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MEEKER I The Meeker Cowboys compiled a 2-1 record as the host of the WREA Cowboy Shootout and ran their season record to 4-1 as they finished second in the annual tournament held this past weekend.
Friday night’s action was a good test for the Cowboys as they opened up against the 3A Cedaredge Bruins. Meeker opened up a slight lead on the Bruins at the end of the first quarter as Trey Morris and Scott Smith paced the ‘Pokes to a 13-11 start. Meeker scored seven more points than the visiting Bruins in the second to take a 27-18 halftime lead.
Cooper Smith, who was named tournament MVP, counted for five of the Cowboys 14 second period points. Cedaredge came back strong in the third period to close the gap on Meeker. The Bruins all-tournament player, Luke Weiben, rallied his team to within five points at the end of the third quarter. Again, Cooper Smith was the top scorer for Meeker as they held a slim 37-32 lead headed into the fourth period.
Meeker forced several turnovers in the fourth period and converted them to points to extend their lead. The “Smith boys” led Meeker to a 17-8 fourth quarter scoring lead and a 54-40 victory. Cooper Smith tallied 20 points and Scott Smith had 13 for the Cowboys.
Friday’s game against league rival Hayden turned into a rout after the first quarter. The Meeker defense held the Tigers scoreless and opened up a 26-0 lead after the first quarter. Meeker’s offense slowed a bit through the remaining quarters but still outscored Hayden. Meeker won the game 66-35. Trey Morris paced the Cowboys with 23 points and Cooper Smith counted 21 in the game.
The championship game pitted the Little Snake River Rattlers, the defending Wyoming State 1A champs and last year’s Shootout champs, against the hometown Cowboys. At the end of the first period Meeker found themselves in a hole 20-11. The Rattlers kept up the pressure in the second, scoring 12 points and holding the Cowboys to only six.
At the end of the half, Meeker was looking at a long climb back into the game with a 32-17 score. Four 3-point baskets in the third gave Meeker some hope as they closed the margin to eight points at the end of the stanza. However, Snake River put the game away with an 18 point fourth led by their all-tournament players, Wille and Engelhart. The final score was 57-41 for the Rattlers. Meeker was led by Trey Morris’ 16 in the game.