OURAY COUNTY – This weekend marks the final regular-season contests for the Ouray and Ridgway high school basketball teams. The Trojans travel to Mancos on Friday, while the Demons take on Ignacio at home.
Seeding for District 1, Class 1A will take place over the weekend.
The district tournament, which will be held in Olathe, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 26-28, will bring together 1A schools DeBeque, North Park, Norwood, Nucla, Ouray, Ridgway, and Dove Creek. The top four teams of each gender will advance to regionals, which will be held in Dove Creek, Lamar or Alamosa.
Currently, the Ouray boys boast the best record in the league at 10-5. The team is 11-7 overall, after posting wins over Dolores at home on Friday, 64-54, and Dove Creek in Dove Creek on Saturday, 70-31.
Behind Ouray in the number two slot is Norwood, then Ridgway at number three. Ridgway did, however, beat Norwood last weekend, besting the higher-ranked team in a close Valentine’s Day match at Norwood, 66-58.
“It was big for us to go into Norwood and come out with a victory,” said RHS boys basketball coach Paul Fouts. “The team played great in the second half when Norwood made their run and took the lead. Tanner Skalla and Josh Crozier stepped up and knocked some big shots down.”
The Demons had started their winning momentum Friday in Ridgway, where they beat Dove Creek, 41-26. Despite losing starters to sickness, the revamped squad found its rhythm in the second half to pull out the win.
In girls’ basketball news, the Ouray girls are ranked third in the league with a league record of 9-6 (11-7 overall for the season). They were dealt a bitter blow when league leaders Dove Creek (16-1) halted their five-game win streak in the Lady Bulldog arena last Saturday, 61-26.
Ridgway’s Lady Trojans (currently sixth in the 1A rankings, with a league record of 4-13) also fell to Dove Creek, on Friday, 66-20. They then lost in Norwood on Saturday, 46-26. Key starters were missing in both games due to illness.