All of the West Grand sports teams tasted success this past weekend as the various squads entered the final stages of the winter sports season.
Stephen Terrazas, freshman wrestler for the Mustangs, advanced-to the state wrestling tournament-with a runner-up finish in the 285-lb. division at the regional tournament held this past weekend in Paonia.
The Lady Mustang basketball team was able to secure a, 40-37, league victory in Edwards against Vail Christian and the West Grand boys basketball team defeated Vail Mountain, 64-39, on Friday before falling short, 67-61, in a comeback effort against Vail Christian on Saturday.
Terrazas was defeated,-2-0,-in the finals of the tournament by junior Tony Darling of Paonia. Terrazas advanced to the finals by defeating Tyson Smith of Dove Creek, 5-1. Darling, the defending state-champion,-had pinned both of his opponents in less than a minute-before tangling with Terrazas in the regional tournament championship match. Darling will be the top seed in the 285 lb. division with his 32-1 record and was one of 13 grapplers from Paonia to advance.
Terrazas and Darling battled evenly in the match and Terrazas was caught in a takedown near the end of the second period. Coach Jeff Matney added that the match was every bit as close as the final score would indicate.
In the state tournament, Terrazas earned the 6th seed and is the only freshman in his weight division.
At the regional tournament for West Grand, Cole Tracy (132 lb.) and Scotty Smith (160 lb.) were both pinned in their bouts. Tracy was defeated by David Cooper of Ignacio and Wyatt Mattausch of Dolores. Smith was bested by T.J. Shelton of Meeker and Dillon Davis of Dove Creek. Shelton, a freshman like Smith,-won the regional tournament and will be the third seed at the state tournament.
West Grand only scored 13 points in the first half before it came back strong in the second half to earn the, 40-37, victory. Vail Christian only scored 18 points in the first half of a defensive struggle.
Coach Davin Boydstun said the Mustangs utilized full-court pressure to earn the comeback victory. Sara Vance, Anna Cunico, Iris Melendez and Bailey Monahan were at the front of the press with a combination of Payton Coleman, Kristina Ekren, Kaitlyn Adams and Skylar LePage working the middle and back of the press.
Vail Christian did a good job of defending Adams and Cunico was battling an injury so other players stepped up to the challenge for Coach Boydstun. Adams and Cunico have been the leading scorers for West Grand.
Coleman had a strong game, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Monnahan scored eight for the Lady Mustangs and Adams chipped in with seven points. Monnahan and Adams also had three rebounds apiece.
Boydstun said the game came down to the final seven seconds when Vail Christian had a chance to inbound the ball, go the length of the floor and attempt a three-point shot. The Lady Mustangs were instructed to stay in front of the ball handler but to not foul under any circumstances. The plan worked to perfection as the final shot by Vail Christian failed to find its mark.
The girls will play the final game of the regular season this Friday night in Walden.
West Grand outdistanced Vail Mountain in a game where the Mustangs grabbed a 24-11 first-quarter lead and never looked back. The visitors from Vail Mountain outscored West Grand in the second and fourth quarters but the Mustangs had a dominating performance in the third quarter with a 23-2 advantage in that frame.
Leo Pesch and Dillon Willson led the scoring for West Grand with 11 points apiece. Nick Ritschard scored nine points and Fernando Dominguez and Javier Castillo added eight apiece for the Mustangs. Dominguez scored the first five points of the game to get West Grand off to a fast start.
Castillo led the team with eight rebounds, Reno Davidson and Willson led the way in steals with five apiece while Ritschard, Willson and Gore each had four assists.
Against Vail Christian, West Grand fell behind, 26-5, in the first quarter and was never able to make up the difference. The Mustangs outscored Vail Christian, 56-41, over the remainder of the game. West Grand cut the lead to three at one point and had a chance to move to within one point when Ritschard made a hard drive to the basket. There was contact, but no foul was called. Vail was able to secure the rebound, score quickly and move the advantage back to five points.
Pesch led the team in scoring with 18 points, while Willson had 13 points, Davidson scored 10 and Ritschard and Casey Gore had eight points apiece.
Davidson was the leading rebounder with 10 while Pesch snared six caroms. Ritshard had three steals and Gore notched four assists to lead the team in those categories.
Going into the final week of Western Slope league action, the Mustangs find themselves in a four-way tie for third place. Hayden has secured the top spot in the league and Meeker is guaranteed the second seed going into post season play
West Grand is tied with Rangely, Hotchkiss and Paonia. Hotchkiss hosts Paonia on Tuesday night, while Rangely goes to Meeker and West Grand travels to North Park on Friday night.