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RANGELY I “The Cowboy Shootout was a good way for us to start the year,” Rangely girls’ basketball first-year head coach Quinton Kent said. “Each game presented a different set of challenges for us and it was nice to not beat up on each other like we do in practice.”
The lady Panthers won two games to advance to the championship game against Meeker and finished second in the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout, a three-day annual event in Meeker.
Rangely received a first-round bye, as did Hayden, so the two teams played a game last Thursday for quality court time and Rangely won 34-15.
“I was pleased with how our girls started the game, going up 19-0 in the first quarter,” Kent said.
Quincey Thacker scored eight in the first quarter, classmates Brittany Babineaux added six, Kelsey Prosser made a basket and Leslie Hernandez made a free throw, while junior Aimee Hogan also added a basket in the first period.
“Hayden played us close the rest of the game but we executed on offense in the first half and our defense was solid,” Kent said. “It was a great way to start the year.”
Babineaux and Thacker both finished with 10 points.
Rangely’s defense was solid again in its semifinal game against Little Snake River, holding the lady Rattlers to 22 points. Rangely trailed 10-12 at halftime.
“This was a defensive battle,” Kent said of the semifinal game his team won 25-22, against the Baggs, Wyo., team.
“We played mostly zone because Little Snake River was struggling to hit outside shots,” Kent said. “We handled their pressure well but struggled to make our lay-ups. They started making shots late in the fourth to pull them to within one but our defense then responded on key possessions and Brittany Babineaux sealed the victory with two late free throws.”
Babineaux finished in double digits again with 10 and Thacker led with 11, Hogan and Prosser each added baskets in the semifinal game.
The win advanced the lady Panthers into the championship game against Rio Blanco County foe Meeker. Rangely’s defense kept the high-scoring lady Cowboys in check for three quarters, trailing 8-9 after the first, then 18-20 at halftime and down by seven going into the final quarter but they could not keep up with Meeker’s depth and shooting in the fourth and lost 51-30.
“Meeker was the better team that night, from the coaching staff to the last player on the bench,” Kent said. “We hung around for three quarters but their depth, pressure defense and excellent outside shooting was just too much for us to handle in the fourth quarter. They are a very skilled team.”
Kent said his team is learning to be more disciplined “but it is going to take some time before everything is clicking and we have got to find a way to make more baskets.”
Kent said they would be working on their offensive execution and “being more composed in pressure situations.”
Rangely’s JV team lost to Little Snake River and Nucla and beat Grand Valley in games last weekend.
Rangely’s varsity will play in the Basin Challenge in Duchesne, Utah, against Duchesne and Altamont, Utah.
“I am looking forward to improving each game,” Kent said. “It is a long season and I like what I see from our girls early in the season and look forward to seeing how much they can improve each game.”