Lady Panthers drop first games

Senior Brittany Babineaux, No. 20, defending a shot against Hotchkiss with senior Quincey Thacker, No. 24, and junior Aimee Hogan, No. 3.

Senior Brittany Babineaux, No. 20, defending a shot against Hotchkiss with senior Quincey Thacker, No. 24, and junior Aimee Hogan, No. 3.
RANGELY I The lady Panthers basketball team has had a rough start in 2013, losing their first three games of the new year, including two at home. Rangely traveled to Paonia last Friday and lost to the Eagles 35-54, then hosted Hotchkiss Saturday last and lost by one point, before the lady Cowboys from Meeker came to town and defeated them at home 51-24.
“Paonia came out shooting the ball really well and we had too many possessions without points,” head coach Quinton Kent said. “They jumped out to a 23-6 first quarter lead and although we played better in the second half, the early deficit was too much to overcome against a team like Paonia.”
Quincey Thacker led all scorers with 19, including making nine of 11 free throws. Classmate Brittany Babineaux finished with nine. Chelsea Ficken scored four against the Eagles, Kelsey Prosser made three of four free throws and Leslie Hernandez finished with two.
Rangely played Hotchkiss much closer, taking a one point lead after the first period before falling behind by one point at halftime, to then take a 24-21 lead into the final period.
“This was a good battle for both teams,” Kent said. “Both teams played good defense and it came down to who would shoot the ball better. They have a couple of shooters that we needed to be aware of and because of some mental breakdowns, we left them open a couple of times in the fourth quarter and they made us pay. Paonia’s Jessie Violet hit two, three-pointers in the fourth quarter that really hurt us.”
Thacker again led all scorers with 16 points, Babineaux and Aimee Hogan each finished with six, Prosser scored five, Shelby Neiberger had three and Ficken scored two.
“I was pleased with our effort, but we didn’t shoot the ball well and came up short,” Kent said of the Hotchkiss game.
Against Meeker on Tuesday, the lady Cowboys used a smothering defense to take a big and early lead, never allowing the lady Panthers to get into the game.
“Meeker was by far the better team,” Kent said. “They have more depth and they played solid defense, which wore us down. They are a really good team.”
Rangely will play Little Snake River, Friday in Baggs, Wyo., and then go to West Grand Saturday.