The Delta girls basketball team had an advantage all year long with the top record in 3A WSL play. The Panther boys were, more or less, in the driver's seat as well.
Both teams had their foot on the gas this last weekend vying for post-season playoff berths. And both are set to host regional play this coming weekend. That word is not official at press time and fans will need to check in at CHSSANow.com to find out when and who will be joining the Panthers in a hosting role. The feat marks the first time, maybe in the history of Delta High School basketball, both the girls and boys teams have won league and district titles in the same season.
Delta's girls began their playoff week with a 74-37 win over Basalt Feb. 19. In a quarterfinal round at Central High School, the Panthers squeaked past Grand Valley 48-43 and won the title on Saturday with a 40-25 win over Cedaredge.
Delta 74, Basalt 37
Delta (9-0, 21-1) was in total control from start to finish in this match-up. A 43-11 first half provided a huge margin the Longhorns could not recover from.
Sara Geddes scored 17 points, Keely Porter had 12 and Alexa Huff finished with 11 for the Panthers. Gracie Reardon had 14 points to lead Basalt (3-6, 6-15)
Delta 48, Cardinals 43
This game was a bit more challenging with Grand Valley sticking around all the way to the end. Delta led 27-21 at the half and was clinging to a 31-27 lead going to the fourth quarter.
Delta hit 20 of 29 free throws in this game and the Cardinals (6-3, 16-6) were 12 of 19 at the charity stripe. Geddes was 11 of 16 from the line and finished with 15 points to lead all scorers. Shaya Chenowith topped Grand Valley shooters with 11 points.
Delta 40, Bruins 25
The previous meetings between these two teams were wins for Delta. Saturday's game began much the same way the others had, slowly.
Delta took a five-point lead to the second quarter and rode the shooting of freshman Erika Kuta (six points) to outscore the Bruins 13-3 for a 25-10 lead at the break.
Each team scored 15 points in the second half as two strong defensive teams checked the other team's offensive output.
Kuta and Porter finished with 10 points each for the Panthers. Courtney Freeman had eight points and Kammie Henderson finished with seven for the Bruins (7-2, 17-5.
Delta's boys took the snow from under Aspen's Skiers in a 72-23 start to their week, Feb. 19. The win advanced the Panthers (9-0, 18-4) to Central High School for a semifinal round contest against Coal Ridge (6-3, 12-8). Delta found a miracle to win this thriller, in overtime, 56-54. The title game Saturday afternoon was close all the way until the final quarter where Delta pulled away for a 50-39 win.
Delta 72, Aspen 23
Senior Kyle Mock went on a rampage and scored 18 points, including 10 points in the first quarter helping the Panthers race to a 37-14 halftime lead.
A 35-9 second half sealed Aspen's fate resulting in a 72-23 victory in the first round of tournament play.
Mock was joined in double figures by senior Joe Bules' 11 counters.
Delta 56, Rams 54 OT
There were some fantastic shooting and playmaking in this game. Small leads were the norm for most of the game until the third quarter. Delta accelerated on offense to run to a 16-6 advantage in the frame but nearly lost it all when Roaring Fork stormed back for a 13-7 run to tie the game at 46-46.
The two teams battled back and forth in the extra period with Delta needing a 3-point goal to tie the game in the waning seconds in overtime. John Ames drove to the left baseline and was attempting a shot when he was blocked by waving arms. In an agile contortion of his body, Ames was able to avoid the arms and shot the ball from an awkward position. The ball gently brushed the back of the rim and seemed to bounce back and forth in the net for the needed 3-point shot to tie the game at 54-54.
Senior Jonathan Robinson was fouled a short time later and without reserve, sank both foul shots to seal Delta's first undefeated league season and an outright league title in quite some time. The Rams had one last shot, and it was a great look at the rim, before time expired on the rebounded miss.
Mock was high point again with 17 points with Robinson adding a baker's dozen. Graham Pietsch scored 17 points to lead Roaring Fork.
Pairings are to be released Feb. 26 for regional play. Delta is projected to host a four-team site with the regional winners moving on to the Sweet 16. Check CHSAANow.com for regional bracketing.