Cowboys whip Paonia, finish perfect season

MEEKER I Perfect regular seasons are seldom attained at a professional sports level. They are not often accomplished in college, nor are they common in high school sports. They are practically unheard of in Meeker boys’ basketball lore.
The MHS boys’ basketball team, by virtue of its 82-42 shellacking of Paonia, achieved one of the few, if not the only perfect regular season in Cowboy basketball history last Saturday. The Cowboys presently have a 20-game winning streak, dating back to last year’s state third-place game.
The Cowboys, at 19-0 on the season, are one of the two undefeated teams left in the state in the 2A classification. The other undefeated team — the Colorado Springs School Kodiaks at 17-0 are the defending state champions, the owners of a 22-game winning streak, and the last team to beat the Cowboys.
If the Cowboys want a rematch, they will have to continue their undefeated streak for possibly eight more games through tourney time where a loss could very well mark the end of a season. Meeker, by virtue of its first-place league finish, still gains entry into the regional tournaments regardless of the results of the district tournament.
The seeding from the district tournament is crucial. The first-place district team will have the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament to be held in Grand Junction, while the second- and third-place teams will have the long road trip ahead to gain entry into the state tournament.
Saturday in Meeker, the fans were treated to a girls’ game with the No. 1-ranked 2A girls’ team in the state with the Paonia Eagles. Following that game, the No. 2 ranked 2A boys’ team, the Meeker Cowboys, entertained the fans. Although the Meeker girls fell to the ranked Eagles 58-21, it was a totally different outcome for the visiting boys’ team as Meeker scored early and often against the outmanned Eagles.
Brock Campbell came out on fire from behind the arc as he blistered the nets with three 3-pointers in the quarter, the last as time was running out in the period to pace the ’Pokes to a 24-13 first-quarter lead. Dakota Rowlett then picked up the scoring pace in the second as he scored 11 of his game-high 22 points. Mitch Jacob hit a 3 to double the score on the visitors, and then was on the receiving end of a well-executed wrap around pass from point guard Cole Steiner to end the period and lengthen the Cowboy lead at half to 48-23.
Meeker’s relentless man-to-man defense kept the Paonia scorers off their mark and balanced scoring from the Cowboy offense gave a comfortable margin, as the ’Pokes were able to win going away 82-42.
This Saturday marks the first round of the district tournament. Both Meeker teams have received first-round home games as the girls will host Soroco in Meeker while the boys will get to face off against cross-county rival Rangely, also in Meeker.
Meeker has already defeated Rangely twice this season by the scores of 72-49 and 77-39, but the Cowboys will still have their hands full trying to contain the potentially explosive scoring threat from the Panthers’ Patrick Phelan.
Game times are set for the 1 p.m. girls’ tip-off and a 2:30 boys’ game.