Rangely defeats Paonia

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RANGELY I Statistically, the Panthers came out on the short end, except in the one stat that really matters — the final score.
Despite being outrebounded 40-25 and having 15 fewer assists, Rangely won another league game Friday, beating Paonia 68-64.
“It was a pretty weird game, statistically,” said Rangely coach Mark Skelton. “It was just one of those games. Their numbers were better, but the final score wasn’t.”
The Panthers, with only one player who stands over 6-foot tall — and he’s a part-time player who divides his time between basketball and wrestling — have struggled with rebounding.
“That’s been our weakness all season,” Skelton said. “We are the smallest team everywhere we play. We have to do a better job of boxing out on the boards. It’s not about size. It’s about desire. If the kids have that desire, they’ll get more boards, or at least stop the other team from getting two or three shots.”
Kindal Cushman, the Panther’s tallest player at 6-1, played Friday and contributed nine points and seven rebounds. Then he went out and won both of his wrestling matches later that night during a triangular against Coal Ridge and Hayden.
“So, he went 3-0 on the night,” Skelton said of the Rangely senior.
The Panthers trailed 39-36 at halftime of Friday’s basketball game, but outscored Paonia in both the third and fourth quarters.
“The defense in the first half really wasn’t very good,” Skelton said. “We had to pick up the intensity of our defense. In the second half, we played better.”
The Panthers scoring was more balanced.
“Patrick (Phelan) only scored 26 (he’s been averaging 30), but we had more scoring across the board,” Skelton said. “We definitely spread it out.”
Adam Dahl contributed 11 points, Kody Denny, like Cushman, added nine points, and Mark Perzinski had six.
The win improved Rangely’s overall record to 5-5, 2-0 in league.