Dragon starter M.J. Taylor flies through the air to sneak past a Paonia defender in Friday’s semifinal game. —Johnson Publications

NE Colorado dominates at state basketball

    Holyoke and its neighboring towns made themselves known in both the girls and boys state basketball tournaments Thursday-Saturday, March 9-11.
    It was a phenomenal showing from the northeast corner, especially from the 2A classification as all three girls and boys teams moving on from District 2 made it through regionals to play in the state tournament at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center.
    Holyoke boys went on to take state with a close 44-41 showdown with Sedgwick County. Through the season, Holyoke had faced Sedgwick County three times, defeating the team once in overtime and losing twice — with one of those losses in the District 2 championship.
    In the Saturday state tournament finals for 2A boys, Holyoke, Sedgwick County and Akron finished first, second and fifth respectively. 2A girls from District 2 finished second (Wray), third (Yuma) and fifth (Haxtun) in the state.
    Holyoke boys claimed the state title after three tight and hard-fought games over the weekend. A 43-38 victory over Fowler Thursday and an intense 64-63 overtime win over Paonia Friday culminated in once again facing the rival Sedgwick County Cougars in Saturday’s state championship. The Dragons narrowly defeated the Cougars 44-41 to bring home the state championship trophy.

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