Eaton Reds girls
By Bobby Fernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. A massively long win streak will come to an end for one of these two teams.
Fifth-seeded Eaton (23-1) and No. 4 Delta (23-1) have the two longest win streaks of this entire eight-team field.
The Reds have 16 consecutive wins — same as No. 3 Pagosa Springs (21-2) — dating back to Dec. 22, a day after suffering their only loss, to Pagosa Springs.
The Panthers have an even more impressive win streak — dating back to Dec. 21, six days after its only loss, to Centauri.
One of those nearly season-long win streaks will come to an end when Eaton faces Delta at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in the Round of 8.
2. Expect a low-scoring, defensive-minded affair.
Stingy grind-it-out defense may not be nearly as flashy as explosive offense. But, both these teams make rough-and-tumble defense as fashionable as possible.
Eaton outscores its opponents 52-35 points per game and will complement its active halfcourt defense with suffocating full-court pressure, when needed — as it was in the fourth quarter of a 48-44 come-from-behind win against University on Saturday.
Delta outscores its opponents 53-37 points per game.
Knowing this probably won’t be a game played in the 60s or 70s, the winner will likely be determined by which team reduces turnovers and takes the most high-percentage shots.
3. Offensively, this game is a clash of styles.
As similar as these two teams are on defense, they couldn’t be much more different on offense.
Sure, they both have balanced offenses. Junior Sara Geddes leads Delta in scoring, averaging 10.6 points per game, and the Panthers have five players averaging more than seven points per game.
Senior Bailie Duncan averages a team-best 10.4 points per game for Eaton, and the Reds have five players averaging at least 5.9 points per game.
But, while Eaton utilizes a largely perimeter-based game, the Panthers live inside the arc.
The Reds have attempted 121 more 3-pointers than Delta has — 312 to 191. They have made nearly twice as many 3-pointers — 84 to 45.
Eaton shoots 27 percent from 3-point range. If the Reds can shoot, say, 5 for 15, from downtown, they’ll have a decent shot at moving on.