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MEEKER I The Meeker girls’ basketball team showed up to play defense against the visiting Hayden Tigers and Vail Christian Saints last Friday and Saturday.
After a tight three quarters, the Cowboys added extra intensity to their play and defeated the Tigers in their first league game. Meeker blasted out with a full court press, causing Hayden to bobble the ball. Meeker capitalized on some quick layups before the lady Tigers gained their composure and the teams battled head to head in a 3-point exhibition. The first quarter ended with Meeker ahead by one, 17-16.
Both teams blazed ahead in the second quarter with another fine shooting show as 3-point shots dropped in at both ends of the floor. Meeker’s press was still causing turnovers, but Hayden cashed in with some offensive rebounds for buckets. The teams headed to the locker room at the half 31-33, Hayden.
When the third quarter buzzer sounded, Hayden had the lead 41-44. During the fourth quarter the Lady Cowboys were down by nine. After a time out, they dug in with their tenacious defense and turned up the heat. This was the big scoring quarter for the lady Cowboys as they cashed in 21 points to the Tiger’s 15. Hayden’s fouls sent Meeker to the foul line where the Cowboys hit six straight free throws in a row. Meeker then took the lead for their first league win 62-59.
When the dust cleared, the lady Cowboy defense added 18 more steals to their stats while their patient offense only gave up 16 turnovers. This is quickly becoming a trend for the Lady Cowboy defense. A total of 14 3-pointers were cashed in during the game between the two teams. Meeker junior Kaysyn Chintala bucketed six and senior Aubrey Walsh sank one, while Hayden’s Kelsey Rolando made six and senior Brette Frentress hit one.
Saturday afternoon the lady Cowboys unrelenting defense dominated the lady Saints. Meeker jumped out 8-0 in the first few minutes as they continued their full court press. Vail Christian finally added a few buckets to the board but came up short 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. Adding 17 more points to the board, Meeker controlled the rest of the half while only allowing the Lady Saints to score one more basket.
The teams left for the half with Meeker leading 34-10. The lady Cowboys came out with an adjusted press in the third quarter and sealed a 20 point lead for the rest of the game to earn a second league victory, 63-28. The Cowboy defense racked up the steals as they added 28 more to their tally. Over the weekend the lady Cowboys had 46 total steals and only 35 turnovers, while their opponents almost doubled that with 64 turnovers. Head coach Greg Chintala contributes these numbers to the team’s “defensive intensity.”
“Everyone is working hard, and their help defense is great. On top of that, the offense is really controlling the ball while their shooting is drastically improving.”
The lady Cowboys junior varsity also matched up with the Tigers and Saints over the weekend. Meeker won both games with ease, “because these girls are really working as a team,” Chintala said.
Overall, the coaching staff is excited to see the girls coming out with such intensity and desire to win. Friday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m., Meeker will host the Plateau Valley Cowboys and then travel to Paonia Saturday.