Panthers end skid with Soroco win

RBC I The Panthers ended the week on a positive note.
After losing its first two games following the Christmas break, Rangely’s boys’ basketball team beat Soroco 66-47 Saturday to end a four-game losing streak and earn its first league win.
“We picked up the intensity on defense and hit the boards a little more, and those are the two most critical things,” coach Mark Skelton said. “Hopefully it’s a learning lesson for the kids. We’ve been telling ’em all year long what we have to do, or we won’t have success.”
The win improved Rangely’s record to 4-5 on the season, and Skelton said it “was nice to get our first league win.”
The Rangely coach said he had challenged his players not to lose three games in one week.
“The kids, I give them credit,” Skelton said. “They toughened up. We took the lead from the beginning and broke it open in the second half. Soroco’s not a bad team. If we’re not playing well, we can make anybody look good.”
Rangely made two Utah teams — Vernal and Manila — look good while losing to both schools last week, prior to turning things around against Soroco.
“Against Vernal, they just out rebounded us terribly. We were killed on the boards,” Skelton said. “Manila, we played with them very well for three quarters. But they outscored us like 18-4 in the second quarter. It was the kind of quarter you never want to have. We could have won it, if we had played well. I know that’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but it’s true.”
Skelton said senior Patrick Phelan “has maintained a steady role.” Phelan who is averaging right around 30 per game, scored 30 points against Soroco. Fellow senior Adam Dahl added 11 points, Skelton said, and sophomore Ethan Peacock had 11 points and nine rebounds.
“The younger kids are starting to push each other,” Skelton said. “This was the first game where we had three players in double figures. We’re getting more scoring from other people. You have to try and spread it around.”
While Saturday’s win was nice, Skelton said the Panthers need to keep improving.
“It’s a small step toward where we need to go, but it’s not a huge stride,” the Rangely coach said. “It’s a matter of understanding what we need to do to have success. As far as I’m concerned, we need to play every league game like it’s a championship game, or we’re in trouble.”
Next up for the Panthers is a league game Friday at home against Paonia.