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Alumni teams play for titles at half time

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Photo by Wayne Crick Hotchkiss and Delta alumni teams mingle following their halftime battle for the 2016 Alumni Team Championship. Alumni games were played, in 12-minute running quarters, at halftime of prep games played in the FCNB basketball tournament

Alumni teams from the four Delta County schools put together teams (men's and women's) to compete at half time of the First Colorado National Bank Basketball Tournament last week.

Players from as far back as 1986 were listed on team rosters, with several players from 2015 signed up for play on other rosters.

Dawna (Rowley) Hart, playing for Paonia, had a 1986 for the year she graduated. Given the time away from the game, Hart played well for the Eagles last Friday and Saturday. Her Eagles team defeated Delta on Friday and played in the title game, against Cedaredge, on Saturday. The Bruins ran past Hotchkiss to earn its title berth.

Cedaredge defeated Paonia to earn the First Colorado National Bank's first women's alumni championship on Saturday night.

Hotchkiss and Delta played for the men's title. Hotchkiss needed a tie-breaker shot from Kurt Clay (1991) to defeat Cedaredge on Friday night and had the same opportunity on Saturday in the title game against Delta. Delta's Jonny Ponce (2015) hit his free throw putting pressure on Clay. Clay's shot bounced off the rim to the right leaving Delta the 2016 Men's Alumni champions.

There were many comments on alumni games confessing they were highly entertaining for fans.

At this point, plans are for continuing the games next year. Hopefully those interested in playing will put last weekend's event on their calendars for next year.

A look at players on each team shows a definite range of years graduated.

Cedaredge's women alumni had eight players listed on its roster with Tonya (Stites) MacKendrick (1990) and Kristine (Kissner) Beach (1991) having the longest interest in basketball.

The Cedaredge men did not have any names on its roster list but fielded a team for games each night. Their graduation dates were unknown.

Delta's women were led by Danielle (Kraai) Barnard's 1994 graduation date. Charity Lockhart (1988) was on the list but did not play. Alisha (Doughty) Hancock (1995) was ill and did not play.

Delta's men had Ryan Crick (1995) on the roster but illness in the family prevented him from playing. Morgan Yost's 1996 was the earliest graduation date for the nine players, who played, listed on the team roster.

Hotchkiss' women alumni roster fielded nine players with Dhaun Cose (1990) and Lee (Demoss) Hartigan (1990) sharing the earliest graduation year.

Kurt Clay and Mike Smith (1991) were the oldest players listed for the 10 Hotchkiss men.

There were 12 women on Paonia's roster, with Hart (1986) and Karla (Kaestner) Head (1988) showing the way. Vicki (Harding) Whaley (1991) was next in line.

Paonia's men started with four names on the roster, but more players participated in games. Joe Mock (1992) and Brad Harding (1994) were the seasoned veterans on the squad.

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