Meeker takes fourth in Cowboy Shootout
MEEKER I The Meeker Cowboy boys varsity basketball squad started out strong on Thursday night in their quest for a “three-peat” of the championship of the annual White River Electric Cowboy Shootout. Meeker opened with a convincing win over the Shining Mountain Waldorf School of Boulder but lost the next two games of the tournament to Snake River of Baggs, Wyo., and league foe Hayden. The 1-2 record earned the ’Pokes a fourth-place finish in the tournament.
Playing its first home game of the 2010-11 year, Meeker started out with a slim lead after one quarter over the visiting Lions with a 13-11 margin. The Lions were able to swap the tables in the second, outscoring the Cowboys by 14-11 and taking a slim one point lead into the half 25-24. Meeker took control the second half on the strength of scoring by Trey Morris, Jake Nieslanik, Cole Steiner, Ryan Wix and Jake Boesch. Meeker outscored Shining Mountain by 17 in the second half to win the game going away 55-39. Morris led all scorers with 14 for the game followed by Steiner and Nieslanik with 12 each. Wix accounted for 11 more points and freshman Jake Boesch hit a couple of long range shots for his six point total.
Moving into the semifinals, the Cowboys found themselves paired against the eventual tournament champions, the Rattlers from Little Snake River (Baggs), Wyo. The Rattlers had advanced by virtue of their solid performance over the Cedaredge Bruins the previous night by 66-31 score. The Cowboys held tough with the Rattlers in the first quarter, outscoring the visitors by a 17-15 score. Snake River then opened up its game and started to pull away from the Cowboys in the second period and erased the slim lead Meeker had outscoring the ’Pokes 17-10 in the stanza and taking a 32-27 lead into the halftime break. The intermission didn’t do the Cowboys any favors as they came out shooting cold from the field and only managed five points in the period. Meanwhile the balanced scoring of the Rattlers increased their margin to 12 and a 44-32 lead over Meeker. The fourth quarter was a little more productive for the Cowboys but they were still outscored by Snake River in the period 16-11 for a 60-43 victory by the Rattlers. The Cowboys were paced by senior Jake Nieslanik’s 13 points.
Meeker’s next pairing on Saturday afternoon was against league foe Hayden. The two teams traded baskets for most of the first half with Meeker holding a slim margin after one quarter, but Hayden overtook the Cowboys in the second period to gain a slim advantage at the halftime break by a 25-23 score. Again the break seemed to cool off the Cowboys as Hayden took control of the game in the third period outscoring the Cowboys 23-10 to take a 15 point lead into the fourth period. Although Meeker was able to outscore the Tigers in the fourth period, it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead and the Cowboys fell by a 63-50 final score. For the second game in a row, Nieslanik led the Cowboys in scoring with 21, he was followed by Morris with 10, Wix had nine and Steiner counted for eight. Jeremy Musgrave rounded out the scoring for the ‘Pokes with a basket.
For the tournament Nieslanik led the Cowboys in scoring with 46, Morris had 31, Wix and Steiner each had 29 while Jake Boesch scored six, Scott Smith two, Nate Walsh three, and Jeremy Musgrave two.
For his tournament efforts, Jake Nieslanik was named to the all-tournament team along with Daniel Wille of Snake River, Omar Melendez of Grand Valley, Greg Medvesk of Hayden, and Emelio Marques of Mancos. Sean Reitveld of Snake River was named the tournament MVP. Ben Williams of Hayden won the annual slam dunk contest, and Emelio Marquez of Mancos was crowned the three-point champion.
Hayden 69-45 over Mancos, Grand Valley beat Rangely 53-28, Snake River outscored Cedaredge 66-31, and Meeker beat Shining Mountain 55-39.
Mancos 59-55 over Rangely, Cedaredge outscored Shining Mountain 49-43, Grand Valley slipped by Hayden 41-38, and Snake River beat Meeker 60-43.
7th Place — Shining Mountain beat Rangely 44-33, 5th Place — Cedaredge over Mancos 57-46, 3rd place — Hayden 63-50 over Meeker, and Championship — Snake River beat Grand Valley 56-41.