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MEEKER I The Meeker girls are district champions!
The Meeker High School girls’ basketball team scored an impressive 117 points in two games and held two teams to a combined 84 points to win the team title in Oak Creek.
The lady Cowboys began their run Friday night against South Routt County (Soroco) on their home court in the semifinal game of the tournament.
“The Rams came out fighting, and we started a little slow Friday against Soroco,” coach Greg Chintala said. “We trailed by three at half but ratcheted up the defense in the second half and ended up winning by 17.”
The third quarter has been a strong point for the lady Cowboys all season and that remained the case as Meeker stormed to a 19-6 third quarter, taking the lead into the final period. Meeker kept the tempo up and the pressure on as they scored another 19 points in the fourth quarter giving them the 62-45 win.
Chintala said, “Offensively, if we were patient and moved the ball, got a few passes and found the open player, we were successful.“
The pace of the game and aggressive play was led by senior Taylor Neilson with 23 points and 11 rebounds while junior Sydney Hughes also had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Rebounding was the key to the game as Piper Haney and Aly Ridings each had boards, and Deena Norell pulled down eight. Rounding out the scoring for the lady Cowboys was Ridings with four, Norell with four and Megan Parker with two.
The win Friday night set up the championship game against Paonia on Saturday.
Meeker took control of the game early and showed they are a team ready for big games.
Chintala said, “We put together a very nice game. We had great effort and very good execution. We realize that if we play as a team we are a very good squad.“
Once again pressure defense and transition baskets gave the lady Cowboys a 13-5 first-quarter lead. Holding Paonia to just five points in any eight-minute span speaks volumes of the defense, and the girls maintained the intensity for 32 minutes, keeping the Eagles far below their season scoring average. They only had 39 points at the end of the game.
Meeker won 55-39 behind the always-exciting Hughes, who had another big game, scoring 23. Haney played very well, adding 13 points and eight rebounds, followed by Neilson with 11 points and seven rebounds. Ridings and Norell each added six points and Reese Pertile had two.
The total team effort was outstanding, finding six players scoring and three in double digits.
Meeker will play Nucla at Palisade High School on Friday at 3 p.m., and the winner of that game will play Saturday against the winner between Soroco and Sangre de Cristo.
The regional tournament looks to be a great draw for the lady Cowboys as they are playing their best ball down the stretch.
The winner of the regional tournament earns a spot in the 2014 Colorado state basketball championships, set for next weekend.