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MEEKER I The Meeker High School boys’ basketball team secured a top four position and home court advantage for the first round of the district tournament. They had two tough games last weekend against Paonia and Hotchkiss who were tied for fifth and sixth, just one game behind the three-way tie among Meeker, Rangely and Vail Christian. Friday night Hotchkiss came out ready to play and gained a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. Coach Klark Kindler clearly reiterated the importance of their defensive strategy and the second quarter belonged to the Cowboys, who cut the lead to one by intermission. The third quarter Meeker’s defense turned to offense and Meeker outscored their opponents 17-12 taking a four point lead into the final quarter, and that is the margin they won by in the end, 65-61.
Jeremy Musgrave led the scoring with 15 points, Scott Smith with 15, Raul Lopez had 11, Dylan Mobley added eight, Nate Walsh had seven and Alex Smith contributed six. The defensive efforts of the entire team made the game extremely exciting, Lopez using his speed and toughness to collapse in the paint and the Smith boys playing as big as the Bulldog posts they were up against.
The win against Hotchkiss gave the Cowboys momentum for the long trip Saturday. Meeker didn’t waste any time getting a lead. They jumped out early and finished the first quarter up 13-6. The second quarter found Paonia closing the gap as Meeker went into the locker room with a four point lead. The third quarter resembled the first and the Cowboys extended their lead to nine before the final quarter and held on to the lead to win 60-51. The Cowboys were led by Scott Smith with 18 points, Raul Lopez with 14 and Dylan Mobley with 16. Jake Phelan added five while Jeremy Musgrave scored four points.
The boys will finish their regular season this Friday against Rangely in Meeker.
The district tournament bracket will be determined this weekend and the first round home seed game will begin next week.