Cowboys finish 2nd in district tourney

The Meeker Cowboys will advance to the regional tournament this weekend in Gunnison after finishing as the District 5 runner-up. The Cowboys defeated Plateau Valley in the semifinals but lost to the No. 1 seeded Paonia Eagles in the championship game. Meeker will play Norwood Friday at 2:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to play Sanford for the opportunity to play in the 2A 2017 Colorado State Basketball Championships. Pictured: head coach Klark Kindler, Cole Rogers, Zach Dinwiddie, Valentine Rosas, Jerrick Garza, Logan Hughes, Doak Mantle, Stephen Walsh, Trapper Merrifield, Andy Kracht, Brennan Jensen, assistant coach Brock Campbell, and Eli Newman and coach Matt Dupire in back. Becky Hughes photo
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MEEKER | The Meeker boys’ basketball team played in the District 5 championship game where they finished second and qualified for the regional tournament to be held in Gunnison this weekend. Meeker defeated the Plateau Valley Cowboys in the semifinals but lost to the No. 1 seeded Paonia Eagles in the championship game.
“We played well Friday, but Saturday we did not play well,” Meeker head coach Klark Kindler said of the 58-47 win over Plateau Valley and the 36-68 loss to the Eagles in the championship game.
The Cowboys will now advance to the regional tournament in Gunnison where they will play the Norwood Mavericks on Friday at Gunnison High School with the winner playing Sanford for the opportunity to earn a berth into the 2017 Colorado State Basketball Championship.
The Cowboys are currently 15-7 overall and entered the District 5 tournament as the No. 2 seed. They started post-season play with a quarterfinal win against West Grand in front of a hometown crowd.
DeBeque High School was the site of the District 5 tournament and many Meeker fans attended the semifinal game the Cowboys played against Plateau Valley.
“We executed offensively and after the first quarter, we settled in defensively and got them stopped,” coach Kindler said.
Meeker trailed 12-14 after the first quarter but scored 22 in the second and held Plateau Valley to six, giving the Cowboys from Meeker a 36-20 lead at halftime. Meeker added two points to its lead in the third quarter and finished the game 11 points ahead.
Doak Mantle led the Cowboys with 21 points, including one from behind the three-point line. Zach Dinwiddie scored 10, Logan Hughes added nine and Eli Newman finished with eight. Jerrick Garza scored six against Plateau Valley, while Trapper Merrifield and Valentine Rosas each added a basket.
Dinwiddie led the Cowboys with nine rebounds and Newman pulled down seven.
The Cowboys fell behind Paonia early in the championship game, trailing 16-32 at halftime and 28-56 after three quarters of play.
“Paonia is good and they shot the ball well,” coach Kindler said.
Mantle again led the Cowboys with 13 points, Dinwiddie added nine, Hughes and Stephen Walsh each scored five and Newman finished with four.
Meeker will play Norwood (13-9), of the San Juan Basin League at Gunnison High School, Friday at 2:30 p.m., with the winner playing Sanford (15-7), of the Southern Peaks League, Saturday at 4 p.m.
“Norwood is extremely well coached and has a big post player that averages 17 points a game,” Kindler said.