Rangely v. Meeker boys b-ball game a nail-biter

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RANGELY | Rangely’s 2-10 overall record did not portend a nail-biter prior to hosting the 9-3 Meeker Cowboys last Thursday. However, it was senior night for the Panthers and the intensity on defense was evident as the first quarter saw an 8-7 Panther advantage. The defensive battle continued through the half as Rangely held on to a 17-16 lead behind six points each from Gabe Polley and Sydney Cole. In the third quarter, Rangely tried pulling away, outscoring the Cowboys by six. Leading 31-24 at the start of the fourth, Rangely’s lead was never safe as both teams sent the other to the charity stripe multiple times. Meeker crept back, and with timely threes by Ethan Drake and Zagar Brown and a relentless attack by Ryan Phelan, secured a one-point victory, 44-43, over the Panthers. Gabe Polley, Sydney Cole, Keihlin Myers and Travis Coates led Rangely with 15, 12, eight, and five points, respectively. Cole pulled down 14 rebounds and Coates followed with nine boards. Prior to the varsity contest, the Panther JV team ended their season with a thrilling overtime victory over the Cowboys.

The varsity Panthers came up just a point short in a home game against county rival Meeker last Thursday, but the JV team beat the Cowboys in a thrilling overtime victory. The Panthers finished the season seventh in their division. RHS Sophomore Kevin Wren will return next year for another season of Panther basketball. | MATT SCOGGINS PHOTO

Rangely finished seventh in the North division of the 1A/2A Western slope league and traveled to Paonia, the seventh place finisher of the South division. The Panthers got off to a slow start leading 23-17 at halftime.

“We made some defensive adjustments at halftime and the boys executed very well on both ends of the floor,” said coach Kyle Boydstun. The Panthers held the Paonia Eagles to only eight points in the second half and cruised to a 56-25 victory to end their season. Cole put up 24 points to lead the Panthers and Polley chipped in nine. Cole and Polley also pulled down 15 and eight rebounds respectively. Rangely’s guards dished out 11 of the team’s 14 assists and were led in that department by Marstan Wagner with four.

“I’m extremely proud of this group. Their confidence grew by leaps and bounds and they should be proud of the improvement they showed over this COVID-shortened season,” Boydstun said.