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MEEKER I Meeker’s Barone Middle School traveled to Rangely to compete in the league tournament along with Rangely, Craig and Steamboat Springs. The seventh-grade team won the tournament and finished the season undefeated. The eighth-grade team finished third.
Meeker’s seventh-graders dominated their division with two lopsided victories. Meeker defeated Rangely 57-7 in the semi-final matchup. Rangely couldn’t defend against the inside game of Noah Overton. Overton finished the game with 16 points. Kash Atwood and Sam Nieslanik contributed 12 and nine points, respectively. Also adding to the scoring were Brock Smithers with eight, Ty Dunham and Nick Burri each tallied four, while Chitwood and Jake Smith each finished with two points.
In the championship game Meeker overpowered Craig 39-24. Craig was able to match Overton’s inside game but couldn’t contain guard Nieslanik. Nieslanik poured in 19 points to lead all scorers. Atwood added 10 points.
Seventh-grade coach Debbie Henderson commented on her team’s year, “Every day at practice they worked on the little things. They were motivated and determined to be their best. It was such a privilege to work with this team. They set out to win the league and the tournament and they did just that. I am just really happy for them.”
Meeker’s eighth-grade team lost their semi-final matchup with Steamboat Springs 24-30. Meeker trailed most of the game and was unable to stop Steamboat’s 6’3” center Garrett Bye. Bye finished the game with 16 of Steamboat’s 30 points. Meeker’s Jake Phelan led the Cowboys with 12 Points. Also adding points for Meeker were Raul Lopez, Tristin Pelloni, Jeffery Wagner and Anthony Watt.
Meeker squared off with Rangely in the consolation championship. Meeker prevailed 35-33 in a hotly contested back and forth game. Rangely led by four points after the first quarter. Meeker tied it up at halftime. Rangely held a three-point lead after three quarters but couldn’t hold on as Meeker outscored Rangely 9-4 in the final frame. Meeker was led by Lopez who finished with nine points. Phelan added eight and Pelloni seven. Also scoring for Meeker were Joe Newman, Luis Samparilla and Watt.
Eighth-grade coach Jim Hanks was proud of his team’s ability to “bounce back after a loss and beat an improved Rangely team.” Hanks also commented that he had a lot of fun working with this team and he felt like they “stepped up and did a good job.”