RANGELY I The DeBeque Dragons traveled to Rangely for both teams’ final games of the regular season. The girls’ game proved to be a thriller and featured the lady Panthers trailing most of the game and winning on a last-second shot. DeBeque, the defending 1A boys’ state champions, didn’t figure to keep things close in the boys’ match-up, but the Rangely boys pushed DeBeque to their limit. Rangely stayed close in the first quarter, trailing 12-15. The Panthers tightened up their zone defense in the second quarter and pulled ahead 28-24. DeBeque earned some key buckets in the third quarter and the end of the fourth to pull ahead. Rangely kept the game close in the final stanza but eventually fell to DeBeque 40-43. Sydney Cole and Ryan Richens led all scorers for the Panthers with 10 and nine points. Timothy Scoggins had six points and nine rebounds, while Sydney Cole also collected nine boards. Dylan LeBleu had seven points, six steals, and three assists. The Panthers finished 6-13 on the season. Their 5-7 overall record landed them the eighth seed in districts.
As the No. 8 seed, the Rangely Panthers hosted the No. 9 Hotchkiss Bulldogs on Monday. The last time these two met, the Bulldogs’ 2-2-1 full court press smothered the Panthers and earned Hotchkiss a 55-33 victory. This time, however, the Panthers seemed determined to continue their season as they jumped out to a 15-6 first quarter lead. Hotchkiss matched their pace in the second quarter and the Panthers held on to a 28-19 lead. Dylan LeBleu and Sydney Cole combined for 23 points in the second half as the Panthers continued to play solid team defense. “The guys really executed on defense and made necessary adjustments. More importantly, they didn’t lose their cool against the press. This was the best team effort I’ve seen all year.” said head coach Kyle Boydstun. Sydney Cole finished with a double-double, 23 points and 15 boards. Dylan LeBleu had 20 points, four assists and three steals. Gabe Polley pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds. The Panthers lost to the No. 1 ranked Vail Christian Saints Tuesday and 72-57 and will play Paonia at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in DeBeque at the district tournament.