Cedaredge girls basketball coach Ryan Hilbig wanted to start the season off right in Meeker last weekend. The Bruins granted their coach his wish with three victories to win the annual White River Shootout.
The Bruins began the weekend with Aspen and rolled to a 52-8 victory. Game two, Cedaredge's closest contest, was with host Meeker with the Bruins eeking out a 38-37 decision and a berth in the tournament's title game against Soroco.
The Rams defeated Mesa Ridge's junior varsity in their opening round game and then dealt Moffat County a 51-30 loss in second-round action.
In another close game, the Bruins earned this year's White River Shootout title with a 43-39 decision.
Bruins 52, Skiers 8
As the score indicates, this matchup was not as close as the first quarter score was if viewers were to stop watching from that point. The Bruins recovered from an excruciatingly slow start to take a 9-5 lead after one period. Aspen's Climary Sanchez had all five of the Skiers points while senior Jade McGovern had four of Cedaredge's nine counters.
A 3-pointer from McGovern and a pair of regular field goals from freshman Kammie Henderson led the Bruins in an 11-0 second quarter run which left Cedaredge with a 20-5 halftime lead.
Aspen's offense remained ineffective in the second half with just three points coming in the third quarter to make the Skiers final points of the game. Cedaredge, behind sophomore Makayla Kehmeier's six points, raced to a 21-point outburst to lead 41-8 after three quarters of play. An 11-point fourth quarter made the final score 52-8.
McGovern and Henderson were Cedaredge's leading scorers in the game with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Kehmeier finished with eight counters while Addison Schwarz and Dalia Alejandre generated seven points each in the win.
Bruins 38, Cowboys 37
Cedaredge and Meeker's battle became a tale of two halves. The Bruins built a 23-14 halftime lead with Kehmeier pacing the Bruins' offense with a pair of 3-pointers and a common goal for eight points.
Meeker had a better offensive second half than the Bruins. A 14-10 run in the third period kept the lead in Cedaredge's hands, 33-28, heading to the final eight minutes of play.
The Bruins' offense struggled in fourth quarter play with Meeker finding a way to outscore Cedaredge 9-5 to make the final score 38-37.
Kehmeier topped Bruin scorers again with another 11-point effort while Henderson and senior Grace Andrews scored six points each.
Meeker's leading scorers were juniors Megan Shelton, who finished with 18 points, and Victoria Lasker who had 10.
Hilbig noted how important a win like this one was. "We played pretty well until the fourth. Playing with a lead and finishing is a good skill to learn early."
Bruins 43, Rams 39
Seniors Chloe Veilleux and Mattie Rossi dominated Soroco's first-half offense with Veilleux netting 17 in the two quarters and Rossi six for 23 of the 28 points scored in the half by the Rams.
The Bruins countered with juniors Courtney Freeman's seven and Schwarz's six points to keep Cedaredge within reach of Soroco, 28-22, at halftime.
Cedaredge's defense literally took over in second-half play. The Bruins held Veilleux to just two points in the second half and allowed just 11 counters for the Rams in second half play.
Offensively, Freeman, who had been nearly absent in the first two Bruin games, scored 10 second-half points to finish with 17 and Andrews chipped in another eight counters to finish with 11 for the game. Schwarz added another eight in a winning cause.
Cedaredge's next game will be against Hotchkiss on Dec. 15 at the annual First Colorado National Bank Tournament in Delta. That game is set for a 3 p.m. start.