Panthers defeat Vail Mountain

RANGELY I “Thanks to the snow, we only got to play one game last weekend,” Rangely boys’ basketball coach Eric Hejl said.
The Rangely Panthers were to host North Park last Saturday but because of weather and road conditions the Wildcats from Walden did not make the trip. The snow didn’t keep the boys’ basketball team from traveling to Vail last Friday, where they defeated Vail Mountain School 55-40.
“We were getting good looks against their zone and Cameron (Enterline) was hitting to start the game, which was good,” Hejl said.
Enterline hit two 3-pointers, two free throws and a basket in the first quarter to give the Panthers a 17-12 lead. Kody Denny also hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter and senior Caleb Templeton added two baskets.
Vail Mountain outscored the Panthers in the second quarter but Rangely held a two point lead at halftime.
“Our transition game wasn’t the greatest in the first three quarters,” Hejl said. “We were having trouble getting back defensively, as well as having a tough time finishing on the other end when we ran the floor. Hejl said his team’s conditioning also came into play.
“I’m not sure how much the altitude affected us but it definitely seemed like some of our guys were more winded than usual,” Hejl said.
The Panthers increased their lead in the third quarter, outscoring Vail Mountain 11-7 to take a 36-30 lead into the final quarter.
“Their primary post player gave us trouble all night (scoring 29 of Vail Mountain’s 40 points) but thankfully we finally buckled down defensively to start the fourth quarter and it allowed Caleb to get some easy buckets on the other end,” Hejl said. “It definitely wasn’t our prettiest win but it’s a win nonetheless, so we’ll take it.”
Templeton and Enterline both finished in double figures with 22 and 13 points respectively.
The North Park game has been tentatively rescheduled for tonight. The Panthers will host DeBeque Friday and travel to Collbran to play the Plateau Valley Cowboys Saturday.