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MEEKER I After overcoming a 17-point deficit, Meeker’s Barone Middle School almost pulled off the big comeback.
But the eighth-graders came up short, losing to Craig 37-35 in last Saturday’s district championship game.
“This one did not start well,” said coach Neil Joy.
Meeker trailed 12-4 after one quarter and 25-13 at halftime.
“The boys had twice as many turnovers as they did points in the first half,” Joy said. “Craig just came out with a lot more intensity.”
Things sure changed in the second half.
“After a quick reminder at halftime of why we were there, they came out on fire,” Joy said. “Craig didn’t know what hit ’em.”
Meeker had tied the score at 29 by the end of the third quarter.
“We didn’t turn the ball over once in the third quarter and held Craig to only four points,” Joy said.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Meeker led by four. But a couple of turnovers later, and the score was tied in the closing seconds.
“In a rebounding frenzy, one of the Craig kids wound up with the ball and put it in to give them the lead,” Joy said. “After a timeout and a botched play, that’s how it ended.”
Kevin Eli and Jeremy Musgrave scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, to lead Meeker. Willis Begaye, Jake Boesch and Dylan Mobley added four apiece. For the tournament, Eli scored 19 points, had 25 rebounds and seven steals.
“I am extremely proud of this group of guys and their never-die attitude,” Joy said.