Lady Panthers drop non-league game against Saints, beat Tigers

RANGELY | The Rangely lady Panthers took to the road to Edwards, Colorado, for their non-league contests against the Vail Christian Saints on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The start of the game proved to be much of a “groundhog day” as the girls could not get their offense rolling from missed shots. On the defensive end, the Saints proved their outside shooting was not to be taken lightly as they could connect on four three-point shots en route to a 24-13 lead.

The lady Panthers are 1-0 in league play and 2-2 overally after last week’s games. A Kremmling game scheduled for Feb. 5 was cancelled due to hazardous road conditions. Above, Dixie Rhea takes a shot. | MATT SCOGGINS PHOTO

Offensively for the Panthers, Mary Scoggins led all first-half scorers with six points. Annika Cantrell, Adelynn Halcomb and Maya Mercado added in the other seven points for the half. Cantrell continued on her rebound success with five first-half rebounds. Two of those rebounds came on the offensive end that allowed the Panthers to convert into much-needed points.

In the second half, the Panthers proved to be a different team offensively as they performed in the first half. Ryann Mergelman and Mercado each scored two points for the Panthers in the third quarter and Mercado also brought down five rebounds. Halcomb led the Panthers from the free-throw line as she converted on her two attempts, followed by Scoggins with one of two free-throws made. Cantrell continued to dominate the boards as she brought down four more rebounds.

The first-half proved to be too much to overcome as the Panthers battled the game back to tie it up in the fourth quarter, but two late three-point shots and made free throws by the Saints stopped the Panthers bid at a comeback. Scoggins and Halcomb together led the team in scoring with 13 points each. Mergelman was next in scoring for the team with seven points. Mercado scored four points with nine rebounds, and Cantrell scored two points along with her nine rebounds. The Panthers lost the game 39-41 and hope to avenge this loss on Feb. 19 in Rangely for the league match-up.\The Panthers looked to bounce back and start on the correct path in league play when they hosted the Hayden Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 4. This was the first league contest for the Tigers, and the Panthers wanted to start off the game in a more consistent fashion. They did just this as they outscored the Tigers 15-12 to close out the first quarter. Mergelman led the Panthers in scoring with eight points, followed by three from Halcomb. Rhea and Scoggins each added two points to help the team to the early lead.

Scoggins took the reins in the Panthers’ scoring column in the second quarter as she scored five of the team’s 11 points. Mergelman added two points along with two more points for Rhea and Mercado. The Panthers took a 26-19 lead into halftime with defensive adjustments in mind to stop the powerful Tiger offense.

After the half, the Panthers were led in scoring again by Mergelman with six and two for Cantrell. Cantrell also added four rebounds in the quarter, with her three before for seven through three quarters. Mercado added three more rebounds to bring her total for the game to six. The best team stat for the third quarter was that the halftime’s defensive adjustments proved useful as the Panthers did not give a single point to the Tigers. The third quarter closed out with the Panthers leading 34-19.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigers were able to connect on some shots to bring the Panthers’ lead to only four points, but the lady Panthers closed the game with four more points by Scoggins to end the game with a 38-33 victory. The lady Panthers moved to 1-0 in league play and 2-2 overall.

The girls were going to head back to Kremmling on Friday, Feb. 5 to take on the West Grand Mustangs, but hazardous road conditions and falling snow in the high country prevented travel. There will be an attempt to make up the game between the Mustangs and Panthers at a later date.

CHSAA-mandated restrictions are currently in place for all high school sports.

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