MEEKER — By virtue of two resounding victories this past weekend over league foes, the Meeker Cowboys sit alone atop the 2A Western Slope League with a perfect 6-0 league and 17-1 overall records.
Meeker had their way with a pair of cats as they pounced on the Hayden Tigers on Friday by a score of 73-45 and followed that up with a convincing caging of the Rangely Panthers 69-43 on Saturday. The Cowboys have only one game remaining in the regular season this Saturday against Paonia who was the state runner-up last year.
Friday in Hayden, the varsity boys set the tone quickly as they jumped on the Tigers early.
Meeker’s defense only allowed four points in the quarter by Tiger Murphy Smartt while racking up 21 of their own.
Brian Crowe, Mitch Jacob and Brock Campbell all rang home three point shots while Tyrell Gerloff and Colton Brown worked hard in the paint for the ‘Pokes.
The second quarter wasn’t much better for the home town Tigers. They were able to pick up three baskets and five points off free throws, but Meeker countered with five charity shots of their own. Couple that with baskets by Jacob, Gerloff, Campbell, Crowe and two 3-point counters by Jake Nieslanik and Meeker lengthened its lead to 40-15 at halftime.
Meeker’s offensive production fell off slightly in the third as they counted for 14 in the period but a three quarter lead of 54-26 was more than the Tigers could overcome in the final eight minutes.
Both teams accounted for 19 points in the final stanza, but Meeker claimed the game 73-45. The Cowboys shot 17-20 from the free throw line for an 85 percent accuracy.
Colton Brown led the ‘Pokes with 17 points and 7-8 from the free throw line; he was followed by Gerloff with 14 and a perfect 4-4 from the stripe.
Saturday in Meeker a good crowd of both Cowboy and Panther fans filled the Meeker gym.
The outcome of this game could determine the league champions, and both teams came to play the first quarter.
Patrick Phelan and Tyrell Gerloff paced the Panthers and the Cowboys with four first quarter points each. The quarter ended with both teams knotted at 11 apiece.
The second quarter was mainly the Cowboys lighting up the scoreboard as they counted 16 paced by Jacobs and Crowe while holding the Panther team to five and a 27-16 halftime lead.
The Cowboys extended their lead in the third with an 18 point quarter compared to only 12 for Rangely. In the final period, Cowboys Jacob and Crowe continued to rain in three pointers as they both hit for a pair and a 24 point final quarter compared to Rangely’s 15 to end the game and the county basketball championship 69-43 in favor of the ‘Pokes.
Crowe, who counted six three point shots, led Meeker’s scoring with 23, followed by Jacob’s 20.
This Saturday, the Cowboys will wrap up the regular season at Paonia against the Eagles with a game time tip scheduled for 4 p.m. The following weekend, Meeker will host game one of the district tournament with the time to be announced.
Meeker 21 19 14 19 – 73
Hayden 4 11 11 19 – 45
Jacob 1-2-2-10, Brown 5-0-7-8-17, Nieslanik 0-2-0-0-6, Gerloff 5-0-4-4-14, Steiner 0-0-2-2-2, Campbell 2-1-1-2-8, Crowe 4-1-1-2-12, Matrisciano 1-0-0-0-2, Wix 1-0-0-0-2 — Totals 19-6-17-20-73
Meeker 11 16 18 24 – 69
Rangely 11 5 12 15 – 43
Jacob 7-2-0-0-20, Brown 2-0-2-4-6, Nieslanik 0-0-2-4-2, Gerloff 2-0-2-2-6, Steiner 0-0-2-2-2, Campbell 4-0-0-0-8, Crowe 2-6-1-2-23, Kilduff 1-0-0-0-2 — Totals 18-8-9-14-69
Denny 1-0-0-0-2, Chavez 3-0-0-1-6, Brady 4-0-4-8-12, Perzinski 0-0-0-2-0, Phelan 2-2-2-5-12, Herrera 1-0-1-2-3, Dahl 1-0-2-3-4, Morton 2-0-0-1-4 — Totals 14-2-9-22-43