‘Dogs take 6th in girls bracket
It was one of those games the Palisade High School girls basketball players had to grit their teeth and make it through.
The Bulldogs, with one senior, had very little experience playing games in a bracket format.
Their 44-29 loss to Durango at Central High School on Saturday afternoon offered a few silver linings, however.
With a sixth-place finish in the Class 4A Southwestern/Western Slope District tournament, the Bulldogs qualified for their second straight state tournament. Last season, Palisade lost 66-28 to Evergreen in the opening round of state.
The new district tournament format allowed the Bulldogs to play for their spot. Seeded No. 8 entering the tournament, a selection committee would have left them out of the seven 4A Western Slope teams selected for state.
During its run at districts, Palisade held district champion Montrose to 40 points, its lowest point total against a 4A opponent this season. The Bulldogs also notched their highest point total of the season with a 66-14 thumping of Montezuma-Cortez.
“Defensively we played better all week than we did tonight,” coach Danielle Bagwell said. “We have to get back to where we were defensively for the state tournament. I thought we were a little sluggish today.”
The Bulldogs trailed 14-5 after the first quarter and couldn’t recover. Durango made only one 3-pointer during the contest, but forced the ball inside.
Emily McCue led Durango with 15 points and Molly Barnes chipped in 11. Cruz Maestas led Palisade with eight points.
Rifle 46, Glenwood Springs 25: Chante Church led the Bears in the third-place game with 23 points, four assists and two steals.
Joey Kuheim added 10 points and five rebounds for Rifle, which receives the No. 3 seed from the Southwestern/Western Slope District. Glenwood will be the No. 4 team from the district in the state playoffs.
Steamboat Springs 45, Eagle Valley 28: Maggie Crouch scored a team-high 10 points as Steamboat Springs defeated Eagle Valley in the seventh-place game.
Lauren Thorpe led Eagle Valley with 12 points.
Tanner Quick scored 20 points for Rifle in a 63-36 rout of Eagle Valley in the third-place game of the Class 4A Southwestern/Western Slope District tourney.
Trent Brown added 12 points and Jake Statler added eight.
Rifle outscored Eagle Valley 33-10 in the second half.
Rifle receives the No. 3 seed from the district, with Eagle Valley grabbing the fourth berth.
Montrose 41, Steamboat Springs 37, OT: Angelo Youngren led Montrose with 15 points and Cole Auker added 12 points in the fifth-place game.
Montrose outscored Steamboat Springs 7-3 in overtime.
Of Steamboat’s 15 made field goals, six were 3-pointers. Ben Custer led Steamboat with 10 points, including two 3s.
Glenwood Springs 62, Battle Mountain 44: Glenwood Springs made seven 3-pointers in its win in the seventh-place game.
Collin Porterfield led the Demons with 14 points and two 3s. Joe LyBarger paced Battle Mountain with 23 points.