The Montezuma-Cortez High School boys basketball team will continue its magical run in the Colorado High School Activities Class 3A state tournament after the Panthers defeated fellow 3A Intermountain League rival No. 10 Centauri in a 66-62 double-overtime regional championship thriller on Saturday afternoon at M-CHS.
As a result of the win, the Panthers (19-5) are headed to their first Great 8 in over a decade. They are seeking their third state title in the sport, with the last coming in 2002.
Titus Jackson and Teagan Whiteskunk scored 15 points apiece, while senior point guard Michael Diaz had 12 and forward Cordell Baer added eight. M-CHS will face No. 2 Sterling (23-1), which took down another Intermountain League opponent in No. 18 Alamosa, 47-32. M-CHS remains the lone IML team in the tournament, after Bayfield and Pagosa Springs lost in the first round on Friday.
The Panthers’ Great 8 tilt against Sterling begins at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at The Ritchie Center at Denver University.
Mancos High SchoolIn Class 2A, the No. 6-seeded Mancos High School boys basketball team also reached the Great 8 after it pulled away from No. 11 Heritage Christian in a 64-55 win on Saturday at Mancos High School.
The Bluejays (17-6) were led by Caden Showalter, who had a game-high 23 points and reached the 1,000-point milestone, while Evan Schnert had 14. The Bluejays led by 2 with just over two minutes to go but closed the game on an 11-4 run.
After the re-seed for the state tournament, Mancos had the No. 8 seed and will face top-seeded and undefeated Holly (24-0) in the Great 8 at 10:15 a.m. Thursday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
Girls High School basketballIntermountain League successThe IML has always been one of the strongest classes in 3A. The Great 8 field proves it, as three of the four quarterfinal games will feature teams from the IML, who will be making the trek up to Denver.
No. 9 Alamosa (17-6), No. 10 Centauri (18-6) and No. 3 Pagosa Springs (21-2) will all begin play at the Ritchie Center on Thursday.
In the Class 2A state tournament, Wray, who defeated Ignacio on Saturday, was re-seeded as the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 5 Swink in its Great 8 game at 11:45 a.m. at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.