Early-season play for Delta High School's basketball teams involved travel over the mountains two of three weekends. The Panthers were in tournament play at Faith Christian in Denver three weeks ago and played in Alamosa the following Friday and in Centauri on Saturday.
Delta's girls had a win and their first loss of the season this past week with a 46-45 squeaker-win against Alamosa on Friday and a 53-43 loss against Centauri on Saturday. The Panther boys continued their slow start to the season with a 53-44 loss to Alamosa and a solid win, 54-40, in Centauri.
Delta 46, Alamosa 45
It was a nailbiter with the Mean Moose on Friday. The outlook was grim early on with Alamosa easing to an 11-5 first-quarter lead. Sara Geddes scored seven of the 11 Delta points in the second quarter to an eight-point Alamosa effort making the halftime score 19-16 in favor of the Mean Moose.
Delta's third quarter was a 14-7 run to overhaul Alamosa 30-26 heading to the final stanza. Geddes recorded her second, seven-point quarter in the fourth frame keeping the Panthers close in a 19-16 Mean Moose run that produced a 46-45 win for Delta.
Geddes finished the game with 22 points to lead all scorers in the game. Alamosa's Emily Lavier and Sylvie Caton had 12 points each for the Mean Moose.
Centauri 53, Delta 43
A 22-point fourth quarter spelled defeat for the Delta Panthers for the first time this season.
The Panthers battled from behind for three quarters before taking a 32-31 lead to the fourth quarter. Centauri started with an 11-6 first quarter and was leading 24-21 at halftime.
Thanks to freshman Erika Kuta's offensive awakening in the middle quarters, Delta moved in front with the help of Kuta's eight points in the second quarter and another five points in the third.
There was a flurry of fouls in the fourth quarter, which sent Falcon shooters to the foul line for 14 shots where they converted 10 for important points. Overall, Centauri was 19 of 28 in charity tosses. Delta was whistled for 25 fouls with Kuta fouling out in the fourth quarter with a team-high 17 points. Three other players finished with four fouls.
Centauri stole the game on a 22-11 run in the ill-fated fourth quarter to win by 10.
Falcon sophomore Courtney Hamilton scored 10 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter and sophomore Brenna McDaniel was 5-for-5 from the foul line to go with her field goal. Senior Melissa Wilson had 11 for the Mean Moose.
Delta's Keely Porter finished with 12 points to join Kuta in double figures.
The loss dropped Delta to a 4-1 record for the season.
Alamosa 53, Delta 44
A few missed shots and some ill-timed turnovers spelled defeat in Alamosa Dec. 14. Information for this game was not available.
Delta 54, Centauri 40
Though the start to this game wasn't, scorewise, intimidating, the 13-6 advantage for Delta proved to be a factor leading to the Panthers' 14-point win.
Jon Robinson's five points, and Kyle Mock's 4-4 free throw performance in the opening frame, helped fuel enough offense to generate momentum in the game's first three quarters and give the Panthers 43-24 lead going to the final period.
Five Delta players shared in the 16-point effort in the second quarter helping the Panthers forge a 29-11 halftime lead.
Ames' seven points in the third quarter kept Delta in front during a 14-13 Panther run in the period.
The Falcons finally got the upper hand in the fourth quarter on a 16-11 spurt for a 54-40 final score.
Robinson finished as Delta's leading scorer with 11 points followed by Ames with 9 and 8 points each from Alex Fausto and Mock.
Delta hosted the third annual First Colorado National Bank Basketball Tournament Dec. 21-22.
Teams from Cedaredge and Paonia played Friday's opening round games in the girls and boys divisions with Delta's girls facing Hotchkiss and the Panther boys testing the Bulldogs in the late games. Winners from the two girls games on Friday played in the title game in the afternoon on Saturday and the losers played a consolation game earlier in the day. The same routine was followed for the boys with the consolation and title games played Saturday afternoon.