Lady Panthers finish second

Rangely starters Brittany Babineaux (20), Chelsea Ficken, Leslie Hernandez (4), Quincey Thacker (24) and Kelsey Prosser were not intimidated by the undefeated, defending state champion Lutheran Lions, their opponent in the Region 4 championship game. The Panthers took an early lead but were unable to play the “near perfect” game needed to defeat the Lions.

Rangely starters Brittany Babineaux (20), Chelsea Ficken, Leslie Hernandez (4), Quincey Thacker (24) and Kelsey Prosser were not intimidated by the undefeated, defending state champion Lutheran Lions, their opponent in the Region 4 championship game. The Panthers took an early lead but were unable to play the “near perfect” game needed to defeat the Lions.
Rangely starters Brittany Babineaux (20), Chelsea Ficken, Leslie Hernandez (4), Quincey Thacker (24) and Kelsey Prosser were not intimidated by the undefeated, defending state champion Lutheran Lions, their opponent in the Region 4 championship game. The Panthers took an early lead but were unable to play the “near perfect” game needed to defeat the Lions.
RANGELY I Basketball coach Quinton Kent has spent the last four years with the Lady Panthers basketball program, three as an assistant. The team has qualified for the regional tournament all four years but hadn’t made it past the first regional game until this year, Kent’s first year as head coach.
“I’m happy to get that monkey off our back,” Kent said after his team defeated the Wray Eagles in the first round of the 2A Region 4 tournament held last weekend in Denver at Mullen High School. “I have been with the program for the past four years and know what these seniors have been through. They made it to the regionals every year and they finally made it past that first regional game. While we were disappointed not to make it to state, it was fun to see them get past that first game and into the top 16 in the state.”
Rangely started in the lead against Wray, ahead 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and led 24-21 at halftime.
“We knew the game against Wray was going to be a good match for us, we both had similar records going in and both of us played well in our league tournaments,” Kent said of his competition. “We felt if we played defense the way we know how, they were going to have a hard time against us. Our seniors carried us, with Brittany Babineaux and Quincey Thacker scoring 15 and 17 respectively and Leslie Hernandez and Kelsey Prosser playing outstanding defense.”
Rangely led 33-32 with one quarter left to play, extending their lead by as much as seven late in the game and won 47-43.
“Junior Aimee Hogan stepped up, had a few key steals and layups, scoring nine huge points for us, including a jumper and a key free throw down the stretch,” Kent said. “We will expect that kind of effort from her as a senior next year and junior Chelsea Ficken also played huge defensively for us.”
The win over Wray advanced the Lady Panthers to the championship game against defending state champion Lutheran Lions, undefeated the past two years. Lutheran defeated Heritage Christian 80-27 to advance to the regional championship game.
“We knew what Lutheran’s record was going in, we knew they were big, fast and could score, however, we also knew that crazier things have happened,” Kent said.
Rangely went ahead of the state champs 10-6, five minutes into the first quarter and trailed by at the end but the Lions would take control in the second quarter.
“I don’t think we were intimidated and I think that was shown by how we played them in the first quarter but once they made their first run late in the first quarter and early in the second, I think we lost some of our spark and our defensive rules we focused on all year went out the window,” Kent said. “Lutheran’s press frustrated us and it proved to be too much for us.”
Lutheran took at 40-21 lead at halftime and put the game away in the third quarter to win 73-43.
“Sometimes you run into a better team but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a chance, we just had to play a near-perfect game to beat them and we didn’t do that,” Kent said.
Coach Kent enjoyed his first year, was thankful to his players, especially his seniors and his assistant coach.
“It was a pleasure for me to coach this team, our seniors carried us all year and I am happy they experienced some success down the stretch,” Kent said. “They are outstanding students and they were good basketball players and all played their roles and every one of them meant a great deal to our team,” Kent said. “Shelby Neiberger didn’t get a lot of playing time but meant just as much to this team as any of the others, she worked extremely hard, which made everyone else better and her attitude was amazing. They were all good leaders on and off the court.”
Kent was assisted by former multi-sport coach Kurt Douglas, who is also his father-in-law.
“He brought experience and wisdom to the table that otherwise would not have been there,” Kent said. “We were probably both nervous about coaching together, since he is my father-in-law, but it was fun. I hope he stays with it for a few more years.”
“Next year we are hoping to return eight players to the program and we are hoping to add at least eight freshman to the program,” Kent said. “Even though we will be young, we know they all will work hard and we expect them to steadily improve all summer and throughout next season.”