The season came to an end for the Kit Carson Lady Wildcats as they lost to Fleming in a tight ball game, 37-35, in the first round of the consolation bracket on Friday morning at the UNC Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley.
The Granada boys basketball team defeated the Otis Bulldogs 70-57, to claim the 5th place trophy, Consolation Championship, in the Class 1A State Basketball Championship on Saturday morning at the UNC Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley.
The disappointment was obvious on their young, very young, faces as the McClave Lady Cardinals who had entered the state tournament with a perfect 23-0 record and were seeded #1 in the tournament bracket watched the clock tick down signaling the end of the 1A Girls State Basketball championship game indicating Briggsdale was the 2023 state champions, for the first time in that school’s long history, winning 53-37.
The Cheyenne Wells girls’ basketball team made it to the Big Show for the first time since 1978 a year ago and most of the players knew what it was like to be able to play in the biggest arena in the State. They advanced to the regional finals in the toughest region in the state losing to #1 and undefeated McClave (23-0) and gave the talented Lady Cards a contest but eventually falling, 53-32.
The Eads boys’ basketball team has been off-and-on at times across the regular season, but towards the end of the season they put together enough good wins against some quality opponents to advance to the Regional tournament as a #15 seed with a 10-10 record at #2 Denver Jewish Day (19-3) gymnasium. At the regional tournament they put together a good semifinal game against a hot-handed La Veta (#18, 14-8) team on Thursday defeating them in an exciting contest, 56-37.
This year’s version of the Eads Lady Eagles was the smallest team in numbers, with just 8 total players, Eads has had in some time. They were also small in stature, as well as no was over 5’ 8” but everyone learned how to play much larger than they were.
It’s one of the hottest leagues in the state of Colorado as the Hi-Plains League will be sending three quality teams to the 1A Colorado State Basketball Tournament this weekend. McClave and Granada will be joined by the upstart Cheyenne Wells Tigers (#9, 14-8) playing at the Butler-Hancock Arena located on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
It’s been quite an unusual season for the Granada Bobcats boys’ team as they have struggled with a number of losses—8 to be exact—waiting for various teammates to overcome injury and illness. But by the time the district tournament rolled around the Bobcats were firing on all cylinders.
It has been a heck of a year for the extremely young McClave Lady Cardinals who have played havoc through their schedule ending up with a perfect 23-0 at the eve of the Big Dance where they hope to bring home to Gold Ball. Starting 2 freshman, with another freshman coming immediately off the bench, and a sophomore the Cards are definitely the team to beat as they place their perfect season on the line.
The McClave boys have made it back to the coveted 1A Boys’ State Basketball Tournament with a good opportunity to defend last year’s state title as they are seeded #3 in the bracket. In their way, however, is a formidable opponent in the Granada Bobcats who is slated to take on McClave in the quarterfinals on Thurs.
The Kit Carson Girls basketball program is a story of tremendous tradition and success. Out of the past 12 seasons, and even during COVID, the Lady Wildcats have clawed their way to 9 state tournaments.
The Class 1A District 2 Tournament held last weekend was one for the record books as being exceptionally competitive. Basketball fans across the region filled the gyms each night in order to watch some of the finest boys’ basketball in the state.
It’s always been pounded into every athlete’s head that ‘defense wins championships’ and for the McClave Lady Cardinals their defense has paid off in a huge way with a perfect, undefeated season (21-0) and a top-berth in this weekend’s Regional tournament.