Blunt, Meeker girls get title shot

MEEKER — Of all the trophies in Meeker High School’s trophy cases, only one is the coveted gold ball, earned by the 1995 girls’ basketball team.
Hallie Blunt, a member of the 1995 championship team, will get her second opportunity as the head coach of her high school alma mater, to win another gold ball. The 2A state tournament will be held at Blunt’s college alma mater, the University of Southern Colorado, in Pueblo, starting today.
The Lady Cowboys won their first game in the regional tournament last weekend with a 49-31 win over Resurrection Christian, before defeating Dolores 48-29 in the championship game.
“My dad says ‘anything can happen in the state tournament,’” Blunt said of her father’s philosophy. “The girls are playing good ball at the right time, and anything can happen.”
Meeker didn’t start out well last weekend, falling behind Resurrection Christian after the first quarter but they came back to take the lead in the second.
“They went up 11-9 after the first, but we didn’t lose our confidence,” Blunt said. “Megan (Ridings) hit a three, then Marki (Cook) got a layup and we started to run and play our tempo.”
Meeker led 26-22 at halftime, and defensively only allowed two points in the third quarter, while scoring 15 offensively to put the game out of reach 41-24, with one quarter left to play.
“We had really good second and third quarters, getting good minutes from a lot of different kids and sparks from our non-starters,” Blunt said.
Cook led all scorers with 23 points, Janae Kindall added 24, while Ridings and Stacey Fitzgibbons, Timbre Shriver and Sydney Cook, all finished with two each.
Against Dolores in the championship game, Meeker jumped out to a 10-5 lead after the first quarter and only allowed 11 points in the first half, while scoring 29 of its own.
“Everyone got to play and a lot of them scored,” Blunt said of the championship game. “Janae was dominating for us. She and Stacey really played well.”
Marki Cook again led all scorers with 17, Kindall followed with 10, Sydney Cook had eight and Fitzgibbons added six. Shriver, Morgan Neilson and Rachel Smith all scored two and Becky de Vergie added a free throw.
The Meeker girls, who sport an 18-6 record, are the No. 4 seed in the state tournament and will play No. 5 Burlington in the first round at 10:15 a.m. today in Massari Fieldhouse on the USC campus.
“This is a great bunch of girls, and we wouldn’t have made it this far without coaches Jamie (Rogers) and Debbie (Cook),” Blunt said. “Debbie told me she has waited 34 years to win a gold ball; maybe this is the year. It’s great that the girls and boys both made it. I hope a lot of people come watch and get loud. It’s going to be fun.”