RANGELY I The Rangely High School boys’ basketball team hosted the No. 5-ranked team in the state on Friday, but the Panthers came up short in a good learning experience.
Although the Panthers lost to Paonia, 60-40, coach Kyle Boydstun said the team learned a great deal about the potential they have and what they need to work on to be among the top teams in the post season.
The Panthers played well in the first quarter, but trailed 12-7, then seemed to get a little impatient starting the second period.
Paonia took advantage of the missed shots and increased the tempo, taking a 33-17 lead into the locker room at half.
Rangely made great adjustments at the half and came out playing with Paonia in the third quarter but still weren’t able to catch Paonia, being outscored by a 14-10 margin.
Both teams scored 13 points in the final quarter, but the Panthers were just unable to pull ahead in the final stanza and the deficit from the first three quarters proved to be too much to overcome.
Austin Ficken played fearlessly against Paonia’s Dagan Rienks, who is an all-state caliber competitor. Ficken finished with five points while teammate Patrick Scoggins led the scorers with 10 points. Brennan Noyes added nine points and Kaulan Brady added seven. Troy Allred had four points, Mikey Shepherd added four points and grabbed six rebounds.
Coach Boydstun said, “We had the opportunity to upset a top 2A team at home. We came up short by being too impatient on offense and not finding high percentage shots.”
The Panthers have played a tough early season and are currently 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
“To get to the next level, we will have to eliminate more turnovers and find those easier buckets,” Boydstun said. “However, I am confident that this squad will continue to improve and take that next step.”
Their next test for the Panthers comes this weekend as they host Hotchkiss on Friday with the junior varsity games beginning at 4 p.m., followed by the varsity.
On Saturday, Caprock Academy comes to town with the junior varsity games beginning at 1 p.m., followed by the varsity.