The four Delta County high schools had plenty to cheer about in 2021 with all four girls varsity basketball teams taking part in postseason play. Cedaredge, Delta and Paonia all earned first round byes in their respective classifications to begin state tournament play with Hotchkiss taking its team to Arvada to play Lotus School for Excellence in the first round.
Hotchkiss ended its season with a 52-29 loss to Lotus School and finished the year with an 8-7 record in Class 2A.
Cedaredge came off its first round bye to defeat Del Norte, 60-28, in the Sweet 16 round and advanced to the Great 8 where it lost to Limon, 41-35, and finished the season with Delta County’s best team record, 14-2.
Paonia’s Eagles made great strides in 2021 after losing Scott Rienks as a coach due to the effects of cancer. Rienks continues his battle with cancer and had made several appearances at Paonia High School basketball games giving the Eagles emotional strength in a tremendous season where they finished with a 12-3 record in a 31-26 loss to Yuma in a Sweet 16 matchup.
Delta’s Panthers also drew a bye in their Class 3A opening round of the state tournament. The Panthers defeated Moffat County in Sweet 16 play but could not get past the pesky Great 8 round against Lutheran in a 52-36 loss. Delta finished its year with a 13-3 record.
All Conference GirlsCedaredge was honored for its season with the selection of six athletes to this year’s All-Conference 2A/1A WS-South League Team. First Team honors went to seniors Kimmie Milholland, Kammie Henderson and Elizabeth Gilmore. Honorable Mention status was earned by junior Paige McGovern, Megan Gastineau and Aspen Furubotten,
The Bruins earned two more prestigious awards with Henderson being named the 2A/1A WS-South Player of the Year and head coach Russell Coleman was tabbed as the league’s Coach of the Year.
Paonia’s Eagles had five players named to this year’s all-conference team, including sophomore Payton Fister and seniors Taneal Mautz and Tawny Roberts who were selected to the 2A/1A WS-South League First Team All-Conference. Honorable mention selections were sophomore Leia Ellenberger and senior Lauryn Kiefer.
Hotchkiss’ Bulldogs had two players, juniors Vianney Mendoza and Indigo Miller-Barnes named to the 2A/1A WS-South League All-Conference First Team with junior Lottie Hollembeak an Honorable Mention selection.
Delta’s Class 3A WSL All-Conference First Team selections for 2021 were junior Erika Kuta, and seniors Alexa Huff, Keely Porter, Marcy Schaal and Jessica Dexter. The Panthers’ Kuta was an outstanding player in the 3A WSL and her athleticism and skill earned her the vote of opposing coaches for the coveted Player of the Year award for the league.
All Conference BoysCedaredge High School led the way with all conference boys selections in Delta County. The Bruins had three players who earned recognition in 2021, including First Team players senior Alex Barron and sophomore Gideon Gilmore. Senior Jacob Brown was an Honorable Mention selection for the Bruins.
Hotchkiss High School had two Honorable Mention selections, senior Kenny Drbohlav and junior Coulson Hollembeak.
Paonia’s Dominic Felice was Paonia’s All-Conference First Team selection in 2021.
Class 3A Delta’s 2021 All-Conference First Team selection is Colbi Braslin and junior Brendan Baier was named to the Honorable Mention Team.