Listen to this post
MEEKER I The lady Cowboys basketball team will open the 2012-2013 season on their own court against the Nucla Mustangs in the first round of the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout tonight.
Meeker High School’s girls’ basketball team finished second in the district tournament, losing to Del Norte in the regional tournament and two seniors (Kathryn Doll and Aubrey Walsh) to graduation but return seven seniors to the roster, along with underclassmen with varsity experience.
“We’ve got good experience coming back,” head coach Greg Chintala said. “We return three starters and three that played a lot, actually we have eight kids with lots of varsity experience.”
Seven seniors will lead the Cowboys including Chintala’s daughter Kaysyn, a four-year varsity player and classmates Katie Dinwiddie, Kacey Collins, Bailey Atwood, Amanda Kendall, Anna George and Nicole Hilkey.
Meeker juniors Aly Ridings, Taylor Neilson and Piper Haney, along with sophomore Sydney Hughes return with varsity experience. Ridings and Neilson have played on varsity since they were freshmen and this will be the second year under Chintala’s system.
“We are in the second year with the same system and I think the kids are able to gel quicker, knowing the terminology and the expectations,” Chintala said.
Chintala expects the league competition to be tough again this year with Paonia, Rangely and Meeker to be the teams to beat.
“We all bring back our core group and we are all very competitive,” Chintala said and he is also excited about starting the season.
Chintala appreciates the WREA Cowboy Shootout, where his team finished third last year, calling it the “best organized and nicest tournament” he’s seen.
“They provide everything and it’s a very classy preseason tournament,” Chintala said. Games will be played tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a three-point contest before the final rounds are played Saturday.
Meeker will take the court tonight against Nucla at 7:30 p.m., and will play Little Snake River, who received a bye in the first round, if they win. Soroco, Rangely and Hayden are on the bottom side of the bracket.
“We hope to execute well and come out and play hard, if we do, things will take care of themselves,” Chintala said. “I’m looking forward to a good year. We have the pieces in place, now we just have to link them together to be successful.”