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RANGELY | The Rangely lady Panthers took on one of the most grueling parts of their schedule Jan. 10-18 by playing five games in eight days.
The girls traveled to Olathe on Jan. 14 for a non-league matchup against a 3A team. The lady Pirates entered the contest with a 2-5 record and the lady Panthers entered with a 7-1 mark on the season. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter as Hannah Wilkie scored eight points along with Adleynn Halcomb’s five, and Kacie Lapp’s and Mary Scoggins’ two points each to put the Panthers up 17-10 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Panthers kept their full-court pressure on the Pirates forcing seven turnovers that translated into points for the Panthers. Hannah Wilkie continued to lead the Panthers in scoring with four more points, bringing her total for the half to 12 points. Kacie Lapp, Zoey Peck, Shauna Lapp and Adelynn Halcomb all added two points each in the quarter bringing the score to 31-18 at the half.
The second half was a different story for the Panthers. Early foul trouble allowed the Pirates to capitalize on some mismatches as they used their speed to run the floor and score 20 points. The Panthers scored points at crucial points of the fourth quarter to keep the lead in their favor. Scoggins led all of the lady Panthers in the second half with seven points. Lapp and Halcomb each scored one point and aided the Panthers in scoring in the second half. Lapp made one of two free throws in the waning seconds of the game to keep the score as a two-possession score for the Panthers that sealed the win. The win pushed the Panthers overall record to 8-1 on the season.
The lady Panthers then hosted the Vail Christian Saints on Jan. 17. Adverse weather conditions delayed travel for the Saints as the entire night’s game times shifted back one hour to accommodate travel times. The lady Panthers came out in the game with their usual full-court pressure but found it difficult in the first quarter to get the basketball to fall through the hoop consistently and found themselves down 7-8 at the end of the first quarter. Wilkie was the top Panther in scoring for the quarter with three points followed by Scoggins with two and Lapp with one point.
The Panthers hoped to put the low scoring first quarter behind them as they outscored the Saints with eight points to the Saints five points. The Panthers held a 15-13 lead at the halftime break. Lapp led the Panthers in scoring with six points and Scoggins added two.
In the second half the Saints proved to be too much to overcome as they scored 20 points in the second half to the Panthers 10. Foul trouble factored into the game again as key players fouled out or missed significant playing time due to accumulating personal fouls. The loss for the lady Panthers dropped their overall record to 8-2 on the season and 1-1 in Western Slope League play.
Looking to avenge the loss to the Saints the Panthers traveled to Collbran to take on the Cowboys of Plateau Valley. The lady Panthers beat the Cowboys earlier in the season by a score of 42-28 in a non-league matchup. This time they beat the Panthers 48-46. The lady Panthers found themselves up at halftime with a score of 29-23 and immediately out of the break stretched that lead to 33-23.
The Cowboys upped their full-court pressure on the Panthers to open the second half and this allowed the Cowboys to climb back to a four-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter. The Panthers found themselves in foul trouble and this impeded their ability to defend the Cowboys ball handlers who are some of the fastest in the league. The Cowboys outscored the Panthers 13-6 in the final quarter to beat the Panthers by a final score of 48-46. This loss put the lady Panthers overall record to 8-3 and 1-2 in Western Slope League play.
The Panthers were led in scoring by Lapp with 15 points. Wilkie added 11 and Scoggins added eight to round out the top three scorers for the lady Panthers. The Panthers will look to get back on the winning side as they travel to Grand Junction on Thursday, Jan. 23 to take on the Caprock Eagles in Western Slope League action. The Panthers will then host the West Grand Mustangs on Friday, Jan. 24 for another Western Slope league game.
Special to the Herald Times