By Colt Allred
Special to the Herald Times
RANGELY | In what is always one of the county’s most anticipated matchups, the Rangely Panthers were able to best the ranked Meeker Cowboys 57-41 on Jan. 11. As always with the rivalry game, the Panthers gym was standing room only and the crowd was a rowdy one. Right from the jump, both teams came out ready to play. However, the Panthers were able to jump to an early lead, and by the end of the first quarter the home team was up 13-5. The Cowboys had a much stronger second quarter, but the Panthers were able to hold on to their hard-earned lead going into the locker room at half time.
They say that the first two minutes of the third quarter are the most important minutes of a basketball game because it sets the tempo for the second half, and both teams came out to prove that they were the better team. Both teams proved this by working as hard as possible defensively, which manifested as the lowest scoring quarters of the entire game. At the end of the third quarter the score was 35-22 with the Panthers still in the lead.
The fourth quarter was as explosive as they come, and would prove to be the highest scoring and most physical quarter of the night for both teams. The Panther squad scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, over the Cowboys 14 points. When the buzzer sounded at the end the Panthers remained on top.
“Meeker was a huge game for us,” said senior Kobe Broome from Rangely. “It came down to defense. We played very well on the defensive side, getting steals and running the fast break. The crowd really helped us out by keeping us energized through the whole game.”
Rangely’s Patrick Scoggins was the high scorer of the night with 19 points. Devin Ramirez and Kobe Broome also put up double digits for the Panthers scoring 14 and 13 respectively. The Cowboys were led by Zack Dinwiddie who put up 13 points. The Cowboys were followed by Eli Newman, who had 10 points and Logan Hughes who had six. It was a good thing that the Rangely team shot the ball well, however, because the Cowboys out-rebounded the Panthers 36-26 with Eli Newman and Logan Hughes both pulling down double digit rebounds, Newman with 13 and Hughes with 11. The Panthers and the Cowboys share a record of 6-3 on the year.
After a neck and neck game on Friday, Jan. 12, the Rangely Panthers were unable to beat the Cedaredge Bruins in a 64-63 heartbreaker. The Bruins went on a scoring run right off the bat, but the Panthers were able to bring themselves back into the game and only be down by one point at the end of the first quarter. Again, the Panthers dug in and kept pace with the Bruins but went into the locker room at halftime down by two.
After the win against Meeker the night before, the whole gym was packed once again and would become electric in the second half. The third quarter would prove to be the hottest quarter of the night for the Panthers, outscoring the Bruins 22-17 and taking their first true lead of the game. Going into the fourth quarter, the entire crowd was erupting and giving the Panthers their total support. The men’s basketball team from Colorado Northwestern Community College came and sat courtside during the game and kept the crowd roaring, which gave extra motivation to the Panther squad down the stretch. With just a couple minutes left in the game, the Panthers were able to extend their lead by seven points. However, due to a lack of some situational awareness by the Panthers, the Bruins were able to work their way back into the game, and even regain the lead.
With 10 seconds left on the clock, junior Devin Ramirez was fouled and hit two clutch free throws to give the Panthers a one-point lead. After a timeout, the Bruins put the ball in the hands of the leading scorer, Pete Carlson, who was able to go coast to coast and hit a contested two-point bucket at the very last second to win the game for Cedaredge. Despite some tough defense from the Panthers, Carlson of Cedaredge was the high scorer of the game with 26 points.
The Panthers had four players score in the double digits, led by Kobe Broome who had 17 points. Cameron Filfred had 16, followed by Devin Ramirez’s 15 and Patrick Scoggins’ 13. Despite the loss, the Panthers worked incredibly hard and the coaches agree that the team will only gain from the experience and be able to use this situation to help them in games further down the line.
By Colt Allred