Lady Panthers finish busy week 2-1

RANGELY — With little time to practice in a week filled with games, the RHS Lady Panthers knew they might have to do some adjusting on the fly, and for the most part they were up to the task.
The first match of the week was a non-league contest against the visiting Altamont Longhorns.
Although the season began almost two months ago, this was the first game of the season in front of the home crowd, and the Lady Panthers didn’t disappoint.
They were able to get out of the gate quickly by forcing turnovers and converting those turnovers into buckets on the other end.
By the end of the first half, Rangely had jumped out to a 29-20 lead and just needed to protect that lead in the second half.
Fortunately, the Longhorns were unable to put together a run as the Lady Panthers played smart and steady in the final 16 minutes to earn a win in their first home game of the season 47-39.
Marie Morton and Hillary Hayes scored 10 and 11 respectively, but that was just a part of a balanced Panther attack that had scoring contributions from eight different players.
The backcourt combo of Audrey Hogan (four steals) and Heather Wanstedt (three steals) gave the Longhorns fits all night, and never allowed them to find their comfort zone. All together this was a great team win to start the week.
On Friday the Lady Panthers made the long trip to Paonia to see how they matched up against what is looking like one of the best (if not the best) teams in the Western Slope League.
At the end of the first quarter it looked as though the Lady Panthers were going to give the Eagles a run for their money, as the period ended in a 12-12 tie.
Unfortunately in the second quarter, shots started to fall in bunches for Paonia and Rangely found themselves falling behind. They trailed 32-20 going into the locker room at the half.
The Eagles were able to extend their lead in the third quarter, which basically put the game out of reach for the Lady Panthers as they were handed their first league loss of the season with a final score of 56-43.
Audrey Hogan (12) and Hillary Hayes (10) led what was once again a balanced scoring attack, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the costly turnovers and hot shooting by the Eagles.
For the second time in as many days, the Lady Panthers loaded up for a long bus ride—this time to Manila, Utah, to take on the Lady Mustangs.
The loss to Paonia the night before left a bad taste in the mouths of the Panthers and they decided they would take out some of their frustration on Manila.
It took the ladies a little while to get things rolling as they only scored five points in the first frame, but defense was the key as the first eight minutes came to an end with the Lady Cats still leading 5-2.
Things finally got rolling on the offensive end in the second and third with a total of 34 combined points for the quarters on each side of halftime.
The defense also kept applying suffocating defense, holding the Lady Mustangs to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.
By the end of the game, the scoreboard showed a comfortable victory for the road team with a final score of 55-27.
This made the memories of the previous night seem a bit more distant for the Lady Panthers.
Another well-distributed scoring night saw all nine players contributing in the scoring column led by Victoria Phelan who was one rebound shy of a double-double (18 points, nine rebounds and one block) and Audrey Hogan was also nearing a double-double of her own with12 points and eight rebounds.
The Lady Panthers have another busy week coming up as they will be at home vs. Moffat County before they travel to North Park tomorrow and finish the week playing host to West Grand on Saturday afternoon.
There will be a lot of home games to finish the season so make sure to come out and support our local athletic teams as they come down the stretch toward playoff time.