bball

Telluride junior Morgan Watkinson (15) looks for an outlet pass after pulling in a rebound over Ignacio’s Larissa Gallegos (11) during the San Juan Basin District Tournament championship game Saturday at Montezuma-Cortez High School. The Miner lost 71-2 win, but will advance to the Class 2A Regionals Friday. (Photo courtesy of Joel Priest/Southern Ute Drum)

The Miners are moving on. The Telluride High School basketball teams — both girls and boys — advanced to the Class 2A Regionals with key victories over the weekend in the San Juan Basin District Tournament in Cortez.

The Telluride girls qualified with a critical, if low-scoring, 18-13 win over Dolores in the tournament semifinals. After dropping the tournament championship to Ignacio, the Telluride girls were seeded No. 30 in the 32-team regional lineup in Class 2A. The Miners (8-13) will take on No. 3 seed Meeker (20-2) on Friday in Meeker — a repeat of the regional volleyball scenario from last fall. No. 14 Wray (15-7) will play No. 19 Calhan (12-10) in the other Region 3 girls semifinal in Meeker. The winners will play Saturday for the right to advance to the state tournament.

The Ignacio girls, who used a smothering pressure defense and a fast-scoring offense, beat the Miners 71-2 in the title game and were awarded the No. 8 seed for regionals. The Ignacio girls (16-5) will host Region 8, starting with a game against No. 25 Sargent (9-13). Holyoke (20-1) is the No. 1 seed in girls 2A.

The Telluride boys earned a trip to regionals with a big 70-51 win over rival Ridgway in the district third-place game Saturday in Cortez. The Miners had lost a hard-fought 57-46 game to Ignacio in the semifinals, but the Telluride boys responded with their biggest offensive output of the season against Ridgway, eventually winning by 19.

The Telluride boys also were seeded No. 30 for the regional playoffs. The Miners (8-13) will play at No. 3 Sanford (18-4) at 5 p.m. Friday in Sanford.

Sanford is located in the San Luis Valley, south of Alamosa and just east of Centauri High School in La Jara. No. 14 Heritage Christian of Fort Collins (17-5) will play No. 19 Burlington (13-9) in the other boys semifinal Friday at Sanford.

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY

The Telluride High School hockey team, competing in the Rio Grande High School Hockey League, wrapped up its record-setting season at the league tournament over the weekend in New Mexico.

The Telluride team, coming off a two-game home sweep of the Los Alamos Hilltoppers a week earlier, drew a first-round bye in the tournament. They skated past the Big Texan Bulls of Amarillo, Texas, 3-2 in overtime in the second round. Telluride then matched up against rival Durango and prevailed 2-0 in a tight game.

Durango played through the elimination bracket to earn another shot against Telluride for the tournament title. Durango finally broke the scoreless tie in the championship game with a goal late in the second period. The margin remained a single goal until Durango scored on a counterattack after extended offensive pressure by Telluride. Durango scored an empty net goal for a 3-0 win.

“I’m really proud of the way they played and the effort they put in for five-and-half months,” said head coach Grayson Fertig after Telluride closed the season 24-4-1.

“(The final) was another great game,” he said. “We dominated play, dominated in shots, time of possession, but we didn’t finish. And in hockey, sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

While he added the championship defeat was tough to take, Fertig said the team’s improved play through the season continued to elevate the program.

“Telluride High School hockey is really coming on,” Fertig said. “They’re playing hockey the way it should be played … team hockey.”

He added that he was particularly pleased with the team’s possession passing game and its solid defense.

“And we’re developing a winning mindset,” he said of the program’s progression.

The team was led in goals by Matheau Richard, John Perpar, Landon de Pagter Kusuno, Liam Scanlon and Tate Young

Perpar led the way in assists, along with Richard, Scanlon, Anthony Wilcox and Gregor Remec. Orion White played in goal for Telluride.

SQUIRT A HOCKEY

The Telluride Squirt A hockey team put an exclamation mark on the season by winning the Western Colorado Hockey League Tournament over the weekend in Breckenridge.

The team of 9-to-11-year-olds includes Whitaker Fusting, Ella Fischetti, Dylan Saunders, James “Gigger” Gavin, Obi Clarke, Beck Sommers, Ryker Medrick, Isaias Vidal, Porter Black, and goalies Will Doherty and Colby Stetina. The Telluride Squirt A’s are coached by Dave Fischetti and Eric Saunders. Joanna MacDonals is the team manager.

“They are a bunch of hard-working kids,” Fischetti said, adding that many of the players spend extra time honing their skills on the ice in addition to regular practices. “It’s been awhile since a Telluride team has won its league.”

The team defeated Aspen and Vail Red in round-robin play at the Breckenridge league tournament. The team dropped a game to Summit, but still advanced to the championship final.

Telluride defeated Vail Blue 5-1 to win the first-place trophy.

“Our goaltending was fantastic,” Fischetti said, adding that the goalies split time during each game.

He said Chris White of Telluride is the goalie coach for Telluride junior hockey.

“He’s been absolutely great; a wonderful asset to the teams,” he said of White, who works will all the goalies in the Telluride Lizard Heads Hockey Club.

“All the kids played their hearts out,” Fischetti said. The Telluride Squirt A team is 17-5-0 thus far this season.

He said the parents are extremely supportive, giving up time during the heart of ski season to transport the players to games and tournaments.

The Telluride Squirt A team will compete in the Avalanche Cup this weekend in the Denver area, a statewide youth hockey tournament.

COED HOCKEY

Yeasty Meat feasted on third-period goals to break open a close game in the final of the Telluride Coed Hockey League, played in front of a packed house Friday night.

Yeasty Meat snatched an early lead when Teddy Errico carried the puck end to end, slipping it into the 13ers’ goal for a 1-0 lead.

After Yeasty Meat added a second goal for a 2-0 lead, the 13ers climbed right back into the spirited contest in the second period.

Cody Davis scored on an acrobatic shot; Dylan Brooks tied the game 2-2 with a goal for the 13ers.

In the third period, the Yeasty Meat offense got cooking with a series of scoring rushes.

Tiff Lyga scored on a wraparound goal to extend the Yeasty Meat lead to five goals.

The 13ers battled to close the margin, but with the opportunistic third-period goals, Yeasty Meat defeated the 13ers 8-3 to claim the championship of Telluride Coed Hockey.

The huge throng of fans was treated to ice cold beverages when the 13ers added special pregame notes to the brews, urging the fans to “drink our beer and cheer, cheer, cheer.” And they did with cheers all around during the championship game.

“There was lots of crowd fanfare; a pretty high-octane game; a good time for all,” said 13ers co-captain Joe Davis. “It was a strong battle. They seized the momentum (in the third period). Their goalie really stood tall.”