Despite a rough weekend of basketball Delta High School's boys hoops team will be moving on to regional play this weekend. The Panthers got past Grand Valley in a play-in game on Feb. 21 with a score of 56-45, a far cry from the 68-32 win on Feb. 18. A Friday semifinal round game against the WSL's top team, Coal Ridge, was a 70-47 loss at Central High School in Grand Junction. In Saturday's third-place game Delta was close after three quarters of play against Roaring Fork (33-31). The Rams went on a 3-point shooting burst in the opening minutes of the final quarter to build a 10-point lead and eventually win by a 52-40 score.
Delta (12-10) finished district tournament play with a number 28 seeding after RPI calculations were made. The Panthers will be on the road to Bayfield this week to play the No. 5 Wolverines (15-6) on Friday. A win sends Delta to the title game on Saturday against either No. 12 Alamosa (18-3) or No. 21 Rye (14-9).
Delta 56, Cardinals 45
A big fourth quarter against the Cardinals on Tuesday (Feb. 21) made it possible for Delta to advance to the semifinal round of last week's 3A WSL district tournament in Grand Junction.
The Panthers put together a 20-point first half and led at halftime, 20-15.
Grand Valley's Garrett Magee sparked a run by the Cardinals with three 3-pointers in the third quarter to pull to within two at 33-31 with one period left.
Junior Jaspar Carmichael caught fire in the fourth quarter and scored 13 of his game-high 18 points to boost the Panthers to a 23-14 run and a 56-45 victory. Carmichael hit seven of nine free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with nine of 11 from the charity stripe. Jon Robinson was five of eight at the line and finished with nine points for the Panthers.
Logan Freed also had double-digit numbers for Delta with his 10 points. Magee was Grand Valley's leading scorer with 11 points.
Robinson pulled down nine rebounds for Delta with teammates Andrew Baier, Dylan Hollenbeck and Beau Byers snagging six carooms each. Byers also dished out six assists.
Titans 70, Delta 47
A low-scoring first half was the main culprit in Friday's semifinal loss to Coal Ridge. The Panthers scored just eight points in the first frame and finished the first half with 21 points. Coal Ridge, behind Brand Herrera's five 3-point bombs, scored 22 points in each of the first half periods to lead at halftime 44-21.
Herrera finished the night with six made shots beyond the 3-point arc and ended the game with 22 points.
Each team scored 26 points in the second half to keep the point spread at 23 by game's end, 70-47.
Robinson's 13 points paced Delta's offense with Hollenbeck chipping in 11 counters.
Rams 52, Delta 40
Defense was prominent for much of the game with each team giving up key baskets at various points in the game.
The Rams' defense, and some ineffective shooting by Delta, limited the Panthers' offense to just eight points in each of the first half periods.
Delta's best offensive effort came in the third period with the Panthers outscoring Roaring Fork 15-13. A 19-9 run by the Rams in the fourth quarter sealed the win in the third-place game.
Byers had six of his 11 points, for the Panthers, in the fourth quarter. Baier was next high for Delta with eight points, seven coming in the third quarter.
Roaring Fork's Joe Salinas was the game's leading scorer with 20 points followed by Jasiel Petatan's 18 points, which included four 3-point shots.