Lady Panthers finish season with 17 wins

Rangely girls’ basketball starters Kassidee and Katelyn Brown, Sidney Shaffer, Lindzey Thacker and Katye Allred smile after defeating the Sanford Indians 49-43 in the first round of the Western Slope Regional tournament. The lady Panthers advanced to the 2A Sweet 16, where they lost to the Ignacio Bobcats 31-47, ending their season with a 17-7 record. It was the final high school basketball game for seniors Shaffer, Thacker, Allred, Antoinette Dorris and McKenzie Webber. Rozilynn Witherell photo

RANGELY | The lady Panthers came from behind in the second half to beat the Sanford Indians and advance to the Sweet 16 of 2A, where they lost to the Ignacio Bobcats in the Western Slope Regional championship game. Rangely finished the season with a record of 17-7.
“I am really proud of our girls effort, not just in this particular tournament but for the whole year,” Rangely head coach Quinton Kent said after the regional tournament. “We had to overcome a lot of adversity and they kept plugging away, even when things were difficult. The 17 wins are the most Rangely High School girls’ basketball team has seen in more than a decade and it is something these girls should be really proud of.”
The lady Panthers will surely remember scoring only three points in the first quarter against Sanford, to matching the Indians’ 11 points in the second quarter to trail by five at halftime.
“Sanford is a good team and they forced us into a lot of first half turnovers, which resulted in us going into halftime down 14-19,” coach Kent said. “In the second half we picked it up some on the offensive end and rebounded much better.”
Rangely tied the score late in the third quarter, before Halie Elam hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give her team a three point lead going into the final quarter.
“Down the stretch, we got enough stops to force them to foul late and we made our free throws,” coach Kent said. “We shot 76 percent as a team from the free throw line.”
Rangely junior Katelyn Brown led the lady Panthers with 21 points, including a perfect 13 for 13 from the free throw line. Senior Lindzey Thacker also finished in double figures with 14 points and she led the team with seven rebounds.
Sophomore Skylar Thacker scored four, Elam had the three-pointer and Katye Allred also scored three, while Kassidee Brown and Sidney Shaffer each added a basket.
Against the Bobcats, the lady Panthers stayed close, trailing by one at the end of the first quarter and the two teams were tied at 14 at halftime but Rangely could not keep pace in the second half.
“We shot 23 percent from the field, which was by far the worst shooting percentage we had all year. It was a bad time to shoot so terribly but it’s part of the game and sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.”
Katelyn Brown again led the Panthers, this time scoring eight points, Elam finished with six and Shaffer had five. Kassidee Brown and Allred each added four, while Webber and Thacker both added a basket.