RANGELY | The lady Panthers got back to the winning side of things last week. On Thursday, Jan. 23 the girls traveled to Grand Junction to take on the Caprock Academy Eagles for a 2A Western Slope League match. The Panthers came into the game with an overall record of 8-3 and a Western Slope League mark of 1-2.
The Panthers looked to start fast against the Eagles and did just that as they came out of the first period with a 22-0 lead. They stretched this lead to 31-2 by the end of the second quarter. In the first half the Panthers were led in scoring by Kacie Lapp and Hannah Wilkie who both scored eight points respectively.
In the second half the Panthers opened up the scoring again with a strong 17 point quarter. Head coach Jimmie Mergelman emphasized, “We have struggled coming out in the third quarter and scoring points consistently so this was a focus for improvement in this game.”
Kacie Lapp scored four points. Wilkie, Shauna Lapp and Adelynn Halcomb each scored three points. Mary Scoggins and Zoey Peck both added two points in the quarter.
The CHSAA sportsmanship rule kicked in at the start of the fourth quarter. This rule is where any team that is up by 35 points or more in the competition will start a running clock that only stops on timeouts and injuries. With the Panthers ahead by a score of 48-6 the clock would run for the entire fourth quarter without stopping. The girls won the game with a score of 54-10, led in scoring by Kacie Lapp with 12 points, Wilkie with 11 points, Halcomb with seven, Scoggins with six, Peck with five, Kyrah Phelps and Susan Gillard each with four and Shauna Lapp with three. With the win the lady Panthers moved to 9-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
The next day the lady Panthers played host to the West Grand Mustangs, who came into the game with a 6-6 overall record and 0-5 in league play. The height difference proved to be tough initially but aggressive offensive play allowed the Panthers to be shooting bonus free throws by the end of the first quarter. The Panthers held a slight 6-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter proved to be a slugfest for the two squads. By scoring four points, Kacie Lapp led all Panthers in the second quarter followed by Halcomb with three and Wilkie and Peck pitched in two points apiece. The Panthers held a 17-16 lead going into halftime.
The Panthers came one point shy of the 17 point third quarter performance from the night before, scoring 16 compared to the Mustangs’ six to take an 11 point lead into the fourth quarter. Wilkie led the third quarter charge with eight points. Kacie and Shauna Lapp and Halcomb each contributed two points with Scoggins and Peck adding one point each in the quarter.
Quick ball movement and offensive rebounding by the Mustangs kept the game close in the fourth quarter. The Panthers mustered up three points in the quarter as the Mustangs scored 11 to make the final score 36-33 in favor of the Panthers. The win pushed the Panthers to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in league play. With two league wins for the weekend, the lady Panthers moved up to fifth place overall in the 2A Western Slope League. The Panthers will travel to play the Soroco Rams on Friday, Jan. 31 for a top-five league match-up. The Rams hold a 9-4 overall record and a 4-1 mark in league play. Saturday the Panthers will play host to the Hotchkiss Bulldogs who currently hold the top spot in the league. Both games are crucial for the lady Panthers standing in league play.
Special to the Herald Times