Lady Panthers best Cardinals, Wildcats

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RHS senior Maya Mercado. | MATT SCOGGINS PHOTO

RANGELY | The lady Panthers continued their 2021 season with a home game against the Grand Valley Cardinals. The Cardinals, a 3A opponent for the 2A Panthers, came into the game with a 3-2 mark on the season, and the Panthers brought their 2-2 mark with them. The Panthers took advantage of early foul trouble for the Cardinals by sinking six of 11 free throws and taking a 10-7 lead into the second quarter. Adelynn Halcomb led the Panthers in scoring with three points, Mary Scoggins, Maya Mercado, Kastyn Dembowski, and Ryann Mergelman added one point.

The Cardinals came out with an offensive fury in the second quarter as they put up 12 points to the Panthers five and took a 19-15 advantage into halftime. Scoggins was the only Panther to score in the quarter with five points. Scoggins continued her scoring into the third and fourth quarter, where she scored 11 of her 18 total points for the game to lead the Panthers. Freshman Annika Cantrell and Mergelman ended the game with five points to be the Panthers’ next leading scorers. The Cardinals defeated the Lady Panthers 50-36 for their fourth win of the season and knocked the Panthers to 2-3 overall but still 1-0 in Western Slope North league play.

The lady Panthers took to the road on Thursday, Feb. 11, to beat the incoming winter storm. The Panthers took on the North Park Wildcats in Walden in a Western Slope Northern League game. The Wildcats league record stood at 1-2 with an overall record of 2-2.

The first quarter of the game witnessed great inside play by Scoggins, who led the Panthers in scoring with six points, countered by good outside shooting from the Wildcats, who made three three-point shots in the quarter for a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Mergelman scored three points, and Halcomb scored two points for the Panthers in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Panthers dominated the game to head into halftime with a nine-point advantage. The scoring for each team in the second quarter was the Panthers with 18 points, the Wildcats with three. Mergelman led the Panthers with six points, followed by Cantrell with four, Halcomb with four, Dembowski with two, and Scoggins with two. Scoggins and Cantrell pounded the Panthers’ boards in half by securing 16 rebounds between the two.

The third quarter was back to the fast-paced dual scoring between the two teams as the Wildcats outscored the Panthers 15-14 in the quarter and brought the game within eight points, with the score ending at 43-35 at the third quarter. The Panthers were led by Scoggins in scoring again in the quarter as she pulled down five offensive rebounds and converted on three of the rebounds en route to her six points for the quarter. This brought her scoring total for the game to 14 points. Dembowski and Mergelman added three points, and Halcomb added two more points to get the Panthers to their 43-point mark through three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Halcomb took the scoring reins and led the Panthers to a 64-51 win as she scored 14 points for the Panthers in the fourth quarter ending her scoring at 23 points for the game. Scoggins continued to get herself to the free-throw line as she made three of four free throws to bring her points for the game to 17. Cantrell added two more points for six, Dembowski added a free-throw for her total of six points, and Mergelman ended with 12 points. Cantrell brought down 19 total rebounds, with Scoggins adding 15 for Scoggin’s second double-double of the year.

The win pushed the Panthers to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in league play. The lady Panthers face a grueling schedule of five games in seven days within the next week.