 overtime loss after leading 13-1 in the first period.
Rifle 49, Delta 30
In one of the ugliest starts of the season for Delta, the Panthers scored just one point in the first quarter and fell behind the Bears 15-1 to begin the second period.
That first-period stumble proved to be the major cause for Delta's 19-point loss. The rest of the game was played with just a five-point difference between the two teams.
The Panthers regrouped in the second quarter to score 14 points while Rifle put up 17 counters for a 32-15 halftime lead.
Neither team was a model of scoring efficiency in the second half as the Bears held on to manage a 17-15 edge in second-half scoring and the 49-30 win.
Emily Nortnik topped Delta scorers with 13 points while Rifle's Jessie Pressler canned five 3-point goals for 15 points to lead the Bears. Elly Walters added 13 in the win for Rifle.
The Bears, 3-1 and 7-2 overall, are third in 4A WSL standings.
SS 46, Delta 42 (OT)
After dominating the first quarter for a 13-1 lead, Delta's Panthers imploded in the second quarter and were outscored 14-4 but clung to a 17-15 lead at the break.
Raya Duryea and Karly Lanning sparked the Sailors' surge with six points each.
Steamboat came out in the second half of play and attacked the basket with a more aggressive style of play. Delta's defense, for the most part, was able to make adjustments and limited the Sailors to 14 fourth-quarter points. Delta countered with 12 points in the period, leaving the score tied at 29 with one quarter left to play.
Both teams scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, forcing an overtime period.
Steamboat Springs was able to pull out the win with four points in the overtime and moved to 1-3 in 4A WSL play and 3-7 overall. Delta fell to 1-4 and 4-6.
Delta's top scorers were Nortnik with nine points and Joyclie Webb with eight. The game's leading scorer belonged to Steamboat's Duryea who scored 10 points.
The Panthers have one game this week, a long road trip to Frisco and a matchup against Summit's Tigers on Friday at 5 p.m.
Delta hosts Palisade Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs defeated Delta, 51-12, earlier in the season.
A big second half by Rifle on Friday of last week propelled the Bears to a 62-41 4A WSL win in Rifle.
The Panthers lost their second game of the weekend with a 58-49 loss to the visiting Steamboat Springs Sailors on Saturday.
The two losses relegated the Panthers to the bottom of 4A WSL standings with a 1-4 league mark and 5-5 overall. Rifle, 4-0 and 8-1, rests on top of the standings with Glenwood Springs, 3-0 and 5-4, in second and Palisade, 2-1 and 2-7, in third place. Summit is 1-1 in league play and is 1-7 overall. Battle Mountain completes the top five with its 1-2 and 4-5 overall marks.
Rifle 62, Delta 41
First-half play was fairly even, with the Bears earning a slight edge in scoring, 30-25. Jaspar Carmichael kept the Panthers close with seven points in the first period and an equal number in the second frame. It would be all he would score the rest of the way.
Jacob Boone scored 13 of his game-high 27 points for Rifle in the first half.
The Bears took control of the game in the third quarter with a 17-7 run, aided by Boone's 10 points.
Rifle closed out the game with a 15-9 run for a 62-41 final score.
Carmichael's 14 first-half points paced Delta scorers and Kyle Mock chipped in 11 giving the Panthers two players with double-digit scoring.
SS 58, Delta 49
Delta's offense was sharp in the opening quarter against the Sailors on Saturday. The Panthers paraded to the foul line for nine charity shots in the period and made seven count in a 13-10 advantage for Delta.
The tables turned in second-period action as Steamboat found the bottom of the net for 15 points, with the Panthers scoring 10. The Sailors held a 25-23 lead at halftime.
A 17-6 Steamboat advantage in the third period did significant damage to Delta's hopes of overtaking the Sailors.
The Panthers rallied behind Mock (seven points) and Jonny Ponce (six points) as Delta went on a 20-16 run that fell short, 58-49.
Mock finished the game with 18 points and Ponce added 11 counters in a losing effort by the Panthers.
Steamboat Springs' Jon Rinck led all scorers in the game with 23 points.
Delta has one game this week against the league's fourth-place team Summit. The Tigers are 1-1 in league play and 1-7 overall. Delta travels to Frisco for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.