Congrats to all the state contenders |

Congrats to all the state contenders

Post Independent OpinionGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Those Cardinals from Grand Valley flew as high as a team can over the weekend.An 85-74 win over Burlington on Saturday earned the Parachute school its first-ever state championship. That trophy case just got a lot more special!Winning a state championship is rare. The Cardinals went in as a No. 5 seed in the Class 2A tournament, but undaunted, the boys from western Garfield County knocked off Cripple Creek in the first round, then toppled the No. 1-ranked Evangelical Christian, 71-52 to earn its first-ever trip to the title game.Head coach Scott Kiburis led the Cardinals into Saturday night’s game with Burlington on a quest to stock the Cardinal trophy case with its one missing piece of hardware.The victory capped a 22-4 season for the Cardinals and the Gold Ball trophy that will now reside in the most prominent place in the school’s trophy case.Congratulations Cardinals, you earned it!• Also worthy of recognition are three other local teams that made it to the final eight and beyond. The Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team capped a splendid season with a semifinal appearance in the Class 4A tournament, played in Boulder.Glenwood (20-5) finished the season with an amazing run, winning 13 of its last 15 games.The Basalt Longhorns girls squad (22-5) just missed earning the school’s first state basketball title with a heartbreaking loss in the Class 3A finals. But it was a fabulous season.For the Roaring Fork boys, they once again proved to have one of the finest basketball programs in the Class 3A ranks. After a tough first-round loss, the Rams rebounded with two wins to earn the fifth-place trophy. The Rams ended with a 25-2 record.• And on a belated congratulations note, a big thumbs up needs to be given to the area wrestling teams that fared well at state a few weeks back, including Rifle senior Tim Long, who won a state title at 152 pounds.The Glenwood swim team also wrapped up a fine season with a state appearance.Congratulations to all the winter sports teams who did the region and Western Slope proud.

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