Meeker boys end their season with 21-2 record
MEEKER I Two weeks ago the longest winning streak in Colorado 2A basketball and the dream of bringing home a state championship belonged to the Meeker Cowboys.
A impressive four-month run saw Meeker dominate the Western Slope League. Few teams, with the exception of Hayden, played within 20 points of the Cowboys. With the run Meeker had put together, the Cowboys and their fans had high hopes of riding through the district, regional, and on to the state championships in Pueblo.
However, that dream turned into a nightmare as consecutive losses, the last one Friday night at the regional in Durango at the hands of the Alexander Dawson School from Lafayette, ended the Cowboys’ season 52-49.
After losing in the district championship game to Hayden the week before, the Cowboys were seeded as the No. 2 team in the regional game and pitted against the Mustangs, who were the No. 3 seed. The Cowboys soon found themselves down quickly in the first quarter as the Mustangs had seven players score, while the Cowboys could only counter with Mitch Jacob, Dakota Rowlett and Colton Brown.
At the end of the first the ’Pokes were down 18-12. Meeker started scratching its way back in the second as Jacob scored seven more to bring the Cowboys within three at halftime 30-27.
Meeker’s defense, which has been stellar most of the season, held its opponent to only five points in the third quarter as Meeker fans started to breathe a little. The Cowboys closed out the third period leading by two points, 37-35, on the strength of Brown’s three baskets. Missed opportunities in the fourth period spelled doom for Meeker as the Cowboys couldn’t hold on to their lead. The Mustangs closed with a 17-point quarter compared to the Cowboys 12 and a 52-49 upset victory.
Seniors playing their last game for the Cowboys, Jacob led all scorers with 18; Brown contributed 16, Rowlett nine, Tyrel Gerloff four, and Seth Boesch two points.
A new state champion will be crowned this year as Meeker wasn’t the only team to feel the pain of defeat. Last year’s state champions and No. 1-ranked Colorado Springs School suffered a similar fate and won’t be returning after suffering a defeat at the hands of Wray in its regional game. Ignacio, which Meeker beat in the third-place game last year, has the No. 1 seed and will play Wiggins. Hayden, which upset Meeker, and won the District 5 Regional championship, has been seeded at No. 7 and will face Holyoke in the first round today in Pueblo.