Lady Panthers raise record to 6-3

Rangely senior Audrey Hogan bounced a pass to a teammate during Saturday’s league-opening win against Soroco. Hogan led the Lady Panthers with 18 points.

Rangely senior Audrey Hogan bounced a pass to a teammate during Saturday’s league-opening win against Soroco. Hogan led the Lady Panthers with 18 points.
Rangely senior Audrey Hogan bounced a pass to a teammate during Saturday’s league-opening win against Soroco. Hogan led the Lady Panthers with 18 points.
RANGELY I Even if they didn’t play their best ball, it was a good week for the Lady Panthers.
In the first week following the Christmas break, Rangely’s girls’ basketball team was busy, playing three games and winning all three.
“I didn’t think we played very well,” coach Jimmie Mergelman said of the Lady Panthers’ 54-42 win Saturday against Soroco and the team’s third game in five days. “But it was a league win, and we’ll take it.”
The 6-3 Lady Panthers opened post-Christmas break play with a 40-17 victory over Vernal, Utah. Of Vernal’s 17 points, 13 of them came in the fourth quarter.
“We held them scoreless in the first and third (quarters),” Mergelman said. “We played good defense, though I thought it wasn’t one of our better games. We were a little rusty after the break.”
Last Friday, Rangely faced another Utah team — Manila — and again the Lady Panthers played shut-down defense, winning 63-28.
“We only allowed 12 points in the second half, six in each quarter,” Mergelman said. “I thought that was the best we played (last week), was Friday night in the second half against Manila. Our defense was great.”
The Lady Panthers completed the three-game sweep last week with the win over league opponent Soroco. Mergelman was happy with the three wins, but still saw room for improvement.
“I would have liked to have seen us play better (against Soroco),” the Rangely coach said. “I know we played the night before, but that shouldn’t have made any difference. We just have to figure out how to play consistent and at the top of our game.”
Mergelman switched up the starting lineup for the Manila and Soroco games.
“Those kids I started Friday and Saturday were the ones working the hardest in practice,” she said. “I have a lot of options. We go about 10 deep.”
Senior Audrey Hogan led the way against Soroco with 18 points, while freshman Brittany Babineaux came off the bench to score 10. Junior Marie Morton added nine points “and she leads us in rebounds every game,” Mergelman said.
Sophomore Haeley Enterline was one of the new starters for Friday and Saturday’s games.
“She stepped up and did a nice job,” Mergelman said.
Junior Victoria Phelan received medical clearance to begin playing after the Christmas break and saw limited action last week’s games. Phelan, who was a starter last season, had knee surgery in June and missed the Lady Panthers’ games before the Christmas break.
“She doing OK, I think,” Mergleman said. “I think she’s kind of getting in the groove.”
Following a Tuesday night game at Duchesne, Utah, the Lady Panthers will host league favorite Paonia on Friday.