Athletes of the Week: Ames, Fraser & Delta Basketball

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:32 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The Delta High School Panthers Girls Basketball Team is advancing to the 4A State Playoffs Great Eight round for an astonishing fifth time in a row, establishing a strong basketball presence on the Western Slope.

The Panthers say they have been putting in the work ahead of their tough matchup against the 4A number one seeded Holy Family Tigers from Broomfield, CO.

“We’ve watched some film on Holy Family, I think that we’re working on breaking our press, hopefully shooting lights out that night, and just making smart passes for our decisions.” Senior Guard Ellie Ames said.

“We will win if we shoot the ball well.” Coach Kyle Crowder said.

Making the final eight in the state is always an immense accomplishment, however according to the pair of senior panthers players, they are focused on breaking through further into the tournament this year.

“It feels kind of like a normal thing. But it’s also something that we shouldn’t look over like, it’s definitely like a thing to be able to be in this” Senior Post Aubrey Fraser said.

“These kids specifically, they have had a chance to go to state this will be Ellie Ames fourth time going to the state tournament, some of those other girls three times. So that’s a big step for us, having that experience,” Crowder said.

“I would say that we just are taking it one game at a time at this point. But the end goal is state championship,” Ames said.

According to Coach Crowder, the team has had extra motivation this season. Despite the program maintaining their high level of success, he says the program still isn’t receiving the recognition they deserve across the state.

“You know, it’s always that kind of bittersweet, because people just don’t give us the credit that I think that we deserved sometimes. Even through the coach’s poll this year, we were voted in the top ten as the number 10 in the preseason poll, and yet, we never got voted into the top 10 again, the whole year,” Crowder said. “I feel like these kids have something to prove and have to prove that we have a good product, and that we’re a team that can do as well as anybody else. So I’m excited, I think that they’re going to go to the Front Range and I think this could be the year that we shock some people.”

The Delta Panthers game is scheduled for Friday in Denver at the Denver Coliseum at 7:00 P.M.