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RBC I The girls’ basketball teams from Meeker and Rangely high schools will open their seasons tonight in Meeker, in the first round of the 2013 White River Electric Cowboy Shootout.
The Lady Panthers of Rangely will play Grand Valley’s JV team at 4:30 p.m. and the host team will play Little Snake River at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Cowboys of Meeker won the team title last year, for the first time in the 20-year history of the Cowboy Shootout, and head coach Greg Chintala is confident regarding this year’s team.
“This is one of the nicest preseason tournaments and everybody will get to play plenty of basketball this weekend. We are returning seven players from last year’s team and I feel confident in their experience,” Chintala said.
Meeker defeated Rangely in the championship game last year, and the Lady Panthers are on the opposite side of the bracket again this year.
“We are excited about playing in the WREA Shootout; it is always a good experience for our girls.” Rangely head coach Quinton Kent said. “Practice is nice, but it is always good to play that first weekend and build on your strengths and try and correct those weaknesses.
Rangely will be missing four varsity players and will play with seven on the roster and seven on its JV roster. The Cowboy Shootout includes a JV bracket and Meeker will also have JV and C teams entered.
Six teams are entered in this year’s Cowboy Shootout, and although teams from South Routt County (Soroco) and Nucla have first-round byes on the bracket, the two teams will play each other tonight at 6 p.m., to ensure all varsity teams play three games during the tournament.
The annual three-day tournament will also feature a pancake breakfast, prepared and served by the local Masonic Lodge on Saturday, and Julie Bowman will be the guest speaker. Bowman is an assistant coach for this year’s team in Meeker and played in college at the University of Northern Colorado.
After Bowman addresses the players, it is customary for the speaker to help present awards to the all-tournament team and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.
A three-point shooting contest will follow the award presentation, and Saturday’s games will start at 11 a.m., with the championship game scheduled to tipoff at 2 p.m.