Panthers split with Debeque, Meeker

RANGELY — In what has been an up and down season for the RHS boys basketball team, the games this past weekend were reflective of their season as a whole.
On Friday night Debeque came to town and the Panthers were ready.
Although, there were a few missteps on the defensive end, the Cats provided enough scoring to make sure the game was never really that close, with the scoreboard showing a 15-point lead for Rangely at the halfway mark.
In the third quarter, the offense just kept on rolling and the defense finally followed as the Panthers scored 25 in the frame, while only allowing six for the Dragons.
To begin the fourth the game was well in hand, and the Panthers were able to rest some of the starters who had been battling illness throughout the week..
Although Rangely was outscored in the final period, they still were able to come away with an 86-58 win giving them their highest point total of the season.
Five players scored in double figures for the Panthers, led by Kanden Brady with 19 and Patrick Phelan with 18.
Adam Dahl, James Herrera and Michael Morton also found their way to double digits.
On Saturday, Rangely made the hour bus ride to face their cross county rival to see how they stacked up against the league leading Meeker Cowboys.
This game was huge for both teams as Meeker could all but clinch the regular season league title, and the Panthers were hungry to prove that they belonged in the conversation as one of the best teams in the league.
The first quarter was hard fought on both ends of the floor, and it looked like the game could be nip and tuck throughout. Unfortunately, when the Cowboys found themselves in foul trouble, the Panthers were unable to capitalize from the charity stripe.
In the second quarter alone, Rangely missed the front end of one-on-one free throw opportunities on three different occasions and were otherwise limited to five points in the quarter allowing Meeker to build an 11-point halftime lead.
Coming out of the locker rooms, it looked like Rangely might hang around and make a game out of it, but the inside/outside game of the Cowboys was too much for the Cats who found themselves looking up at a 17-point deficit going into the final frame.
Although the Panthers had their highest scoring quarter in the fourth with 15 points, the defense was almost non existent as they allowed Meeker to have their highest scoring quarter as well with 24 points to finish off the game with a 69-43 victory.
Kanden Brady and Patrick Phelan had 14 and 10 points respectively to lead the Panthers.
After this loss, the final regular season game against Plateau Valley tomorrow night at RHS will be of the utmost importance as it will likely determine second place in the league.