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MEEKER I The Meeker High School boy’s basketball team won the regional tournament, earning them a trip to the 2015 2A State Basketball Tournament, which starts today.
The tournament begins today as the top eight teams in the state compete for a chance at the gold ball. This is the fourth trip to the state tournament for Coach Klark Kindler and the second consecutive trip for the majority of the team.
“Our kids are excited and hopefully will not be intimidated by the big stage this time around,” Kindler said.
The team certainly looks to be peaking at the right time as they put together two outstanding basketball games over the weekend, Kindler said.
“We obviously played well last week,” he said “I liked our intensity and enthusiasm (in the championship game on) Saturday.”
The team looked to be on a mission with a goal in mind as they handily beat Ridgway on Friday night.
The team had an even offensive attack led by Ty Dunham with 19 points, Raul Lopez had 18, Cade Rowlett added nine, Kash Atwood had eight and Joe Newman, Logan Hughes and Jake Phelan all contributed two points.
The Cowboys came out to an 11-8 first quarter lead and expanded that to a 25-14 lead at intermission.
Meeker came out strong in the second half, and the fourth quarter was huge for the Cowboys as their defense was relentless, allowing the opponents only five points.
Meeker turned defense into an offense with 18 points of their own, making the final score 62-33. The win Friday night seemed to give the Cowboys confidence and momentum going into Saturday’s championship game against Mancos, Kindler said.
“We got off to a great start and then held off a number of runs by Mancos,” he said.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 17-10 lead at the end of the first period and then increased that edge to a 35-24 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Mancos managed to slow things down a bit. The Cowboys were once again led in scoring by Ty Dunham with 16 points, Cade Rowlett had 12, Kash Atwood added 10, Joe Newman had eight, Raul Lopez had six, Matt Frantz added four and Jake Smith, Logan Hughes and Jake Phelan each added a bucket.
Even scoring like the Cowboys showed in this game was a good sign throughout the game.
Former Meekerite Ro Paschel had 27 of Mancos’s 50 points, but Meeker’s total team effort was outstanding.
The Meeker squad finished the game with the 60-50, and they claimed the regional championships.
The state tournament seeding committee placed the Cowboys as the No. 5 seed out of eight teams. They will play No. 4 seeded Simla today at 10:15 a.m.
“Simla is long and athletic and rebounds extremely well,” Kindler said, adding that Meeker looks to be ready for anyone this weekend.
“Our kids have to know that they belong in this environment and hopefully we will play well,” he said. “Our goal all year was to get back to the tournament and win some games this time.” The team looks to be playing its best ball down the stretch; this is going to be a very exciting weekend of basketball, he said.