RANGELY — The Rangely Lady Panthers opened their season at the Meeker Cowboy Shootout last weekend.
On Thursday afternoon they played Middle Park and won 58-25.
This was a good game for us to start out with. Returning three starters and a full new bench we were able to get into some type of a rhythm and start gelling as a team.
Audrey Hogan led us in scoring with 20, followed by Victoria Phelan with 15, Hillary Hayes with nine, Marie Morton eight, Meagan Piering three, Rozilynn Thacker two and Dakota Kenney one.
In the semifinals on Friday night we met up with Hayden, I knew this would be a tough team for us. They did not graduate too many last year and were returning with a strong lineup.
We started out slow and spotted them nine right off the bat, consequently this would be the same number that we lost the game by. Our defense was not near good enough in the post area, something that we have been working on for two years.
I thought that Rosalise Coombs coming off of the bench playing in her first ever varsity game did a great job on defense and offense.
We also did not get settled into our offense like we should have and missed quite a few easy shots. Phelan finished with 16, Hogan seven, Morton five, Hayes and Slagle four, Piering and Rosalise Coombs with two each.
On Saturday we would play Meeker in the third place game. This was a huge game for us. I knew that in order for us to win our post defense would have to be much better than the night before; and it was.
Our posts did a great job holding their posts for a combined 10 points. I was very pleased with my girls as for the first time in two years we played 32 minutes of consistent basketball, something we have been working on.
We won the game 45-38. Phelan led us with 13, Morton 10, Piering and Hogan with six, Hayes and Wanstedt with five each.
We are off to a good start, but we must keep improving and striving to get better every day.
On Tuesday we will travel to Plateau Valley, and Saturday to Hayden for a rematch. Congratulations to Audrey Hogan who made the all-tournament team.
By Bobby Gutierrez
MEEKER — “It’s not exactly how we planned it,” Meeker High School girls’ basketball coach Hallie Blunt said of her team’s fourth-place finish in the annual White River Electric Cowboy Shootout.
Meeker won its first game but lost in the semifinals and then in the consolation championship against Rio Blanco County rival Rangely. Meeker beat Telluride, a newcomer to the pre-holiday tournament 80-18, before losing to North Park 58-60, then Rangely 39-45.
“The first night was a ton of fun,” Blunt said of the lopsided victory.
Meeker started slowly but led 20-4 at the end of the first quarter against the Miners from Telluride. Seniors Janae Kindall and Marki Cook scored all the points in the first quarter and all nine varsity players got in the scorebook, with Kindall scoring 12 in the first quarter.
Meeker used a stifling full-court press to create several turnovers, leading to scoring opportunities and a 33-12 first half lead.
Cook hit three, three-pointers in the second half and finished the game as the leading scorer with 31 points. Kindall finished with 20 points and junior Stacey Fitzgibbons also finished in double figures with 11.
Senior Meg Nieslanik scored five points, while classmates Sydney Cook and Megan Ridings each added four. Seniors Rachel Smith and Kelsey Kendall each added two and classmate Kelsey Rundberg made a free throw.
The Lady Cowboys started out well against the Wildcats from North Park taking a 11-5 lead after the first quarter. Meeker scored 15 more points in the second quarter but North Park pulled to within one at halftime, with 20 points of their own.
Kindall scored 10 of her game leading 30 points in the third quarter and Meeker led by three points going into the final eight minutes of the semifinal game.
The Wildcats came back in the fourth quarter and outscored Meeker by five points to win the game.
“We had runs where we did a great job and runs where we were not in a flow,” Blunt said. “We had opportunities to win and took shots to win, they just didn’t fall in.”
Sydney Cook scored 10, Marki Cook eight, Kendall five and Fitzgibbons four.
In the consolation championship against the Lady Panthers from Rangely, Meeker scored the first point on a free throw for their only lead of the game.
Rangely led 12-9 after the first quarter and stretched their lead to 27-18 at halftime and in control of the game. Meeker trailed by 10 going into the final quarter, where outscored the Panthers in the fourth but not by enough to win.
“They gave us a practice plan for Monday,” Blunt said.
Kindall and Marki Cook were named to the all-tournament team, which is chosen by the coaches and Sydney Cook won the three-point contest.
Meeker will play in Olathe Friday.