Lady Cowboys’ ride ends at regionals in Grd. Jct.

The Meeker girls basketball team ended its season as district champions and regional runner-ups. Pictured before leaving for the regional tournament are (back) manager Tristan Nielsen, Kaysyn Chintala, manager Leah Pool, Amanda Kendall, Kacey Collins, Sydney Hughes, Bailey Atwood, Piper Haney and Katie Dinwiddie. (Front) Shelby Burke, Megan Parker, Aly Ridings, Deena Norell, Taylor Neilson and Jamie McLaughlin. The Lady Cowboys finished with a 21-3 record.

The Meeker girls basketball team ended its season as district champions and regional runner-ups. Pictured before leaving for the regional tournament are (back) manager Tristan Nielsen, Kaysyn Chintala, manager Leah Pool, Amanda Kendall, Kacey Collins, Sydney Hughes, Bailey Atwood, Piper Haney and Katie Dinwiddie. (Front) Shelby Burke, Megan Parker, Aly Ridings, Deena Norell, Taylor Neilson and Jamie McLaughlin. The Lady Cowboys finished with a 21-3 record.
The Meeker girls basketball team ended its season as district champions and regional runner-ups. Pictured before leaving for the regional tournament are (back) manager Tristan Nielsen, Kaysyn Chintala, manager Leah Pool, Amanda Kendall, Kacey Collins, Sydney Hughes, Bailey Atwood, Piper Haney and Katie Dinwiddie. (Front) Shelby Burke, Megan Parker, Aly Ridings, Deena Norell, Taylor Neilson and Jamie McLaughlin. The Lady Cowboys finished with a 21-3 record.
MEEKER I The Meeker girls’ basketball team earned a spot in the “sweet sixteen” with a big win over Dolores Friday, March 8, at Central High School in Grand Junction, but they couldn’t pull off a second win over Simla on Saturday to clench a spot in the “elite eight” of the state tournament.
Friday afternoon the lady Cowboys’ Piper Haney fired up the first two points of the game then turned around with a big steal and another layup. Sydney Hughes followed with a steal and layup of her own for an easy 6-0 Meeker lead. Taylor Neilson then added a bucket and three before Haney dished in another layup for a 13-0 lead with four minutes left in the first quarter. Neilson added three more points and Kacey Collins added two buckets while Meeker’s signature full court pressure and tenacious defense held the Bears to just three points.
The lady Cowboys led 20-3 at the end of the first quarter. The defensive onslaught continued through the game as the Cowboys held their handy twenty plus point lead in a 60-24 victory earning them a spot in the championship game. Neilson led the scoring with 22, Haney cashed in 10, Katie Dinwiddie made eight, Bailey Atwood and Hughes each added seven, while Collins and Deena Norell both tossed in a bucket.
Saturday’s regional championship game against the Simla Cubs was not the happy ending the lady Cowboys had pursued. The first quarter began with a slow start at the rim as Meeker tossed up nine shots with nothing to show on the board while the Cubs’ side showed six. Finally, Neilson landed a layup and it appeared to be the spark that Meeker needed. The Cubs only added three more points while Dinwiddie nailed a big jumper, Neilson and Atwood combined for five free throws and Norell sank a bucket. Meeker led 11-9 at the buzzer.
Unfortunately the basket was sealed for Meeker in the second quarter as they only found the rim for two points, and Simla couldn’t miss. The Cubs added a whopping 23 to their side of the board to take a commanding 19 point lead, 13-32 at halftime.
Eventually, Meeker hit three buckets in the third quarter, but allowed Simla to score 10 points to keep a safe lead. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Aly Ridings hit four foul shots and Hughes added a bucket and a free throw. At the four minute mark, Kaysyn Chintala joined the game for her first floor time since she was injured in the first round of the district tournament. She promptly stole the ball and then added three points to the board. Neilson hit two more foul shots, but even as Meeker rallied back late in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t make up the difference. The 31-55 loss ended a fantastic 21-3 season for the lady Cowboys. Neilson topped the scoring with nine points, Hughes made five, Dinwiddie, Ridings and Atwood added four apiece, Chintala sank three and Norell dished in a bucket.
The lady Cowboys will be graduating five seniors this year. Bailey Atwood, Kacey Collins, Kaysyn Chintala, Katie Dinwiddie and Amanda Kendall all played their final games over the weekend. “We played against a very good team, and in order to win, we needed to play our best and we didn’t.” Head coach Greg Chintala said, “I enjoyed a great season with a good group of young ladies.”