By BOBBY GUTIERREZ
MEEKER | The Cowboys finished the regular season with an overall 15-4 record and were 11-1 in the Western Slope League (WSL), after a 74-42 thumping of the Soroco Rams Friday last in front of their hometown fans in the final game of the regular season. Meeker finished second in the WSL behind county rival Rangely and the two Rio Blanco County teams may meet in the finals Saturday in DeBeque.
In order to make the District 5 championship game, the Cowboys would have had to win their first game, played yesterday at home against West Grand, after press time. If they beat the Mustangs, Meeker would advance to the championship semifinals to be held Friday in DeBeque, starting at 4:30 p.m. The top five teams from the District 5 tournament will advance to regional tournaments around but the motivation to win is the district champion will host a regional tournament the following week.
According to Meeker head coach Klark Kindler, the Cowboys started “a little flat” but came back to easily beat the Rams and finish the regular season with a win.
“We came out a little flat and struggled in the first quarter,” coach Kindler said. “We went into the press, got the tempo where it needed to be and got the transition game going. Once we built a 10-point lead, we did a good job of adding to it.”
The Cowboys led 15-7 after the first quarter and jumped out to a 40-22 lead at halftime. Meeker outscored the Rams by five in the third quarter and put 22 points on the scoreboard in the fourth for the win.
Senior center, Eli Newman led the Cowboys with 19 points, classmate Valentin Rosas scored 15, while Doak Mantle and Zach Dinwiddie each added 13. Mantle hit eight of ten free throws and Dinwiddie nailed three shots from behind the three-point arch. Senior Logan a scored six points and pulled down nine rebounds and his cousin Ryan Phelan added four. Stephen Walsh and Kale Burke each added a basket.
Meeker played the winner of West Grand Wednesday after press time. If they lose, they will play today in DeBeque at 4:30 p.m. If Meeker wins, they will play in the semifinals Friday at 4:30 p.m., either against No. 3 Vail Christian, who would have played the winner of Plateau Valley and Hayden. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
UPDATE: The Cowboys won their game Wednesday night and are still in the running for a district championship.