Paonia girls, boys advance to 2A state basketball semifinals
The Paonia High School girls basketball team advanced to the Class 2A semifinals for the second consecutive year.
Paonia (23-0) used a strong second half to hold off a stubborn Swink team, 55-44, at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center on Thursday.
Sophia Anderson hit two free throws with about 5 minutes remaining to start the Eagles on a 16-5 run to end the game.
The second-seeded Eagles drew a surprisingly tough opening-round game against No. 7 Swink (20-3), which came in on a 19-game winning streak.
Even though Swink came in with one of the best records, the Lions were ranked seventh in the RPI, partly because of its strength of schedule, which was 34th in the classification.
The Eagles will now face third-seeded Del Norte (21-2), a 59-44 winner over Haxtun, at 4 today.
The Paonia boys also advanced to the 2A semifinals with a 45-37 upset of Del Norte (20-6).
Paonia (22-2), the No. 6 seed, used a 16-0 run to end the first half and start the third quarter to down the third-seeded Tigers.
The Eagles, who lost in the first round of the state tournament last year, will now try for their first title game appearance since 2008.
Paonia plays No. 2 Holyoke (20-4), a 43-38 winner over Fowler, at 5:30 tonight.