Monte Vista freshman Terrise Sanchez (5) composes herself in the paint, while sensing obstructions in the form of Bayfield Lady Wolverines Effie Nistler (left) and Haley Clarke (rear) during last Tuesday's IML District Tournament play-in game held inside BHS Gymnasium. Sanchez scored eight points, but the Lady Pirates' season came to an end with a 53-28 loss.
ALAMOSA—Last weekend can be considered a successful one for San Luis Valley basketball teams as five won district championships on Saturday night.
The Alamosa Mean Moose boys’ squad won a thriller for the second straight game, while the Centauri Lady Falcons avenged a loss to Pagosa Springs that came five days before. Meanwhile, the Sangre de Cristo Lady Thunderbirds ran away with a victory from the Sargent Lady Farmers and the Sanford Indians flexed their muscles to defeat the Sierra Grande Panthers at Adams State University. The Centennial Lady Rams had no trouble in downing the La Veta Redskins for the 1A District Title. In addition to these five teams winning titles, a total of 12 SLV teams clinched spots to the State Tournament Regional Round this upcoming weekend. Since number six seed Alamosa and number one seed Centauri won 3A districts, they will each host four-team tournaments at their home schools. Sangre de Cristo and Sanford will both co-host a regional tournament at Monte Vista High School this Friday and Saturday.
The Centennial Rams, who have a bye on Friday, will travel to Massari Arena on the campus of CSU-Pueblo for a championship game on Saturday. The Centauri Falcons team will travel to Roaring Fork High School on Friday and enter the Region Three tournament as the number 12 seed in Class 3A.
The Del Norte girls, Sanford girls and Sargent boys will all travel to Durango High School for the Class 2A Region Three Tournament. The Sargent girls and Sangre de Cristo boys will go to Grand Junction Central High School for the Region Five Tournament. The Sierra Grande Panthers will make their way to the Region Seven Tournament at Frederick High School.
capture crown from Farmers
The Sangre de Cristo Lady Thunderbirds basketball team scored 45 points and held the Sargent Lady Farmers to 24 in the Thunderbirds’ District Championship game. The win was the Lady Thunderbirds’ 15th straight win as they sport a 20-2 overall record.
“The score got out from around them but they are a good team and they had the ability to come back, so I think we played good defense. That’s what we wanted to do was play good defense” said Sangre de Cristo Head Coach Brady Stagner. “It’s a new season now and (the streak) doesn’t make any difference at this point. You have to win to go on. We are playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of energy right now. That’s good because we are playing with a lot of young girls. We have four seniors. With that energy, we are able to run at teams for a long time.”
In the contest, Sangre de Cristo opened up a 13-5 lead after one quarter of play and extended the lead to 25-13 at halftime. A huge play in the second half was a half-court buzzer beater by Heather Dieckman. After a Lady Farmer bucket, Abbey Stagner put the ball into Dieckman’s wide open hand and she launched it for three points when the buzzer sounded.
“I just told Abbey get the ball in, chuck it deep to my two guards that were going down there and see what happens and they did, they executed it and did a good job,” Stagner explained. “It was just kids playing basketball.”
The Lady Thunderbirds posted ten points in each of the final two quarters while holding Sargent to just four in the third and seven in the fourth. Senior Kathryn New led the Thunderbirds with 14 points. Dieckman and senior Jessica Gilmore scored eight. Sophomore Allie Beiriger scored six.
Junior Skylar Eagles and sophomore Kelsi Van Treese led the Lady Farmers with eight points apiece. Senior Camrey Garoutte and junior Faithe Mullins each scored four points.
Farmers for third
A Custer County early rush helped them cruise to a 52-39 for third place.
The first quarter had the Farmers missing shot after shot and they were only able to score seven points in the first quarter. Senior Austin Dillon scored five of the Farmer’s seven points as they entered the second quarter down 14-7.
The two teams were able to match the Bobcat’s scoring in the second quarter to make it a 25-18 halftime score. The Farmers came out looking to shoot the ball as they went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 32 with four minutes left in the quarter. Senior Colton Cooley was able to put the Farmers on top with 3:03 by hitting a free throw.
Dillon then scored a diving layup to make it a 30-27 lead. The game was tied at 30 with two minutes left. Custer County was only able to score a free throw in the final two minutes to take a 31-30 lead.
The Bobcats immediately took a 39-32 lead before a 5-minute injury timeout allowed both teams to gather themselves with 4:50 remaining in the fourth.
The break did not help the Farmers. They were outscored 13-7 down the final straight away and fell 52-39.
Austin Dillon led the Farmers with 15 points and senior Scott Dillon scored 13 points.
capture third place
The Del Norte Lady Tigers used free throws to seal their victory in Saturday’s girls’ third place game. The Tigers will enter the tournament as the number three seed after defeating Custer County 39-30.
It took 3:33 of game time for the Tigers to finally score a bucket as almost every player in the game took shots that were either too hard or not hard enough. Junior Alli Butler scored the first points as she drove through the key and nailed a layup to tie the game. Sophomore Megan Mosby matched a Bobcat bucket to tie the game at four with three minutes remaining. Butler and freshman Allison Goldman added a combined seven free throws while sophomore Kaitlin Martinez, who was celebrating her 16th birthday, got a steal and bucket to take a 13-4 lead after one.
The Bobcats came rushing back and came as close as a single point with 4:04 remaining. Over the final four minutes, the Tigers were able to score 4-of-6 free throws to take a 23-16 half-time lead.
The two teams had an evenly matched third quarter as Del Norte led, 33-27.
Custer County capitalized on unusual turnovers to start the fourth quarter with three straight points to close the score to 33-30. Even though the Tigers were only 4-for-11 from the line, they were able to squeak out the 9-point win, 39-30.
Morgan Mosby was the team’s high scorer with ten points. Butler and senior Kassidy Jones each scored nine points. Martinez and Megan Mosby each scored four. Goldman scored two.
Tiger clasp to advance
The boys’ fifth and final qualifying team into the tournament was the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds, who came from as much as 16 points down to capture a 68-66 win over the Del Norte Tigers here at Ortega Middle School on Saturday.
The Tigers entered the second half of the game with a 37-22 advantage, holding Sangre de Cristo to just four points in the opening quarter.
Unfortunately for Del Norte, Sangre de Cristo came out on fire and they knocked down 23 points in both the third and fourth quarters to get the win. One of the most pivotal plays came with 38 seconds remaining in the contest. With the game tied, the Tigers inbounded the ball into a double team only for senior Mitchell Stagner to get the steal and take it to the hoop for the game’s final lead change.
Stagner was the leading scorer for Sangre de Cristo as he scored 31 points, including 14-of 15 from the stripe. Corey Cooley scored 15 points, Kyle Beiriger scored 12, Troy Fritz scored four and Tyler Reynolds scored three. Kyle Freel and Cody Parker rounded out the scoring with two points and one, respectively.
Colin Trujillo led the Tigers with 17 points while Heath Bell also scored double digits with 10 points.