Lady Panthers advance in district tournament
Playoff basketball has arrived in Grand County, and while teams throughout the county have already tasted postseason victory, three have already suffered defeat. The district tournaments kicked off on Feb. 15 with the Middle Park High School boy’ and girl’s teams taking on KIPP Denver Collegiate and The Pinnacle respectively.
Middle Park Girls
The Lady Panthers were at top form on Saturday to take on The Pinnacle, easily defeating the Timberwolves, 35-6. Middle Park entered the Frontier district tournament as the top seeded team, and received a bye to start the tournament.
The eighth ranked Timberwolves defeated the Sheridan Rams to advance to the second round, but were clearly no match for the Panthers.
Senior Bailey Martin led the team with 8-points and four steals. Senior Kiera Barr and Freshmen Katie Trail each had six points. Junior Haiden baker led with 12 rebounds.
The Panthers took on the fourth seeded DSST: Stapleton Knights after the Sky-Hi News deadline on Feb. 22. The winner advanced to the Frontier League Championships on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Middle Park Boys
The Middle Park Boys suffered a swift exit from the district tournament, and quick end to their season, last week after losing to the KIPP Denver Collegiate White Tigers, 58-31.
The Panthers entered the tournament as the number 10 seed to take on the seventh seeded Tigers. Despite the lower seed there was optimism that Middle Park could pull out an upset. Just five days before the tournament the Panthers took on the Tigers on the road, losing by only three points, 54-51.
There would be no Cinderella story, however, and Middle Park ended a largely disastrous season with a 4-16 record.
West Grand Boys
The Mustangs entered the district tournament with a 9-10 record and the seventh seed, though they were forced into a play-in game against the 10th seeded Caprock Academy Eagles.
It became clear early on that the Eagles couldn’t handle the Mustangs. Led by dominant performances from Junior Luis Dominguez, Sophomore Marcus Sanchez and Senior Josh O’Hotto West Grand was able to advance to the regular bracket with a 63-29 win.
The Mustangs took on the second seeded Meeker Cowboys in the next round, falling 58-39. West Grand took on the Plateau Valley Cowboys in the first round of the consolation bracket after the Sky-Hi News deadline on Thursday. The winner advances to the consolation bracket championship on Saturday.
West Grand Girls
The West Grand Girls also faced a play-in game during the district tournament, taking on the 10th seeded Caprock Academy Eagles. The game wasn’t an issue for the Mustangs. They dispatched the hapless 0-20 Eagles, 57-19, led by Junior Anna Douglass who dropped 20 points and seven rebounds.
The Mustangs advanced to the regular bracket to take on the second seeded Soroco Rams, but were unable to repeat their success and lost, 51-37, despite a 14-point performance from Sophomore Emma Desanti.
West Grand took on the Hotchkiss Bulldogs in the first round of the consolation bracket on Thursday after the print deadline for Sky-Hi News.
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