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RANGELY I The Rangely High School Panthers defeated the Vail Christian Saints in a league basketball game at home Saturday, and they will host the Rams from South Routt County (Soroco) in a non-league game today, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Rangely’s defense gave the Panthers time to get rolling on offense and beat the Saints 54-41.
“Our game plan early on was to work the ball inside and try to get some easy baskets in close,” head coach Eric Hejl said. “We were getting the looks we wanted, but, for whatever reason, the shots just wouldn’t drop early. Luckily, our defense came to play in the first half, buying us some time until we got our offense clicking a little better.”
The Panthers led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Rams in the second quarter to take a 24-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“Andrew (Morton) did an absolutely awesome job of shutting down their leading scorer, and Cameron (Enterline) was his usual self around the rim, making sure they didn’t get anything easy in close,” Hejl said of the play of two of his seniors. “Connor (Phelan) was able to tough it out on a bad ankle he tweaked in practice earlier in the week and Layne (Mecham) also contributed good minutes off the bench, when we got in foul trouble,” Hejl said of his other senior and Mecham.
Hejl said sophomore Kaulan Brady left the game with a sprained ankle.
Rangely only scored seven points in third quarter but scored 23 in the final eight minutes to put the game away.
Enterline led all scorers with 13 points, including two three-pointers, he pulled down 14 rebounds for another double-double and blocked eight shots on defense. Phelan scored 11, Mitchell finished with nine, Colt Allred had eight and Brady scored seven. Morton added five and Kelton Elam made a free throw.
“In the end, I feel like it was a pretty complete team win,” Hejl said. “As long as we can work out some minor bugs this week in practice, I feel good about how we are coming together as we move into the three games that will basically decide everything in terms of seeding for districts. Right now it’s still anybody’s ball game and, if we play with intensity and confidence, I like our chances against anybody.”
The Panthers host the Rams tonight, then play in Paonia on Friday before hosting the Hotchkiss Bulldogs on Saturday, which is also “Parent Night.” Rangely will host Meeker on Tuesday.