Centauri senior Ember Canty finds her way under the net as Coach Dave Forster looks on from the sidelines. Canty would net 9 points and was second on the team in scoring.
ALAMOSA — It was an emotional district tournament for fans of valley basketball. The Centauri girls dropped their championship game to Pagosa Springs 48-42. Alamosa’s boys fell to Bayfield 57-53 allowing the Wolverines their second district championship in as many years.
In the early game it was Centauri against Pagosa’s Pirates. The Pirates have been something of a thorn in the side of Centauri. In the entire regular season Pagosa was the only team able to get the better of Centauri. Saturday night things got away from the Falcons and problems compiled as they attempted to right the ship.
After struggling to keep the ball on the offensive side of the court, Centauri was holding onto a 4 all tie. The Pirates would open a six-point lead with an unanswered streak. Four minutes later, thanks to shooting 83 percent from the field, that lead hadn’t diminished much as the first quarter closed with the Pirates leading 15-10.
The second was another tough quarter for Centauri, as they would only collect 7 points, none from their leaders Ember Canty or Caroline Van Berkum. The Falcons didn’t come on any stronger in the third posting 6 points, losing Kaitlin Quinlan to an injury and Coach Forster collecting a technical foul.
Opening the fourth the Falcons trailed 40-23, they were running out of time. Lead by Van Berkum the Falcons ripped off 8 unanswered points in three minutes until their comeback was derailed.
Ember Canty’s night was ended when she collected her fifth foul. Canty's performance was second on the team in scoring for the night with 9 points. Three minutes later Canty was joined on the bench by teammate Melissa Wilson who also fouled out. Van Berkum went 60 percent from the field to lead the Falcons with 10 points.
Angelo Ramirez pulls down an rebound during Saturday's game against Bayfield. Ramirez posted a team leading 15 points in the IML Championship (Courier photos by Stephen Jiron)
The Alamosa boys’ championship was up next. Alamosa and Bayfield ended their season in which Alamosa edged the Wolverines in a 41-39 game with a Noah Romero foul shot clincher. Saturday night the Moose could not catch Bayfield. After entering the second quarter trailing 19-12 a long distance shot from Ry Adams would make it 19-15. Two foul shots from Angelo Ramirez would make it 19-17 before Ian Jackson would not be denied on a lay-up to make it 19-all.
Even with all the heroics Alamosa still found themselves trailing at the half 27-24. The third quarter was more of Jackson as he led Alamosa from the field with two baskets. Ian Jackson would end his evening with eight points. Entering the fourth quarter facing a 41-36 deficit Angelo Ramirez would lock down the paint cleaning up second chances. Ramirez scored nine points in the fourth and led Alamosa with 15 points overall.
Late in the fourth things looked like they may be shaping up for more Romero heroics. The Moose trailed 55-53 with under a minute to play. The Moose’s options were play for a tie by feeding the post, driving for two or play for a win with a three-point attempt. By virtue of making it to the championship game Alamosa had already locked up a state championship berth.
They went for broke they called their best play to Adams and the play went outside. Adams was shooting 50 percent from the outside in the first half. Unfortunately up until his last shot his percentage declined to 25 percent in the second half, the shot was off. Two more foul shots from Bayfield finalized the score and the game.
Both Centauri and Alamosa can’t be too heart broken about their Saturday shortcomings as they will be playing for much more this weekend. Centauri’s girls are seeded fifth in the state and will be hosting their quadrant March 2-3 opening up the tournament against Stargate School. Alamosa’s boys earned the number two seed in the state and will be hosting as well. The Moose open with a game against 31st seeded Cedaredge.
Also going to the 3A state tournament from the IML will be Alamosa’s girls and Centauri’s boys. The lady Moose will travel to Sterling on Mar. 2 for a game against 10th seeded Lamar. The Centauri boys will take on number 6 Faith Christian on the same day.