In a flurry of action to finish the regular season, Hotchkiss High School's girls basketball team won its final two games while the boys fell to both Gunnison on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and Paonia, in overtime, on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Girls action at home on Tuesday against Gunnison favored the Bulldogs in an easy 56-17 non-conference win. A15-2 first quarter led to a 33-9 first half lead for Hotchkiss. The Bulldogs were 15 points better than Gunnison in the second half to post the 56-17 win.
Senior Shay Glaser was the game's leading scorer with 16 points. Glaser got double digit scoring help from sophomore Lottie Hollembeak who finished with 11 points. Glaser was busy at both ends of the floor and added eight rebounds, three assists and six steals to her game credentials. Senior Julianna Miller pulled down 10 rebounds while senior Elsie Vazquez dished out three assists and had five steals in the game for the Bulldogs.
Hotchkiss' defense played a major role in Thursday's game in Paonia where the Eagles were held to just 10 points in the first three quarters of play in the Bulldog's 40-22 win. Though Paonia's defense was keeping Hotchkiss' offense in check for the most part, a lagging offense spelled the difference in this contest for the Eagles.
Senior Paige Fister had six points to lead Paonia's offense with Tawney Roberts adding five counters. Glaser had another good day on offense for the Bulldogs with 18 points leading the way for all scorers in the game. Glaser was also a demon on defense with five blocks in the game.
In boys action on Tuesday, Gunnison senior Hunter Wood blistered the nets for 36 points as the Cowboys ran roughshod over Hotchkiss, 83-56. Hotchkiss coach Eric Hollembeak noted his team played well in the loss but gave praise to the Cowboy's point guard (Hunter) Wood, who in his words, "is the real deal." Wood's younger brother, junior Braden, had a good day as well with 20 points with junior Aidan Hulbert adding another 16 points in the win for Gunnison.
Against Paonia on Thursday, the Bulldogs and Eagles traded leads in the game several times. Hotchkiss led by seven after one period and was leading 19-15 at halftime. Both teams had defenses which controlled the game from start to finish.
The Eagles outscored Hotchkiss 12-10 to leave the game tied at 33-33 at the end of regulation play. A slight loss of offensive finesse in the overtime period cost Hotchkiss as Paonia had 12 free throws in the extra period but made just four in a 6-1 Eagles' advantage and a 39-34 victory.
Paonia senior Landon Thliveris finished the game with 18 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter, to lead all scorers in the game. The Eagles had 28 free throws in the game and made 11.
Hotchkiss senior Evan Mattison had 11 points and junior Kenny Drbohlav had 10.
Play in the 2A District 5 Tournament featured a pair of play-in games for the girls on Monday, Feb. 24. No. 8 West Grand (4-7 and 10-9) played at home against No. 9 Vail Chrisitian (3-8 and 6-13) and No. 7 Paonia (5-6 and 8-11) was at home against No. 10 Caprock Academy (0-11 and 2-17). Tuesday's (Feb. 25) games included No. 1 Meeker (11-0 and 17-2) at home against either No. 8 West Grand or No. 9 Vail Christian; No. 2 Hotchkiss (9-2 and 16-3) at home against either No. 7 Paonia or No. 10 Caprock Academy; No. 3 Soroco (7-4 and 12-7) at home against No. 6 Rangely (6-5 and 13-6) and No. 4 Hayden (7-4 and 13-6) at home against No. 5 Plateau Valley (6-5 and 12-6).
Games on Thursday, Feb. 27, are to be played at De Beque High School and will be on the consolation side of the bracket with losers from Tuesday's games battling for berths in Saturday's consolation fifth place game at 9 a.m.
Winners from Tuesday's quarterfinal round meet at De Beque High School on Friday for games at 3 and 6 p.m. in semifinal round games. Winners on Friday play for the District 5 Championship at 3 p.m. with the losers scheduled to meet on Saturday at 12 noon in the third place game.
Games on the boys side of the District 5 tournament follow the same format for the girls brackets. Tournament action begins at various home sites on Monday, Feb. 24, with play-in games scheduled for six teams from the 2A WSL. No. 8 Rangely (5-7 and 6-13) will host No. 9 Hotchkiss (4-8 and 7-12); No. 6 West Grand (6-6 and 9-10) will host No. 11 Hayden (3-9 and 5-14) and No. 7 Soroco (6-6 and 10-9) will host No. 10 Caprock Academy (3-9 and 4-14).
Tuesday's schedule (Feb. 25) had No. 1 Vail Christian (10-2 and 15-3) hosting either No. 8 Rangely or No. 9 Hotchkiss; No. 2 Meeker (9-3 and 10-9) hosting either No. 6 West Grand or No. 11 Hayden; No. 3 Plateau Valley (8-4 and 11-8) hosting either No. 7 Soroco or No. 10 Caprock Academy and No. 4 Paonia hosted No. 5 Vail Mountain (7-5 and 9-9).
Losers from Tuesday's quarterfinal action are scheduled to play on Thursday, Feb. 27 at De Beque High School. These games are being played to determine team berths for the Consolation Bracket fifth place game on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Winners from Tuesday's quarterfinal action moved on to Friday's semifinal round at De Beque High School and these four teams will play to determine the two teams for Saturday's Championship game at 4:30 p.m. and the third place teams for Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game.