Lady Panthers move on to regionals

Rangely senior Sidney Shaffer and her teammates celebrate a 54-53 victory over the Soroco Rams in the consolation championship game of the District 5 tournament. The win advanced the lady Panthers to the regional tournament held in Gunnison where Rangely (16-6) will play Sanford (13-9) Friday at Western State College at 5 p.m., with the winner playing Ignacio for the opportunity to advance to the 2A 2017 Colorado State Basketball Championships. Matt Scoggins photo

RANGELY | The Lady Panthers played three days of tough games last week that carried them through the district tournament. They’ll play in the regional tournament in Gunnison this Friday.
According to head coach Quinton Kent, the district pigtail game against Vail Christian on Feb. 22 was a battle, but the girls came out on top 48-40.
“Vail Christian was really active in their zone and their defense forced us into a lot of turnovers. Fortunately for us, our defense was good, despite our inability to score and the game stayed close throughout,” Kent said.
“It was a two-point game going into the fourth quarter and that’s when we were able to get going a little offensively and outscored them 19-9 to come out on top 48-40.
In Friday’s game against Paonia—the No. 1 team in the state—the Panthers lost 55-31 in the district semi-final game.
“Even when we felt like we were playing good defense and contesting their shots, they still made them. They play really good defense and they were simply the better team,” Kent said.
The lady Panthers faced Soroco on Saturday for third place in the district tournament.
“We came into this game knowing it was a win or go home situation. I was really proud of the way the girls responded,” Kent said. “They executed our defensive plan pretty well and with about five minutes to go in the fourth we had built up a double digit lead.”
“However, Soroco shoots the three-point shot really well and they made a couple shots. We turned the ball over a couple times, and just like that they had come back in a span of about a minute and a half. In the last few minutes we traded buckets and we made some crucial free throws. We had built a two-point lead and then fouled them on a three-point attempt, giving them a chance to pull ahead.”
Soroco only made one of those attempts and the Panthers escaped after another three-point attempt was narrowly missed. The final was 54-53.
“We are extremely excited to move on to regionals in Gunnison where we will match up with Sanford on Friday at 5 p.m. at Western State College.