MEEKER I The season came to an end last Friday at Standley Lake High School for the Meeker Cowboys boys’ basketball team, after losing to the Peyton Panthers in the semifinal round of the Region 7 basketball tournament. The Panthers proved to be too much, defeating the Cowboys 51-74.
By dale dunbarSpecial to the Herald TimesMEEKER I The season came to an end last Friday at Standley Lake High School for the Meeker Cowboys boys’ basketball team, after losing to the Peyton Panthers in the semifinal round of the Region 7 basketball tournament. The Panthers proved to be too much, defeating the Cowboys 51-74.“Their size and length bothered us,” head coach Klark Kindler said. “They got out and changed quite a few of our shots when they were in their zone.”Senior Jake Nieslanik hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter and classmates Cole Steiner and Ryan Wix each made a basket and two free throws in the first quarter but the Cowboys trailed by seven after the first eight minutes of play.The Panthers extended their lead 16 at halftime, as they outscored the Cowboys 20-11 in the second period, then doubled Meeker’s eight points in the third. The Cowboys outscored the Panthers in the final quarter 20-18 but it was too little, too late.“They were the better ball club,” Kindler said of the Panthers, who went on to defeat Lyons in the championship game and qualify for the Colorado State Basketball Championships which start today in Pueblo. “Our kids played hard the entire game though.”Wix led the Cowboys with 14 points, Steiner added 12, Trey Morris finished with nine and Nieslanik put up seven. Senior Trevor Matrisciano scored four in his final high school game and freshmen Dylan Mobley and Kevin Eli rounded out the Cowboys’ scoring with three and two respectively.Meeker will graduate four seniors and Kindler commented on the group and each, individually.“The group were all very good leaders,” Kindler said of Wix, Nieslanik, Steiner and Matrisciano. “They were constantly helping our younger kids in practice.”“Ryan really came on and shot the ball better as the season went on,” Kindler said. “When we threw it into the post, he was going to score and we knew it.”“Jake did the dirty work for us, defending the other team’s best post player and getting rebounds when we needed to get rebounds,” Kindler said. “Jake did the little things we needed to have a good season.”“Cole hit a lot of big shots for us, scoring when we needed a basket,” Kindler said of his point guard. “He ran our offense and did an excellent job of getting us into spots we needed to get into.”“Trevor gave us a lift when he got healthy,” Kindler said of Matrisciano, who was injured in football. “He would come off the bench and give seven to eight points. I was glad he at least got eight games in.”The Cowboys finished with a 15-8 overall record, 7-3 in conference play and tied for third.“We have good kids coming back kids that are good workers,” Kindler said, looking forward to next season.