Another pre-season has come and gone for Delta County basketball teams. This year's winners, in the third annual First Colorado National Bank tournament, were both the Delta boys and girls teams. Delta's girls defeated Cedaredge's Bruins, 57-36, and the boys raced past Paonia, 62-20 to win their second consecutive title in the tournament.
Delta 57, Bruins 36
Delta High School dethroned last year's tournament winner, Cedaredge, with a solid offensive effort and a stout defense.
The Panthers used junior Sara Geddes' seven first-quarter points to build a 17-11 lead. Cedaredge senior Courtney Freeman scored eight of the Bruins' first-quarter points but couldn't get much help from her teammates.
Delta relied on its stifling defense to build a 14-2 second-quarter advantage for a 31-13 lead at halftime. Sophomore Alexa Huff led Delta's offense in the second quarter with six points and freshman Erika Kuta added four.
Delta continued its offensive presence in the third quarter with Geddes tossing in eight points to lead the Panthers on a 15-11 run. Sophomore Kammie Henderson and junior Makayla Kehmeier scored four points each in the period.
Cedaredge had its best offensive outing of the game in a 12-11 advantage in the fourth quarter to make the final score 57-36.
Freeman paced the Bruins' offense with 11 points followed by Henderson's nine and Kehmeier's eight.
Three Panthers scored double-digits with Geddes' 15 points leading the way. Kuta finished with 11 and Huff had 10 for the winners.
Senior Missa Webb scored 12 points in the opening round of tournament play and finished with nine in the title game. Her all-around play earned her the tournament's Most Valuable Player award in this year's FCNB tournament.
Delta 62, Paonia 20
Delta's offense was clicking along in the first quarter of play and streaked to a 20-8 lead after eight minutes of play. Three Panthers scored at least four points with senior Jonathan Robinson's five counters triggering the surge. Senior Joe Bules and junior Alexis Fausto contributed four points each in the opening quarter. David Lozano had half of the Eagles' eight points in the first period.
Delta's offense continued to dominate play in the second period with a 17-7 advantage to take a 37-15 halftime lead.
Second half play featured a 25-5 advantage for the Panthers with Robinson scoring six points in the third quarter to finish as the game's leading scorer with 11 points. Bules was close behind Robinson with 10 points with Andrew Baier (senior) and Fausto next with nine points each and Kyle Mock finishing with eight points. Lozano had six points to lead Paonia's offense followed by Logan Green's five counters.
This year's Most Valuable Player was Delta's Baier who posed a major presence in the middle of the Panthers' defense and scored 10 and nine points in the two 2018 FCNB tournament games.
Delta basketball resumes play on Jan. 11 and 12. The Panthers will host Roaring Fork on the 11th with varsity games (girls and boys) set for 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively. On Jan. 12, Delta is in Basalt for games at 2:30 and 4 p.m., respectively.
Cedaredge basketball is set to play on Jan. 11 at home against Aspen with girls and boys varsity games set for 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Paonia resumes hoops competition on Jan. 11 at home against Hayden at 5:30 and 7 p.m., respectively and has West Grand in Paonia Jan. 12 at 2:30 and 4 p.m., respectively.