Cowboys split in road contests

Lose to Grand Valley, win at Soroco

MEEKER — The Meeker Cowboys varsity basketball was beaten by the defending state champions and currently number one ranked Grand Valley Cardinals last Thursday night in Parachute 56-73. However, the team recovered from the defeat and was able to pick up a crucial road victory at Oak Creek against the Soroco Rams on Friday night 46-31.
Hoping to see a possible upset, a good crowd of Cowboy supporters made the trip Thursday night to Parachute. Unfortunately, the Cowboys found the going tough early. The Cardinals only made one more basket than the ‘Pokes in the first period 8-9 but of the nine baskets five were three-point shots as they opened up a 17-23 first quarter lead. Tyrell Gerloff and Dakota Rowlett paced the Cowboys with six and four points in the period. The second period found the Cardinals increase their lead to 16, 29-45 on the strength of Tyler Jensen’s 15 first half points. The Cowboys were able to play close with the defending state champs in the second half but the first half lead was too large to overcome and the final score ended up 56-73 Grand Valley. Rowlett, Gerloff and Mitch Jacob each scored 12 followed by Brian Crowe’s 11, Tyler Matrisciano’s four, Jake Nieslanik’s three and Brock Campbell’s two.
Friday in Oak Creek, the Cowboys needed to rebound to keep their seeding placement for the district tournament in the upper brackets. Meeker jumped out quick on the host Rams as they opened up a 16 point first quarter lead. This stretched to a 20 point lead in the second as Meeker held command of the first half by a 31-11 score. The second half was a different affair as both teams had trouble scoring. The third period found Meeker in firm control 43-20. The fourth quarter was a scoring nightmare for the Cowboys as they were only able to pick up three points in the stanza. However, the prior three quarters were enough for a 46-31 victory for the Cowboys. Gerloff counted for 12, Crowe 11, Rowlett nine, Jacob six, Matrisciano three, and Colton Brown three.
This next two week’s games are critical to the seeding for the district tournament. Grand Valley has virtually wrapped up the league championship and the number one seed for the tournament. Meeker, Paonia, Rangely and Plateau Valley will all be playing crucial games in the next two weeks for placement as the other three top seeded teams. This week Meeker will travel to Paonia for a 7 p.m. scheduled game on Friday. Next week will be the final regular season home games for the Cowboys as they host cross county rival Rangely Friday and rematch against Soroco Saturday.