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Sports for Mar. 6 2008

Student scholar tops in class

WALSENBURG- Kristen David has a love for sports and education. This Junior currently carries a 4.20 grade point average and is top in her class at John Mall High School.  As an athlete, David has shined as a starter in volleyball and basketball for the past three years.  Last year she also ran the 100 and 200 relay in track. Her goals are just as diverse.  She would like to work as a veterinarian or as a counselor or work in sports medicine.

    She has had inquiries from colleges in Texas and Nebraska, but she would like to go to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs or TSJC. She would like to play college ball wherever she goes. Outside high school sports, David does gymnastics with a club in Trinidad which competes in matches in Denver and she plays soccer in Aguilar in the summer.  If that isn’t enough, Kristen worked at the swimming pool in her spare time.

    David is active in the National Honor Society, PRYDE, Mensa, the Knowledge Bowl and was involved in 4H for nine years prior to her already full high school schedule.  David is the youngest of four siblings and is the daughter of Andrew David, who has a ranch near the East Peak and who is employed by San Isabel.

Skins in sweet 16

ALAMOSA- The Lady Skins became the 1A District Champions after they defeated the Panthers of Sierra Grande this past Saturday afternoon, 55-25.  Their road to Regionals began Thursday afternoon after they blew away the Creede Miners 52-20.  This was the third time the Skins had defeated the Miners this season, which put the Lady Skins into the Championship round and ended the Lady Miners’ season.

     In their championship game against the Sierra Grande Panthers, the Redskins saw themselves trailing 9-6 after a solid first quarter Panther defense and sloppy Skin offense.  The Lady Skins had little trouble finding their stride after that as they went on a 15-0 scoring rampage, thanks in part to the hot shooting of Emily Moll and Nikki Willhoite.  The Panthers’ first score of the second quarter came when Katie Smith hit a jump shot from on top of the key at 4:30.  It was their only score of the quarter as the Skins went into the locker room at halftime leading 27-11.  En route to this victory, Moll hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points.

     The victory put the Skins in the regionals as the number-one seed with a 20-1 record.  They play in Gunnison this Saturday at 10 am against the Crested Butte Titans.  The Titans compiled a 18-3 record after their upset at the hands of Dove Creek in their District play last weekend.  The number-ten-ranked Titans will give the Lady Skins their toughest competition of the season.  The winner advances to state the following week.

Redskins to regionals

ALAMOSA-  The La Veta Redskins advanced to regional play by virtue of their second- place finish at district competition last Saturday.  In the opening game, the Redskins beat the Sierra Grande Panthers 93-62  to advance into Saturday’s final against the Creede Miners.   The Skins entered the game with confidence, hoping to beat the team that had beaten them twice this year.  In the end, the Skins went down to defeat 67-63.  From the beginning, the game met the expectations of the fans and players. 

   From the opening tip-off, the Skins matched points with the Miners until midway through the first when the Skins went on a 14-2 scoring rampage and led at the end of one, 22-12.  The Miners’ Tanner Small at 6’2’’ was not so tiny as he tore up the field, scoring from all points, including 11 of 12 points from the charity line and 25 total points.  That comfortable Skins’ lead, slipped away to one by half.

     The third period was back and forth before Shane Brownlee and Brian Andreatta opened a 46-41 lead.  The Miners came back with an offensive surge of their own with a 7-2 run, including shots from Kole Ussery and Small. 

    The game was headed to an exciting finish as both teams traded buckets, and the Miners were ahead by two with less than1:37 remaining.  With 10 seconds left, time was called.  Small took the inbound pass and was fouled, sinking both shots to clinch the championship for the Miners.  Brownlee lead the Skins with 21.

     La Veta will play Ouray in Regional action beginning at 2:30 Saturday. The Miners play Crested Butte, a team which has beaten the Miners twice this season .  Crested Butte beat Ouray in their district action so the Skins’ match should be a good one.  NOTE:  A booster bus will leave La Veta at 6:30 pm on Saturday, to take fans  to the regional playoff in Gunnison.  If you would like to go, you must sign with the school up by 3 pm Thursday.  Call 742-3662 for details.

Panthers’ season ends

COTOPAXI and FLORENCE- On February 26  the John Mall boys came from behind in the second half defeating the Cotopaxi Pirates 53 to 52 to advance to District play.  The Panthers had lost to the Pirates on Friday, February the  22nd to end regular season play, but this most recent victory was the only one that mattered.  John Mall was in the playoffs and Cotopaxi was staying home.  The Cats were trailing by as much as ten points in the fourth.  They pulled within  one and with twelve seconds remaining, Charlie Whitehead scored the game winner to put the Cats ahead.  Craig Eccher then knocked away the inbound pass, and Whitehead picked up the loose ball to secure the Cats′ incredible come-from-behind victory.

  The following Thursday, the Cats faced the Hoehne Farmers in the opening game of District competition.  The Farmers were a superior team as they played a solid offensive game defeating the Cats 61-34.   The Panthers faced a taller Hoehne team and could not score from the inside.  The usually hot shooting from the outside fell short, and the Farmers dominated the boards, giving them the lopsided victory.

     The next night, the Cats faced the Cripple Creek Pioneers hoping for a victory and play back opportunity, but losing 63-61 in an exciting seesaw match. The Panthers and Pioneers were evenly matched, trading buckets and giving the crowd an exciting game.  In the end though, the Panthers found themselves unable to come from behind and claim victory.  Rather, the Cats finished fourth in Districts, while the Pioneers lost to Hoehne in their play back opportunity to go to Regionals.  The loss ended the Panthers’ season.

     The true victory for the Panthers and Coach Harriman was the incredible late season performance of their players.  The Panthers showed true dedication, tenacity, and improvement as the season progressed.  The Panthers were in a rebuilding year and Harriman took his team to the next level.  The Panthers should be a force to be reckoned with in the coming year.

Lady Cats’ Season Over

WESTCLIFFE-  The basketball season for the John Mall Lady Panthers came to an end Feb 26 as the Custer County Bobcats tamed the Panthers 50-33.  The Bobcats advanced in the playoff rounds.

     The Lady Panthers’ season was filled with both excitement and disappointment.   Coach Ray Bustos brought a new technique and discipline to the Cats’ play, and as the third coach in four years, did an excellent job.  The girls worked hard and had a difficult road ahead of them when the season began, but as play progressed, the Ladies learned to set up the plays, execute defensive stands and work as a team.  The four seniors on the team acted as leaders, teaching the younger Panthers and helping them usher in a new era of Panther basketball. The experience the Cats gained this year should carry over in the years to come.

Junior high wrestling

WALSENBURG-  Twelve young grapplers make up the John Mall Junior High wrestling team for the 2008 season.   This will be a short four-week season.  These young grapplers with participate in several meets in March before the regional and state tournament in early April. 

    Come out to support these young grapplers.