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JV team also goes 3-0 to take first place
MEEKER — The Meeker Cowboys claimed the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout title on Saturday by virtue of wins over North Park (86-21), Hayden (64-46) and Telluride (57-49).
For the second time in three years and the third time in five years, the Meeker Cowboys were able to hoist the champion trophy Saturday after an exciting final game with the Telluride Miners.
Thursday night the Cowboys were paired with a rebuilding North Park squad. Meeker completely dominated the smaller Wildcats as they opened up a commanding 32-5 first quarter lead and never looked back. By the end of the first half, Meeker had a 51-9 lead. All of Cowboy Coach Klark Kindler’s team was involved in the game as 12 of his 13 players were able to score points in the victory. The Cowboys were paced by their big men inside where North Park couldn’t find an answer. Colton Brown and Dakota Rowlette led Meeker with 17 points each while Tyrel Gerloff added 13. Meeker only counted two 3-point shots, one each from Mitch Jacob and Brian Crowe, as the success from close range produced 38 baskets for the Cowboys in the lopsided 86-21 win.
Friday’s matchup against the Hayden Tigers didn’t start well for the Cowboys as it was nearly five minutes into the game before they could find a basket. Down early at the end of the first period by a 7-12 score, Meeker kicked up its defense a notch and held the Tigers to only four points in the second period. The Meeker defense then carried over to the offense as 19 points were counted in the stanza and the deficit at the end of the first quarter turned into a 26-16 halftime lead. The two teams nearly traded buckets in the third period, as Meeker could only gain an additional two points on the Hayden team after three. Steady scoring in the fourth quarter ended the game with a final 64-46 semi-final victory for Meeker. Brian Crowe was able to hit four “treys” during the contest as he and Rowlett led the Cowboys with 14 each. The Cowboys shot 62 percent from the free-throw line to aid in the victory.
Prior to Saturday’s games, the Meeker Masonic Lodge hosted its annual pancake breakfast for the teams. After the breakfast, head men’s and women’s basketball Coach Stephen Garnett of CNCC addressed the teams. The all tournament teams were announced with the following players: Greg Medvest (Hayden), Zack Barnes (Hayden), Patrick Phelan (Rangely) and Brian Crowe and Colton Brown (Meeker). Mike Mathews of Telluride was named tournament MVP. During the pre-game contests on Saturday, Telluride’s 6-foot senior Mike Mathews put on an impressive display by claiming both the 3-point title and the slam dunk championship.
In the 3-point contest Matthews came through the 31 other contestants and defeated fellow Miner Austin Radford in the final to claim the victory. In the slam dunk contest he scored two perfect scores and scored on nine of 10 attempts to win the competition over Jordan Reynolds of Middle Park. Mathews is considered one of the front runners for the Mr. 2A Colorado basketball player award.
The championship Saturday games began at 11 a.m. with the Moffat County JV defeating North Park for seventh place, Middle Park beat Altamont, Utah, for fifth, and Hayden captured third with a win over Rangely.
The championship game between Meeker and Telluride proved to be the top match of the tournament. Brian Crowe had the hot hand from the arc as he led the Cowboys to an 18-11 first-quarter start with three 3-point shots. The Miners made up some ground on the Pokes in the second period and were able to close the Meeker lead to just 29-25 at the end of the second.
Both teams scored 13 in the third period to set up an exciting fourth quarter. Meeker runs were answered by the Miner team. Near the end, Meeker, which only shot 43 percent from the free-throw line for the game, was able to get some key charity shots for the 57-49 victory. Again Crowe and Rowlette paced the Cowboys with 18 points apiece, while Mitch Jacob chipped in 10.
This week the Cowboys travel to Granby to participate in the High Country Shootout, sponsored by Mountain Parks Electric. Their first game is scheduled Tuesday against Love Christian from Denver. Meeker’s next home game will be after the Christmas break.
Meeker 32 19 20 15-86
North Park 5 4 8 4-21
Meeker 7 19 17 21-64
Hayden 12 4 15 15-46
Meeker 18 11 13 15-57
Telluride 11 14 13 11-49