A new season with new circumstances has impacted Paonia High School basketball team in 2018-19.
Scott Rienks' girls are in a rebuilding process with young players supporting some veterans. The girls are searching for an identity that will be different from seasons past.
This year's team is 3-4 and in eighth place in overall standings, which is a change from seasons past.
Senior Poppy Lightfoot has been the leader for Paonia and has posted a 10.8 scoring average with five steals and 6.4 rebounds a game. Sophomore Carly Horn is scoring at an 8.6 average with sophomore Lyla Hayutin-baril scoring 4.6 a game.
New head coach Tim Esgar has his team on top of the 2A District 5 standings with a 5-3 record overall and 2-0 in league play.
The Eagles began the season with three straight wins before losing two contests to 3A schools Olathe and Coal Ridge.
Paonia bounced back to defeat Vail Mountain, 59-42 and 3A Cedaredge, 58-48, in this year's First Colorado National Bank tournament in Delta. The Eagles played for the First Colorado National Bank tournament title against Delta and suffered a loss to bring their record to 5-3.
Despite losses, confidence continues to grow for the Eagles with the major portion of their season ahead.
Paonia has some good leadership with seniors David Lozano and Soul Connolly leading the Eagles offense with 13.3 and 10.6 scoring averages, respectively. Sophomore Seah Maulhardt is next with a nine-point average with senior brother Elan chipping in an additional 6.7 points a game for the Eagles.
Paonia is 19th in RPI standings and is currently ranked 17th in Class 2A.
Paonia's 2019 portion of its schedule begins with Hayden's Tigers (3-4) in town Jan. 11 for a 5:30 p.m. girls varsity contest and a 7 p.m. boys varsity game.
West Grand's Mustangs are next with a visit to Paonia on Saturday, Jan. 12, for girls and boys varsity games at 2:30 and 4 p.m.