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RANGELY I The Rangely boys’ basketball team lost their final game of the regular season in Meeker last Friday and a loss in Kremmling ended the season for the Panthers but head coach Eric Hejl is ready to start working toward next year’s success.
“Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me but I’m already excited and ready to get rolling with summer ball,” Hejl said.
The Panthers lost 33-50 in Meeker and 47-60 to the West Grand Mustangs in Kremmling.
“In the Meeker game we were getting good looks early but the shots just weren’t falling and instead of sticking with it we went away from our game plan and things got worse in the second quarter,” Hejl said of the final regular season game, where they trailed 8-10 at the end of the first quarter and 11-28 at halftime.
“Over the last four or five games we’ve seemed to have one horrendous quarter that really puts us in a bad spot,” Hejl said. “In this game, the second was that quarter.”
Junior Connor Phelan led the Panthers with 11 points, classmate Cameron Enterline added eight and senior Chas Byerly scored seven against the Cowboys. Senior Cory Evans added three, classmate Jake Massey and sophomore Colt Allred each finished with two.
“In West Grand we played pretty good for the first three quarters but in the fourth quarter the ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Hejl said. “Our shooting went cold and we got on the wrong end of the late game momentum.”
Rangely was behind 27-30 at halftime and tied at 38 to start the fourth quarter.
“Jake and Cory both stepped up and finished their senior year with good overall effort with Jake getting his season high in scoring with 10 points and some good post defense before he got in foul trouble and Cory led the team in scoring with 11,” Hejl said. “Unfortunately, Chas didn’t make the trip as he was serving a one game suspension for violating team rules.”
“We will miss our seniors but the future is bright and I anticipate lots of good things as we move forward with our program,” Hejl said. “We will be strong not only with talent but also with leadership from the seniors (this year’s juniors, Connor, Cameron, Andrew Morton) on down. I’m undoubtedly disappointed that our season ended with a five-game thud but the competitor in me is just focused on doing the next right thing right, showing some resiliency and using this experience to motivate us for a successful summer and 2013/14 season. On to the next one.”