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MEEKER I Klark Kindler was recognized prior to the boys’ game Friday night for 199 wins, 15 years of coaching, a third and fifth place finish at the state tournament, and the influence he has had on countless student athletes in his career. Friday’s game did not impact league standing but did conclude the regular season, avenged an earlier loss, continued the team’s winning streak and momentum going into post-season, and earned Kindler his 200th career win.
Kindler’s accomplishment points back to his perseverance to study game film, scout teams and travel in the off season for 15 years. This season, working through unexpected adversity, it is clear that his hard work and dedication have paid off. The continued success of the boys’ basketball team is due to his unwavering discipline, and consistent and complete preparation of his teams.
The Rangely game began very well for the Cowboys, who were determined to control the tempo of this game and not get snared in a slow-paced game. The first quarter ended 10-8, Meeker. Great shooting in the second quarter, combined with good defense and control of the glass, had the Cowboys outscoring the Panthers 18-3 in the second quarter. Coming out of halftime with the score 28-11, Meeker completely controlled the pace of the game, slowing the ball down when necessary and running the floor when the situation allowed. Rangely went on a couple runs but the Cowboys matched them and held the momentum throughout the game, winning 50-33. The Cowboys’ win was an entire team effort as seven guys scored, and two others added assists and rebounds to the overall stats. The Smith twins combined for 20 points, with Jeremy Musgrave adding 11, Raul Lopez nine, and Dylan Mobley seven.
Kindler led his team into the district tournament as the number two seed Tuesday night against Soroco. With all the teams in the league in a tight race, it made for a great ball game in front of a full gym. The Rams came out fighting hard and showed they were not going to go down easy. They earned an early lead until the Cowboys found their range. Meeker’s Raul Lopez and Jeremy Musgrave hit big three-point shots in the second quarter giving the Cowboy a three-point lead going into halftime despite a last second three-pointer by the Rams. The Cowboys’ defensive adjustments coming out of intermission proved successful as they held Soroco to just 12 third quarter points while scoring 18 of their own, with great assists from Jake Phelan and Raul Lopez. The fourth quarter the Cowboys controlled the tempo and demonstrated fast breaks behind Lopez’s speed and the post players running the floor. Meeker went on to win 64-53 putting them in the semi finals of the district tournament Friday night and guaranteeing them another trip to the regional playoffs.
With a win Tuesday night, the top four teams will head to Paonia for the semi-finals and finals of the district tournament. All four teams will advance to regionals but the outcome of the district tournament determines seeding and location of the regional playoffs. Good luck to the Meeker Cowboys and best wishes to coach Kindler to finish this season with 208 wins. Congratulations on a remarkable accomplishment, and thanks for the 15 years.