By Wayne Crick
The annual journey to Centauri and Alamosa for very competitive basketball games was a losing adventure for Delta High School’s boys teams with losses to Centauri, 55-37, and Alamosa, 54-50. Delta’s girls, ranked seventh in Class 3A, tangled with the number one team, Centauri on Friday (Feb. 5) and lost 66-55 but rebounded on Saturday with a 58-19 win over Alamosa.
Delta’s journey to Centauri was a better experience than the actual basketball games that were played on Friday, Feb. 5. The girls took the floor first against the Falcons. Even though the 11-point loss, 66-55, wasn’t the worst thing that happened in the game, any losses at any point in a shortened season like in Season B can change post season playoff chances. Centauri held a 2-point lead (8-6) after one period of play and led 26-25 at halftime. Second half play determined the game’s outcome with the Falcons scoring 40 points through the two second half quarters to Delta’s 30.
Junior Erika Kuta held the hot hand on offense for the Panthers with a 17-point effort in the game. Teammate Keely Porter added 13 counters and had 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Alexa Huff chipped in 12 points and added 8 rebounds to her game stats in the loss.
Centauri’s Brenna Mcdaniel was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points and contributed 10 rebounds, two assists and five steals to the Falcons’ cause in the win. Brynli Sowards had 20 points to give the Falcons a potent scoring punch in the game.
In the boys game, Delta fell behind early and trailed 21-8 after one period of action. Centauri added another 14 points in the second quarter and held a substantial lead, 35-17, at halftime.
The Panthers outscored Centauri, 20-19, in the second half but had dug too deep of a hole to climb out of in the first half. The 55-37 loss dropped the Panthers to an 0-3 record for the season.
Sophomore Braeden Sprout and junior Brenden Baier scored 8 points each to lead Delta’s offensive efforts with senior Colbi Braslin tossing in 7 points in the loss. Centauri’s Trey Crowther scored 19 points to lead all scorers with teammates Baron Holman and Mason Claunch scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Saturday’s game against Alamosa’s Mean Moose was a much-needed win that was sparked by Kuta’s 15 points. Delta used an up-tempo game to run its way to a 14-5 first quarter and never looked back with a 29-7 halftime lead that mushroomed to 58-19 by game’s end.
Kuta got balanced scoring help from her teammates in the win with Keely Porter chipping in nine points, junior Teja Smith with 8, and seniors Marcy Schaal and Huff scoring 7 points each.
Delta’s boys played a stronger game against the Mean Moose after an opening quarter deficit of 15-7. The Panthers reversed that score in the second quarter with senior Ezra Kathrein leading the charge with seven of Delta’s 15 points.
The Panthers’ 32-28 scoring disadvantage in the second half was the difference in the game.
Sprout was, once again, one of Delta’s top scorers in the game with a team-high 12 points followed by Braslin’s eight and Kathrein’s seven counters. Jayr Almeida had 19 and Damian Orozco 12 points to lead the Mean Moose.
The Panthers were forced to play their home games against Gunnison High School on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, Feb. 16, due to a shortage of officials to cover existing schedules in the surrounding area. Wednesday’s games are to be played at 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Delta will play two other home games this week with Friday (Feb. 12) contests against Fruita Monument High School beginning with the girls junior varsity at 3 p.m., boys junior varsity at 4:30 p.m., girls varsity at 6 p.m. and the boys varsity at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s home contests with Roaring Fork begin at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Next week’s schedule begins on Tuesday (Feb. 16) with Aspen coming to town. The schedule of games is different than a normal round of games with the girls freshmen playing at 3 p.m., the junior varsity boys at 4:30 p.m., the girls junior varsity at 6 p.m. and finishing with the varsity boys at 7 p.m. There is no varsity girls game scheduled for this date.