A tough final weekend of hoops caused Delta's girls basketball team to finish fifth in the 3A WSL standings and changed the site for this week's play in games to the district finals to be played in Grand Junction (Central High School) on Friday and Saturday.
Coming into the weekend, Delta was sitting in fourth place with a 5-2 and 12-7 overall records. Olathe was 3-4 and 12-5 coming in. The Pirates played Coal Ridge and Basalt, both teams below Olathe in team standings, and delivered the needed victories to pull ahead of the Panthers.
Delta played two teams above themselves in league standings and lost to No. 4 Moffat County 43-30 and No. 1 Grand Valley 59-40.
Both Delta and Olathe have 5-4 league records with the Pirates holding the tie-breaker with their 49-33 decision in a league game played on Jan. 28. The two teams met earlier in the season, in Olathe, that did not count as a league game, and the Panthers won that contest, 54-53.
The two teams played for a third time on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to determine who would enter this weekend's district tournament at Central High School.
MC 43, Delta 30
Last Friday's visit to Craig to play the Bulldogs (7-2 and 15-4) was frustrating due to poor shooting and turnovers.
Even though Delta led, 10-9, after one period of play, its shooting percentage from in close was not good enough to finish with a win.
Defensively, Delta held the Bulldogs to single-digit scoring in the first and third quarters.
An 18-6 fourth period doomed the Panthers and left them with a 43-30 loss.
Saydee Culver and Emily Baier were Delta's leading scorers with eight points each. Josey King netted six 3's, two in all but the third quarter, to pace Moffat County's scoring.
GV 59, Delta 40
The discrepancy in free throws between the two teams more than made up for the difference in the game's outcome. Grand Valley went to the line 41 times and made 22 of them. The Panthers shot 15 free throws and made 10.
Moffat County's Bailey Rowe finished with 18 points and 11 of those points came from the charity stripe. Delta's top free thrower, Emily Baier, shot four times and made two.
Another reason for Delta's loss was more failure to finish shots and ill-timed turnovers.
The Cardinals held a slim 22-17 halftime lead and illustrated Delta's defensive efforts in the game. Fifteen of Grand Valley's 37 points in the second half came at the line.
An 18-6 third quarter run by Grand Valley was a crushing blow to the Panthers' cause. Delta scored 17 points in the fourth quarter but had too far to go to overcome the Cardinals' lead after three quarters of play.
Baier's eight points topped Delta's offensive game with Jo Webb finishing with six.
Kylyn Rigsby was the game's leading scorer with 19 points for the Cardinals.
Delta won the junior varsity game against Grand Valley, 47-17, behind Denise Medina's 12-point effort. Reagan Clay and Kaley St. Peter had eight points each.
Two accidents involving school property are proving costly for Delta County Joint School District, district business manager Jim Ventrello reported last week. Both incidents involved uninsured drivers, forcing the school district to file claims with its insurance provider and pay deductibles of $10,000.