Second-seeded Eagles a dangerous opponent

By Tamie Meck

Paonia will enter this week's District 3/5 tournament with a 17-2 overall record after defeating Nucla, 27-0, on May 1. The Eagles scored 18 runs in the third inning. On May 4, Paonia traveled to Gunnison, where it swept a non-conference doubleheader over 9-9 Sanford, 32-4, 19-0.

The defending district champion Eagles are 4-1 in the district and will be seeded second in the tournament. At 5-0, Hotchkiss is seeded first.

Meeker (14-5, 3-2) which is 18th in RPI standings, and is seeded third in the district with Dolores (8-11, 4-4) seeded fourth.

In a win-or-go-home situation, fourth seeded Dolores and fifth seeded Ignacio will play on May 10, with the winners facing Hotchkiss in a game beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday; and Rangely will play Meeker, with the winners facing Paonia at noon.

The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. All games will be played at Olathe High School.

The winners of the eight district tournaments being played this weekend across the state advance to next week's regional/state tournament. In addition, the top eight teams in RPI standings will advance. Barring any major upsets, Paonia and Hotchkiss will advance to the regional tournament. Paonia is fourth in state 2A RPI standings and Hotchkiss is fifth. The RPI system measures each team's strength relative to other teams, based largely on the strength of their schedules.