Lady Panthers whip Plateau to even record

RANGELY I One of its starters was feeling under the weather, but the Lady Panthers were a picture of health last Friday against Plateau Valley.
Rangely doubled the score on the visitors, winning easily 61-30.
With junior Marie Morton’s minutes limited because of sickness, and with the Lady Panthers dominating the game, coach Jimmie Mergelman was able to spread around the playing time.
“Marie was sick, so she didn’t play much,” Mergelman said. “So we used some of younger kids.”
And they came through.
Freshman Brittany Babineaux, a freshman, scored in double figures with 12 points, while sophomore Haeley Enterline added seven. Audrey Hogan, the only senior starter, led the way with 20 points.
“Audrey’s been our leading scorer every time but one, I think, and she usually leads us in assists and steals. But we’re finally getting the scoring spread around a little, with different people having highs on different nights, which is nice,” the Rangely coach said.
With two wins last week — over Vernal, Utah, on Dec. 15 and then against Plateau Valley — the Lady Panthers entered the Christmas break with a 3-3 record.
“You know, I feel pretty good. As long as we can stay on the ball and play 32 minutes, on any given day, we can beat anybody,” Mergelman said. “But if we don’t play up to our potential and play a full game, we’re in trouble.”
The Lady Panthers will improve their depth after the break when junior Victoria Phelan, who was a starter last season, returns. She had knee surgery following an injury she suffered during track last spring. Phelan was the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer last season.
“She goes back to the doctor Jan. 4, and she should be released that Monday, so she should be playing with us that Tuesday,” Mergelman said. “She says she feels good, and the doctors say (her knee) is 100 percent and is as strong as it ever was.”
Asked how much action Phelan may see when she returns, Mergelman said, “I don’t know. It just depends on how she feels. I’ve never had anybody come off a knee injury like this, but that first week will be a true test, because we have three games.”
After returning from Christmas break, the Lady Panthers will play at Vernal, Utah, on Jan. 5, then host Manila, Utah, on Jan. 8 and Soroco on Jan. 9.