Fourth time is the charm as Lady Panthers beat Hayden

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RANGELY — After a disappointing first game at last weekend’s district tournament in Meeker, the Lady Panthers more than made up for it in their second game.
Rangely finished third in the two-day tournament with a 47-36 victory last Saturday over Hayden, a team the Lady Panthers had struggled against in the past.
“We had lost the previous three times we had played them,” Rangely Coach Jimmie Mergleman said.
The Lady Panthers didn’t fare so well in their first game at district, last Friday against Paonia. Rangely was outscored in all but one quarter and lost 49-29. The Lady Panthers managed just four points in both the first and fourth quarters.
“It, definitely, was not our best game,” Mergleman said. “We just didn’t play well. I don’t think we were ready. We had way too many turnovers, and we only shot 24 percent from the field. That’s not good.”
But the Lady Panthers were good against Hayden.
“We got off to a good start,” Mergleman said, whose team led 26-21 at halftime. “They did cut it down to one point in the third quarter, but I felt we were in control most of the time.”
Audrey Hogan led the Lady Panthers with 11 points, and Mergleman singled out Hogan and Marie Morton for their defense.
“Their defense was outstanding,” Mergleman said.
At 3 p.m. Friday, the Lady Panthers will meet Fountain Valley, the No. 2 seed, in the Region 5 tournament in Grand Junction. If Rangely advances, it could end up playing Paonia again. Mergleman would look forward to another crack at beating top-seeded Paonia, which has defeated the Lady Panthers twice this season.
“I hope we can win that (first game), which I think we can,” Mergleman said of a possible rematch against Paonia. “The first time we played them, we played a lot better. If we would show up and play well … but everybody has to show up and do their job.”