Prep basketball back in the San Luis Valley



SAN LUIS VALLEY — Gyms are once again filled with booming music and raucous crowds for prep basketball. Two local teams host annual tournaments while others have gotten in plenty of work with head-to-heads.

Thunderbird Shootout
At the Thunderbird Shootout, head coaches Dave Forster and Aaron Christiansen have the Thunderbirds flying high with both the girls and boys making to the championship. Both squads followed identical paths to the championship knocking off Custer County in the first round and Dove Creek in the second round. Sangre de Cristo will get a new challenge in the championship this year.
Center’s teams both came up short having to settle for third place games a season ago. The Lady Vikings took third place at last year’s T-bird Shootout while the boys wound up taking fourth. The Vikings have made strides and both teams are 2-0 to start the season will be playing Sangre de Cristo for the championship this year.
Sangre de Cristo Center for the T-Bird Shootout Championship, Saturday 6 p.m. for the girls and 7:30 p.m. for the boys.
Mountain Top Tournament
Centauri once again hosts its annual Mountain Top Tournament. Both Centauri squads appear to be firing on all cylinders to start the season.
The girls forced a running clock against Olathe and nearly doubled up on 4A Class Durango 62-31 and will enter their final game of the weekend 2-0. The boys followed a beat down of Olathe on day one with a 74-48 drubbing of Moffat County on day two.
Sargent’s girls struggled on day one giving up two classes to their first opponent, Durango; but the Farmers surged on day two against Las Animas to enter day 3 with a .500 record. Sargent’s boys couldn’t keep pace with Moffat County on day one but made up the difference with a win over Las Animas on day two to break even at 1-1 after two games.
Unfortunately, Intermountain League (IML) fans will have to wait until January 25th for Centauri to face off with Montezuma-Cortez. The Falcons and Panthers were not scheduled for a meeting this weekend. Centauri will close out day three against Sargent while Montezuma-Cortez’s girls and boys will take on Durango and Moffat County respectively.
Alamosa and Sanford played their season openers in Alamosa High School gymnasium. Though Alamosa’s girls found traction first, Sanford would bring it to within 3 trailing just 20-17 at the half. An early trey from Sanford’s Ariel Caldon would tie it in the third quarter. Alamosa answered back by blanking Sanford on a 13-point run and would nurse that lead to the game’s conclusion. Both teams were led by near-identical performances, Emily Lavier led the Moose with 15 points on the night, for Sanford it was Mackenzie Peterson also with 15. Both girls sank three 3-pointers in the season opener.
Alamosa’s boys shared similar success. They would come out hot in both halves. Alamosa outscored Sanford 14-7 in the first quarter and would keep that lead going to the locker room up 25-18, led by 12 points from senior Brenden Crowther. Crowther would go on to lead Alamosa in scoring with 19 points on Friday.
In the second half, Alamosa would come out hot once again adding another 7 points to their advantage thanks to Dylan Mendoza and Kane Absmeier combining for 6 points off the bench in the third. Alamosa’s bench produced 15 points in the win. For Sanford, it was senior Thomas Faucette with 15 points.
Alamosa boys and girls will be back at home Saturday night with games against Lamar. Sanford boys and girls will be back next week also facing Lamar Dec. 12th

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