Alamosa's Noah Romero extends for a lay-up during Saturday's victory over Grand Valley. Romero and the Moose will be in Denver for a rematch with Bayfield on Mar. 8. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Parrill)
ALAMOSA — Saturday afternoon both Alamosa boys and Centauri girls played home games in the ‘Sweet 16’ portion of the 3A state tournament. Centauri nudged Manitou Springs 55-40.
Within Alamosa High School gymnasium the Mean Moose breezed past Grand Valley in a 57-39 affair. With the wins both teams will have a place among the ‘Great 8’ of their respective tournaments.
In Alamosa the Moose looked to be in playoff form against Grand Valley’s Cardinals. In the first quarter, Angelo Ramirez and Noah Romero combined for 11 points to lift Alamosa to a 17-6 lead. Ramirez would net 14 points total in the game.
Even an injury scare to Romero wouldn’t slow the Moose down, Romero least of all. Romero would splash down two long distance shots in the second quarter which helped Alamosa coast to a 35-14 score at the midway point. Romero would hold the scoring title for the Moose in the aftermath with 17 points collecting 9 of them from outside the arc.
A third quarter falter from Alamosa would not sour the game as it would be the only quarter the Cardinals got the better of the host team. The fourth quarter Alamosa went back to form and finished Grand Valley off.
In La Jara the Falcons got a good showing from their Centauri girls’ basketball team. After going down 7-4 in the first Centauri got to work, engineering a 13 point run to eventually grab a 17-12 lead at the end the first quarter. The Falcons were buoyed by Caroline Van Berkum who produced 16 points over the course of the afternoon, a team high. Not to be out done Ember Canty registered yet another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
With a strong push in the third quarter Centauri would build a 16 point lead going into the final chapter. Thereby earning a spot in the ‘Great 8’.
In the next round of the playoffs Centauri (21-2-0) will face the Colorado Springs Christian Lions (21-3-0) at 1 p.m. on Thursday Mar. 8. Colorado Springs closed the regular season at 16-3. Two of those losses happening in the upper classes to Pueblo West and Fruita-Monument, the third to undefeated St. Mary’s.
In their district tournament the Lions took their revenge against St. Mary’s giving the Pirates their first loss of the season to take the district championship. The Lions make their hay off junior, Megan Engesser, who not only leads the team in scoring but also is state ranked for points per game.
Alamosa (20-3-0) won’t have to dig very far into films to do homework on their opponent, as for the third time in the last four weeks they will gear up for battle with Bayfield (16-7-0). On Feb. 15 Alamosa got the better of Bayfield when Noah Romero’s two free-throws gave the Moose the final edge 41-39. With a district title on the line Bayfield got some payback winning 57-53 on Feb. 24. At 5:30 p.m. on Mar. 8 the final chapter of this 2018 rivalry gets written.