State Championship level basketball continues to thin the herd of San Luis Valley contenders. Monday and Tuesday were witness to action for three valley teams. The lone team to progress in the title tournament was the Sanford girls. Sanford came away with a 35-21 victory over an overachieving Yuma team that defied the odds to reach the Great 8 as a No. 22 seed.
Also playing on Monday was the Sangre de Cristo girls who could not surpass Fleming, succumbing to the visiting Wildcats 41-34.
Tuesday night the Centauri girls got their chance to take part in some quarterfinal action when they hosted the University Bulldogs. The Falcons would stage a valiant comeback in the fourth quarter nearly eclipsing a 10-point deficit but ultimately fell a basket short being eliminated 55-53 by University.
Sanford’s girls are now in the same position they were in 2019, a game away from competing for the 2A state title. The 2019 Sanford girls would end their campaign with a fourth place finish after shocking the No. 1 seed Limon in the first round. Now Limon will be the last obstacle standing between Sanford and a championship game berth.
The situation is quite different as this year Sanford will enter the final four as the highest seeded team (No. 3) boasting a near perfect 15-1 overall record behind the Caldons, Cheyenne and Ariel who combined for 337 in fourteen games. The perimeter game is handled by sophomore Makenzie Reynolds who had a team best 41 percent average from three point range and 15 long range buckets after 14 games.
The Badgers will likely be relying pretty heavily on junior Trista Marx. Marx is a Swiss Army Knife and owned the team lead of double-doubles with two after 15 games. Sanford’s gameplan for victory will most likely hinge on containing Marx as she lead the team in scoring with 262 points through 15 games as well as avoiding winding up on her team leading ‘steals’ and ‘blocks’ stat lines.
Sanford will get into semifinal play on Thursday when they play host to the Limon Badgers at 5 p.m.