It is postseason for high school basketball in Colorado and the West Grand Mustang boys and girls teams both played games on Tuesday night to start the first round of playoffs.
The boys hosted the Rangely Panthers, while the girls took a trip to Meeker to play the powerful Cowboys.
The wrestling season wrapped up this past weekend at the state tournament in Denver and, though he didn't earn a podium finish, West Grand's Stephen Terrazas won two of four matches.
West Grand finished in fourth place in the highly competitive Western Slope League with a 7-4 record. Vail Christian finished in second place but, as a Class 1A school, it will be playing in the Class 1A tournament while the Mustangs are seeded third in its Class 2A district tournament. Meeker finished in second place and West Grand tied with Paonia for fourth, but was granted the third seed based on its victory over the Eagles in the regular season.
The Mustangs were faced with a must-win game on Friday night in North Park to protect its seeding for the first round of games that were played last night.
West Grand responded with a 64-49 victory over the scrappy Wildcats from Walden. The score was tied after the first half, 30-30, as both teams traded baskets and the game remained close throughout the first two quarters of action.
In the third quarter, the Mustangs limited North Park to eight points and scored 20 as they took control of the game. That lead in the fourth quarter climbed to 20-points before North Park responded with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 12 points. West Grand then regrouped to hold the Wildcats at bay on what was their senior night.
Dillon Willson led the team in scoring with 20 points, while Casey Gore scored 15 and Javier Castillo scored nine for the victors and Jacob Erwin added six. Castillo and Erwin dominated in the inside against the smaller Wildcats, but foul trouble kept Castillo from having an even greater impact.
Erwin and Gore grabbed seven rebounds while Nick Ritschard and Leo Pesch snared five caroms apiece. Reno Davidson had four steals and Pesch registered three assists to lead West Grand in those categories. Willson and Gore had nine three-pointers as the Wildcats zone and foul trouble for Castillo forced the Mustangs into an outside game.
In last night's game with Rangely, it was a win or go home proposition. If the Mustangs won, they will play this weekend in the district tournament in Paonia. If Rangely pulls off the upset, it will be the Panthers that advance to that tournament. The loser of the game will have seen its season ended.
The Lady Mustangs started well against the Wildcats, leading 10-7, after the first frame. For the remainder of the game, however, North Park played some of its finest basketball of the year, scoring 44 points in those three frames. The Mustangs were only able to respond with 20 points, and the Wildcats secured the 51-30 victory.
It was one of those games where a bad break for West Grand here and good break for North Park there created a snowball effect that led to the 21-point victory. Fueled by the emotion of senior night and the support of a large hometown crowd, the Wildcats took advantage of every opportunity to earn its nine victory of the season.
The Lady Mustangs, under first-year coach Davin Boystun finished with a 6-13 season record and a 1-8 record in league action. West Grand defeated Vail Christian last week on the road to earn its league win.
Powerhouse Paonia finished in first place and is on a 12-game winning streak. The Eagles earned a first-round bye. As the lowest seeded Class 2A school, the Mustangs were matched against Meeker, which finished in second place. That game took place on Tuesday night of this week.
Just like it is with the boys, the team that wins will advance to the district tournament this weekend in Paonia.
Stephen Terrazas finished his impressive freshman season by winning two matches at the state tournament. In the first round of the 285 lb. class, Terrazas pinned Dillon Stinson of Rye. Terrazas then pinned by senior Lane Venzke of Wiggins.
Wrestling in the consolation bracket, Terrazas responded by pinning Jarred Zumwalt of Swink before losing to senior David Plute.
Terrazas finished his freshman season for West Grand with a record of 19-10. Finishing the season with Terrazas were sophomore Cole Tracy and freshman Scotty Smith.