Panther boys 1–0 in league

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RHS senior Ethan Byers (#3) takes a shot during the Panthers game against the Manila Mustangs. The Panthers are scheduled to play Vail Christian this Friday at home beginning at 7 p.m.

RANGELY | The Rangely boys’ basketball team defeated the Hayden Tigers 66-51 on the road Saturday. Rangely won their first league game in convincing fashion behind Dylan LeBleu’s 18 points and four three-pointers. On paper, the match looked even but the Panthers controlled the boards and the tempo as well as almost doubling their total three-point goals on the season — Ryan Richens chipped in two three-balls in the first half with Keihlin Myers hitting one in the second. The Panthers took a 46-21 lead into halftime. By the third quarter, nine Rangely cagers had scored and the Panthers increased their lead to 62-29. In the JV contest Rangely came back from an 18-10 deficit in the first quarter and held on for a 49-46 win.

The Panthers preceded their league campaign by hosting the Manila Mustangs on Friday. Manila, the No. 6 ranked 1A team in Utah, earned the 69-40 victory behind 14 three-pointers. The Mustangs led 35-16 at the half, but the Panthers continued to battle and outscored Manila in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Rangely undermined their comeback with poor free-throw shooting, hitting only one for 10 in the second half. Manila also struggled at the charity stripe, making only three for 12.

“The boys never gave up. They competed well from start to finish,” said head coach Kyle Boydstun. “Besides the poor free-throw shooting and a few too many turnovers, I felt the boys showed a lot of improvement at both ends of the court.”

Sydney Cole led the Panthers with 14 points, while Gabe Polley and Dylan LeBleu pitched in 12 and nine points, respectively. Both the JV team and the freshman team lost to Manila.

Rangely traveled to Olathe on Tuesday, Jan. 14, hosts Vail Christian on Friday, Jan. 17, and travels to Plateau Valley High School on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Special to the Herald Times