Eight teams compete at WREA Cowboy Shootout

MEEKER | The White River Electric Association Shootout proved to be a competitive weekend for the eight teams participating.

“We knew when we built this tournament that the competition was going to be good,” commented head coach Klark Kindler. “Aspen is a state qualifier returning, Palisade is 3A, Lotus is a big 2A or small 3A and Mancos is in the top ten in 2A.”

Aspen, a team which made it to the elite eight last year took home the first place trophy with wins all three days, they also swept the challenges on Saturday. In the three point contest Aspen’s Josh Ford took first, their coach Buchner won the coaches three point contest, and Shae Korpella won the dunking contest.

The Cowboys opened the tournament Thursday evening to Longmont Christian. Winning 64-45, Zagar Brown led in scoring with 17, Zach Simonsen had 11 and Liam Deming had 9. Off the boards Brown and Deming led with five each.

“We got off to a really good start and were able to attack the posts, they were unable to take away our post game,” said Kindler, “We really shot the ball well on the inside and it was good to get off to a good start like that.”

The bracket had the Cowboys on the same side as Aspen, and the win put the two teams together Friday evening. The Skiers led the Cowboys at the half 37-6.

“Apen is long and lengthy and quick, they have three kids that are 6’5” to 6’7” and against Hayden and us they had 6-7 dunks, in the first half we couldn’t get a rhythm at all,” commented Klark. “Because of their length they challenged every shot and created a lot of turnovers.”

In the second half the Cowboys picked it up and scored 25 pints and held the Skiers to 28. Deming led the evening with 13 points and Simonsen had eight. Defensively Casey Brink and Simonsen led with five rebounds each.

The loss against Aspen moved the Cowboys into the consolation round playing for third and paired them with 4A Palisade. Final score off 55-33 to Palisade, coach Kindler called the game very physical, just like most 4A teams are.”

“Our kids are not used to playing at a 4A physicality, but it was good for them to see,” said Kindler.

The first quarter was very competitive, and the second quarter was 18-18 and then we turned over the ball,” commented Kindler. “We turned the ball over on five straight possessions and got down eight or ten points and now we are trying to dig ourselves out of hole the entire game.”

For the second straight game, Deming led with 10 points, and Ryan Sullivan and Jace Mobley each picked up seven. Another big game off of the boards for Simonsen who had 10 rebounds and looks to be a consistent defensive player.

At the end of the tournament Zagar Brown earned all tourney team awards alongside Porter Lee and Korpella from Aspen, Connor Showalter from Mancos, Donovan Maestas from Palisade, and Apanh Hassan from Lotus.

One more game remains on the schedule for 2021. The Cowboys travel to Vali Christian Friday, games begin at three with JV.

By TIFFANY JEHOREK – Special to the Herald Times

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