Cowboys lose first league game

MEEKER | Meeker’s boys’ basketball team avenged an earlier loss to the Little Snake River Rattlers last week in a non-league contest in front of a Meeker crowd but lost their first league game to the Hotchkiss Bulldogs, also on their home court Saturday. With two weeks left in the regular season, the Cowboys can still win the league championship and No. 1 seed with a win Friday in Paonia against the undefeated Eagles. Meeker will host DeBeque this Saturday.
Meeker’s only loss in the new year was in Baggs, Wyo., in January, when the Cowboys lost 51-57 to the Little Snake River Rattlers.
The Cowboys avenged the loss with a 61-47 win over the Rattlers last Thursday in front of a large home crowd. Meeker led 13-10 after the first quarter and took a 31-18 lead into the locker room at halftime, then extended their lead by six more in the third quarter.
Meeker’s trio of big-men Zach Dinwiddie, Eli Newman and Jerrick Garza all scored 12 points, junior classmate Doak Mantle finished with six, Valentine Rosas scored three and Trapper Merrifield added a basket.
Mantle led the Cowboys with 15 points against the Caprock Academy Eagles in Grand Junction, where Meeker dominated the Eagles, leading 35-5 at halftime. Dinwiddie scored 12 more and pulled down 14 rebounds, Newman added 11 points, Logan Hughes scored nine and Stephen Walsh made a three-pointer and a basket to finish with five.
Against Hotchkiss, the Cowboys stayed close in the first half, down 13-17 at the end of the first period and cut the Bulldogs’ lead to one 23-24 at halftime but struggled to control the ball and score points in the third period.
Meeker’s defense only allowed the Bulldogs to score six in the third quarter but the Cowboys only scored one point and Meeker was outscored by six in the fourth quarter.
Newman led the Cowboys with 10 points and eight rebounds against Hotchkiss, Dinwiddie and Mantle each added eight, Garza had four, Hughes three and Merrifield added a bucket.
The loss to Hotchkiss was the first league loss for Meeker but the Bulldogs already had three, so Friday’s game in Paonia against the undefeated Eagles will determine the league’s leader and possibly the Northwest League champion.