MEEKER | Last week was a good week for Meeker Cowboy Basketball. They needed Vail Christian to beat Vail Mountain and come away with two wins in the final games of the regular season, and it all worked out in their favor.
The major 88-49 win over Hayden had the team ready to take on the Rangely Panthers Thursday.
Neither team came out strong and at the half Rangely was up one, 17-16. The Cowboys had a big fourth quarter that allowed them to come away with the win 44-43.
Ryan Phelan had a big night with 15 points and there was a lot of contribution from the team. Ethan Drake had nine, Zagar Brown had eight, and Braydon Garcia had six to help the Cowboys beat the Panthers.
“Rangely played really well,” commented head coach Klark Kindler, “it was a typical county rivalry game.”
Defensively, Drake and Phelan were top rebounders and helped to lead the Cowboys to victory.
The wins for the Cowboys and Vail Christian meant the Cowboys sealed the number one spot in the north. The number one spot for the entire league was then to be played in a north vs south game where the Cowboys took on DeBeque.
The game, which was within two points at the end of the first had a dramatic change when DeBeque outscored the Cowboys 29-22 in the second quarter. In the fourth the Cowboys came back to tie it up by the end of regulation 73-73. Overtime was not kind to the Cowboys once again and they lost a close and exciting game 85-78.
“It was an entertaining game, both teams played well and hard, they made a few more plays then we did,” said Kindler.
Phelan led in stats offensively as the top scorer once again with 25 and seven rebounds and defensively with 16 rebounds. Spud White had 17 points, Liam Deming had 16, and Brown had 10 and off the boards Deming pulled down six rebounds and Drake and White each five.
The wins moved the Cowboys up in the rankings to 14, which is what they needed to be able to host a home game for the first round of playoffs.
Tuesday the Holyoke Dragons who were ranked 19 came to Meeker. The Cowboys only allowed the Dragons to outscore them in the first quarter and from there on Meeker dominated the game. The final score was 58-51 in front of a home crowd that was excited to be there for their team.
“The boys played really well together,” began Kindler, “in the first half we were really close to getting a seven to eight point lead and in the second half we were able to get over the hump and finish it with free throws.”
The rest of the playoffs will find the Cowboys on the road. This Thursday they will play the Peyton Panthers in the Sweet 16. The Panthers are number one in the Black Forest District and number three in the state. Game time is 6 pm and will be broadcasted on the NFHS network. Opposite side of this game is Denver Christian ranked 6 vs Del Norte ranked 11. The winner of the Cowboys versus Panthers will take on the winner of this game Saturday in the Elite 8. The Denver Christian and Del Norte game is scheduled to start one hour before Meeker takes to the court and Meeker will know at the end of their game who their next opponent is.
By TIFFANY JEHOREK – Special to The Herald Times