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MEEKER | The top three girls’ basketball teams from the District 5 tournament, held last weekend in DeBeque, qualified for the regional tournament, which will be held this weekend in Gunnison and the lady Cowboys were one of the three qualifiers. Meeker defeated the Soroco Rams in the District 5 semifinal game, guaranteeing them a spot in the regional tournament, although they lost to the 2A state’s No. 1 ranked Eagles from Paonia. Meeker will now play Ridgeway, Friday at Gunnison High School with the winner to play Del Norte Saturday.
“The Soroco game was such a team win,” first-year Meeker head coach Jamie Rogers said of the 59-49 semifinal win, which extended Meeker’s post-season play to the next level. “Reese (Pertile), Megan (Shelton), Kenzie (Turner) and Julia (Dinwiddie) did a fantastic job in the paint and Peyton (Burke) stopped a Soroco layup going into halftime to keep the momentum in our favor.”
Meeker trailed 16-18 at the end of the first period but came back in the second to take a 31-30 lead into halftime.
“Maggie did a great job getting the ball in to our press break, then Halle (Ahrens) and Gracie (Bradfield) took charge of our defense,” coach Rogers said of her team’s play.
Pertile led the team with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Shelton also had a double/double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Turner and Dinwiddie each scored seven points, with 10 and seven rebounds respectively. Phelan scored four points, Ahrens finished with two and freshman Tilly Brown played tough defense and also added a basket.
Meeker is currently 13-9 after the 31-62 loss to the lady Eagles who are undefeated in 21 games and the No. 1 ranked 2A team in the state.
“Against Paonia, we struggled with their tight ‘in your face’ defense and we couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm,” coach Rogers said. “Paonia is a strong team but our girls continued to play hard with a great amount of class and heart.”
Pertile again led her team with 13 points, Ahrens scored six, Shelton had five, Phelan scored four, Bradfield two and Turner made a free throw in the championship game.
The second place District finish will match the lady Cowboys up with the Ridgeway Demons (8-13) of the San Juan Basin League, to play at Gunnison High School. The winner of the Friday (1 p.m.) game will play Del Norte (19-2) of the Southern Peaks League, in the state-qualifying regional championship game Saturday at Western State College.
“We are excited to play,” coach Rogers said.