Sophia McConnell surveys the offense during Del Norte's commanding victory over Dolores Friday night. McConnell and the Tigers take on Holyoke today. (Courier photo by Stephen Jiron)
SAN LUIS VALLEY — The regional basketball tournaments have begun and already it has started to thin the herd. From the start there were 12 different teams from eight different schools. Those numbers have since been cut down to eight teams from the remaining six schools.
Regional tournaments were stocked with valley talent having sent Del Norte girls and boys, Sargent girls and boys, Sanford girls and boys and the Center boys.
Del Norte had a strong first day. The boys traveled to Highland where they would face Paonia. After going down at half the Tigers surged back with a big game from Carlos Parra to take an 83-68 win. Del Norte’s girls warmed up the home crowd with a lopsided victory. Leading from the outset and closing out a 65-26 destruction of Dolores. Kendra Parra would collect 19 points in the win keeping up her impressive season scoring average.
With the wins Del Norte’s boys will face the host third seeded Highland Huskies this afternoon at 2 p.m. The girls will host the 11th seeded Holyoke Dragons at 1 p.m.
Another team with a home series was the 8th seeded Sanford’s boys. Sanford defended home court against Mancos defeating the Bluejays in a 46-37 game. Sanford’s girls rolled a match-up with the 8th seeded Ignacio Bobcats. The Indians fell one basket short on the road to the Bobcats in a 25-23 game.
Sanford’s boys will host the Sedgwick County today at 2:30 p.m. in what should be a very competitive game featuring both the 8th and 9th seed.
The Farmers didn’t fare as well. Sargent’s boys succumbed on the road to Ellicot in a 56-29 game. While the lady Farmers gave second seeded Simla a good fight, in the end Sargent was defeated 53-45.
Center completed an upset in the district tournament but in the regional tournament couldn’t pull one over on undefeated Crowley County. Center would relent a 67-32 game to the top ranked team.
Teams from the valley will continue their path from here on out on the road. For regionals all the games are played in La Junta. In attendance are Sangre de Cristo’s girls and boys, Sierra Grande’s girls and boys, Antonito girls and Creede’s boys.
Sangre de Cristo had a strong opening day with both teams winning their first games. The lady Thunderbirds took down Eads in a 52-35 game. The boys from Mosca had a near identical game when they took down Cheraw in a 54-35 win. The girls will face a somewhat familiar foe in second seeded Kim/Branson today at 1:40 p.m.
The T-Birds met Kim/Branson on Jan. 20 where the Mustangs handed Sangre de Cristo one of their three losses of the season in a 37-20 game. The Sangre boys will also be facing a familiar foe as they will be Sierra Grande’s first game after the Panther’s bye. Sierra Grande has taken every meeting between these teams and owns the series 2-0.
Sierra Grande’s girls could not get past Holly. The Holly Wildcats completed a 68-46 victory over Sierra Grande. With Holly’s win they will go on to face Antonito today at 11 a.m.
Creede will also get a taste of regional action for the season as their first round bye is over and they will take on Kit Carson today at 3 p.m.
Keep up with all the 2A and 1A regional tournament play at CHSAAnow.com for live score updates.