Over the week/weekend Baca County teams competed in the Colorado 1A District 3 tournament, and 5 of them advanced to the regional tournament.
The week started on Monday with the South Baca boys team and the Walsh Lady Eagles traveling to La Veta to face off against the Redhawks in the qualifying round of the District3 tournament.
The night also featured the Springfield Lady Longhorns staying at home to host the Primero Lady Bulldogs.
The Walsh Lady Eagles lost their qualifying round game against the Lady Redhawks. The Lady Eagles were unable to get any control over the game, after being outscored 16-2 in the first period. The rest of the game was much of the same after La Veta decided to put the game away early. The final score of the game was 52-20 in favor of the Redhawks, ending the Lady Eagles season.
The first game of the night was the South Baca La Veta game. The La Veta Redhawks had won two previous contests against the Patriots. Unfortunately the game was not much different than the other two contests. The Redhawks outscored the Patriots in 3 out of 4 quarters, while also holding the Patriots under 10 points in those 3 periods. The final score of the game was 30-52 in favor of La Veta, ending the Patriots season.
The second game of the night featured the Springfield Lady Longhorns against the Primero Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Horns took over the game early holding the Lady Bulldogs to 0 points in the first half. Going into halftime the game was already out of hand when the score was 44-0. After halftime the rest of the game was simply a regulation. The Longhorns would score another 25 points in the second half to close out the game on a 25-15 run. Aliyah Cohoon led the Longhorns on this night scoring 21 points in the contest.
Tuesday February 22
The next day the slate of games included the Lady Mustangs from Kim/Branson playing their qualifying game against the Manzanola Lady Bobcats.
The Springfield Longhorns would also play the Walsh Eagles to compete for their spot in the official District3 tournament play.
The Lady Mustangs routed the Lady Bobcats by a score of 59-4. Manzanola wouldn’t score the basketball until the fourth quarter, mostly due to Kim/Branson’s impenetrable defense. Ashton Elliot led the Mustangs with 19 points and a whopping 10 steals.
In Springfield on the same night the Longhorns got ready to face off against an eager Walsh Eagles team. When looking at this game online most would think it would be an easy win for the Longhorns. However, the Eagles came out ready to play. In the first half Springfield was unable to gain a significant lead, as the Eagles were playing good defense and hitting plenty of shots. The Eagles were able to keep the score within 7 points going into halftime, 25-32 Longhorns.
After halftime the Longhorns determined to close out the game early, scored 17 and held Walsh to only 5 points. This was the determining factor for the contest. The Longhorns would go on to win the contest by a score of 63-38. Leyton Jones tried his best to keep the Eagles in the contest scoring 16 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. On the other side, Kyler Crane led the Longhorns to victory scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds to go along with them.
Thursday February 24
With all the teams qualified for tournament play the games started on Thursday.
The first Baca County team to play on this day was the Springfield Longhorns, facing off against the Primero Bulldogs. The Longhorns previously won their contest against the Bulldogs in the season by 5 points so the game was set to be a good one.
Both teams started the game with a defensive mindset, leaving the score at 9-6 Springfield. However, the second quarter the teams picked up the pace offensively with the Longhorns scoring 13 and Primero Scoring 11. That would leave the Longhorns with the lead going into halftime, 22-17. After struggling in the third period, and the Bulldogs brought the score within 3 points, the Longhorns were able to maintain control on the scoreboard. Ultimately leading them to a win and advancing them to the District3 championship. Kyler Crane scored 19 points in the ballgame to lead the Longhorns in the victory.
The second game of the day featured the Lady Longhorns vs the Kim/Branson Mustangs. After the first quarter it seemed the game was going to get out of control with the score being 13-3 Lady Horns. The Kim/Branson Lady Mustangs would scratch and claw their way back into the game outscoring the Longhorns 11-2 in the second period. Going into halftime the score was 15-14 Longhorns.
Coming out of halftime, both teams fought hard to gain and sustain a lead, but neither team would be able to until the final few minutes of the game. With time winding down and the Longhorns leading the Mustangs, the Mustangs had to resort to the foul game. The Lady Longhorns made their free throws down the stretch to close out the game and claim the victory, 34-31. Ashton Elliot tried her best to help the Mustangs come out on top leading all scorers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. However, Alayah Meltabarger’s scoring and defense would be too much for the rest of the Mustangs after scoring 14 points and grabbing 4 steals to go along with.
The Kim/Branson Mustang boys teams faced off against the La Veta Redhawks in the semi finals. The La Veta Redhawks were in control for the whole first half outscoring the Mustangs 25-21. However, after halftime the Mustangs came out determined to get to the district championship. The Mustangs outscored the Redhawks 31-18 in the final 2 periods of the game leaving the finals core of the game at 52-43 in favor of the Mustangs, and advancing them to the championship.
The South Baca Patriots faced off against the La Veta Lady Redhawks in the Semifinals and the game was not close. The Patriots controlled the contest so much that the Lady Redhawks failed to score in the third period of the contest. The Lady Patriots held the Lady Redhawks to only 12 points in the contest, while scoring 58 of their own. Jami Quick led the Lady Patriots with 16 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Saturday February 26
On Championship night all of the games came down to the wire. The first Baca County team to compete was the Kim/Branson Lady Mustangs. They would face off against the La Veta Lady Redhawks. Emmalee Buhrle led the Mustangs to a win and to a 1A regional birth scoring nearly half of the Mustangs points (16 out of 37). The final score of the contest was 37-23.
The next Baca County game of the night featured the South Baca Lady Patriots and the Springfield Lady Longhorns. This was one of the most exciting games in the tournament up to that point. The Lady Longhorns controlled the game for all 4 periods. The game started out slow with both teams only scoring 4 points in the first. After the first is when the Longhorns gained the lead and from then on they would never give it up. The Longhorns controlled the pace of the game as the Patriots struggled to make shots and gain any sort of momentum.
Both teams struggled in the contest with shot making with The Lady Patriots making only 18% of their shots and Springfield 36%. However, Springfield was able to capitalize on turnovers by the Lady Patriots to rely on helping them maintain a steady lead. The final score of the game was 32-29 in favor of the Lady Longhorns, crowing the Springfield Lady Longhorns as the Colorado 1A District3 champions.
The Longhorn boys team faced off against the Kim/Branson Mustangs in a nail biter championship game. The contest was back and forth throughout with both teams gaining and losing leads in various parts of the game. The Longhorns led after one period by a score of 13-7. In the second the Mustangs would go on a 19-10 run to gain the lead going into halftime, 23-26.
After gaining a lead at the end of the 2nd the Mustangs would end the last two periods with a lead. Longhorn Kyler Crane tried to help the Longhorns come back scoring 20 out of their 44 points in the contest. However the Mustangs were able to limit everyone else on the floor. Taking advantage of turnovers and missed shots from the Longhorns. The Mustangs would come out of the game victorious by a score of 47-44. Crowning them the Colorado 1A District3 Champions.
Both Kim/Mustang teams have qualified for regionals the following weekend in La Junta, Colorado.
The Lady Mustangs will start off the weekend for Baca County facing a cross-state opponent in the Sierra Grande Panthers at 10 AM on Friday.
The Mustang boys will face off against Mountain Valley on the same day at 2 PM
Both Springfield Longhorn teams will also be in attendance.
The Lady Longhorns face off against a Southeast Colorado opponent in the Kit Carson Lady Wildcats at 12:40 PM. The Longhorns and the Wildcats had a previous matchup in which the Lady Horns lost 58-45.
The Longhorn boys face off against the Cotopaxi Pirates at 4:40 PM.
The Lady Patriots have also qualified for state and will be facing off against the Centennial Rams at 3:20 PM.
Keep in mind all of these games will be played on Friday March 4, at La Junta Highschool. All teams must win their first matchup to advance in the tournament and keep from their season ending.