ALAMOSA — Saturday - Sangre de Cristo, Sanford and Del Norte girls basketball and Sangre de Cristo boys basketball all qualified for State tournaments in their respective classes.
In the 3A class Alamosa and Centauri continued their climb up the bracket with wins to clear locally hosted quadrants.
San Luis Valley’s girls’ basketball pool is chock full of talent. Of the eight teams from the SLV that qualified for the State Tournament across the various classes, five were girls’ squads.
The first game of the day was Sangre de Cristo in 1A. The Lady Thunderbirds (21-2) were facing Springfield in La Junta for the Region 3 tournament finals. Region 3 will be sending six total squads, three boys and three girls to the State Championships at Colorado State University- Pueblo.
Sangre de Cristo would claim the lead early in the first quarter and never looked back to earn a 53-41 win and their place at the table.
Also in 1A were the male counterparts from Mosca. Sangre de Cristo’s boys would have a great opportunity to earn their State Championship berth facing Kim-Branson for the second time. The first time the two teams met the T-Birds pinned a 61-30 loss on Kim-Branson. The second game followed a similar path, Sangre de Cristo won 69-42 to move on to the State Tournament.
2A was a packed class on Saturday. Sanford boys and girls were playing host to their own regional tournament. Up first were the Sanford girls (19-4). Against Soroco things started out competitive both teams going back-and-forth even ending the first quarter separated by two points. It looked as though it might stay tight when the Rams tied the game at 13 but Sanford had other plans.
Sanford would seal the game with an 11-point run that spanned the second and third quarters. Soroco was never able to recover, Sanford took the 50-32 win to claim the Region 5 title.
Sanford’s boys faced the Denver Christian Thunder in their regional matchup. The boys’ matchup in Sanford was more topsy-turvy. The first quarter ended with Denver Christian in control and the first half with Sanford taking the wheel back. By the end of the third quarter Sanford looked like they could pace Denver Christian to the finale with a 31-26 lead. But the Thunder had no such intentions.
Four minutes and five points later it was a tied game at 31 points. Sanford would take one more lead only to watch Denver Christian’s Josiah Romero reclaim it on the other end of the court. The Thunder would take a 36-34 victory thus eliminating Sanford.
On the road in Simla, Del Norte’s girls (22-2) trailed after allowing a 16-point run to the host Cubs. Thanks to unanswered decades in the third and fourth quarters Del Norte was able to outlast Simla to win Region 7’s championship.
The final member of 2A to make it to a regional championship game was Sargent’s boys. Sargent earned a meeting with host team Holly with a win on Friday. Sargent was able to take the lead in the first quarter relenting it by the time the second quarter rolled around. Sargent would utilize a 6-point run that spanned the second and third quarters to tie the game at 17 points. However a six-point run to Holly in the fourth made it too hard for the Farmers to keep pace and the Wildcats claimed the district eliminating Sargent 31-26.
In the 3A class the ‘Sweet 16’ round of the State Championships chiseled competitors down to just eight in both the girls and boys brackets. For Centauri both the girls and boys were competing in state tournament play.
The boys were taking on Montezuma Cortez for the third time this season. The series was split with one win apiece. The Falcons would hang with their district rival throughout the entire game. It would take two extra periods to decide a winner Montezuma-Cortez outlasting Centauri 66-62.
The Lady Falcons (18-6) had no intentions of letting their opponent stick around. Centauri’s girls rolled right over the host Wildcats with a monster first half taking a 37-17 game to the locker rooms. By the time The Academy woke it was far too late. The Wildcats would see their most productive quarter in the final frame putting up 21 points but at that point it was more damage control to make the final score more palatable. Centauri breezed on to the ‘Great 8’ at Denver University with a 65-50 win.
There the Falcons will find some more fuel for the post-season fire they seem to have built. The Falcons will meet the team that ended their season prematurely last year, Colorado Springs Christian (23-1). Thursday Centauri will look to return the favor.
Alamosa was also represented down both sides of the gender line in the ‘Sweet 16’ round. Alamosa’s boys were in Sterling while the girls were in Platte Valley.
The boys would fall behind early to the second seeded Tigers and weren’t able to make up the ground. Sterling moved on to the ‘Great 8’ with a 47-32 win.
In Platte Valley the Lady Moose (17-6) would fall behind by 5 points early in the second quarter. Alamosa would engineer an 8-point run to take the lead. With some score maintenance in the third quarter Alamosa was in perfect position in the fourth for another burst to earn the 39-30 win.
At Denver University Alamosa has pulled a tough draw. The Moose will face off with first seeded St. Mary’s (23-1). Alamosa’s latest memory of the defending state champs was a 68-34 game late last season.