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RANGELY I The Panthers boys’ basketball team recorded two more league wins last week and play two more this week as they continue down the home stretch.
Rangely beat Plateau Valley 58-38 in front of a hometown crowd on Friday then pounded DeBeque 67-34 the next day.
“We were able to get two good wins this weekend as well as work on some areas that we know need improvement as we get ready for our home stretch of tough games,” Panthers head coach Eric Hejl said.
Against Plateau Valley, the Panthers came out “shooting well and sharing the ball really well,” the coach said.
Connor Phelan and Kaulan Brady hit three-pointers early in the game and so did Cameron Enterline, who had been sick most of the week, to give the Panthers a 19-10 lead after the first quarter. The Panthers added 16 more in the second quarter to lead 35-17 at halftime.
Hejl said Colt Allred benefited from “lots of little dump-off passes from the guards on drives as well as cleaning up the glass and getting seven offensive boards and at least five put-backs.”
Allred recorded a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to lead the Panthers.
“Overall, we played pretty good defensively, once we got our rhythm,” coach Hejl said. “Offensively, we were efficient in finding the open guy and looking for the assist before the score, as well as limiting turnovers, which have been a huge point of emphasis for us lately.”
Enterline also scored 16 points against the Cowboys from Plateau Valley and had six rebounds. Mitchell Webber finished with six rebounds too and scored eight points, Phelan scored seven, Brady five, Layne Mecham scored four and Andrew Morton made a basket.
“Saturday in DeBeque, we just kind of picked up where we left off on Friday,” Hejl said. “Connor and Cameron got us going with some shots falling early, and then Kaulan gave us a spark off the bench when he came in and hit three shots from outside the arc.”
Rangely led 27-14 at halftime, but Coach Hejl wanted more from his team.
“We had a decent lead at halftime, but I knew we could be better, so I challenged them to really focus in and have a mistake-free third quarter, and they responded by scoring their most points in a quarter this season,” he said.
Hejl said Brady and Enterline led the way in scoring and Phelan “kept adding to his assist totals by racking up 16 assists, compared to only one turnover in the two games.”
“As a coach, that’s exactly what you want to see from your point guard,” Hejl said. “It was a good weekend for us; we got the wins, which of course were important, but we also got a chance to work on the finer details, which is what we need to be focused on as we get closer to districts.”
Brady led the Panthers with 20 points, Enterline added 18, Phelan had 13, Andrew Morton finished in double figures with 10 and Allred added six.
The Panthers will host the Hayden Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m., then travel to Oak Creek on Saturday. Both are league games.