The Rangely boys basketball team probably expected trouble from Hotchkiss, but it wasn't prepared for River Panish. The junior guard put up a game-high 24 points, including 19 points in the first half, to lift the Bulldogs to a 57-43 non-conference win Saturday over Rangely (6-2).
"He came unglued tonight," said head coach Kyle Crowder of Panish, a junior shooting guard.
Point guard Andrew Tiedeman said that in the final timeout, with 2:26 remaining in the game and Rangely trailing 48-43, Crowder reminded the team of the loss against Delta in December that dropped them into the consolation game at the Delta County Invitational, and how they could have won but gave up. "It sparked our fuse," said Tiedeman. "When we get in situations we just come together as a team."
Crowder credited Tiedeman's work for the win. "Everything came off of him," said Crowder. "I don't know if he had a turnover. He controlled the game from the guard position."
The Panthers immediately rebounded a missed Bulldog free throw and attempted a fast break, but Tiedeman ran a pick-2 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. In those final two minutes, Jaden Simpson came off the bench to score a goal and Clayton Oxford added another to end the game with 10 points.
Post player Chris Allen scored seven field goals and 15 points and helped hold 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward Cameron Enterline, who averages almost 12 points per game, to six points.
"He's huge for us right now," said Crowder of Allen, a second-year senior who a year ago was learning to dribble a ball.
"Everyone's working really hard in practice and I think that's really pushed me," said Allen, whose training includes going up against assistant coaches. "I'm very grateful that my team can push me and I have others around me that can compete at the same level."
Allen said the entire team is improving. "Tonight we came out here and we executed correctly and we ran plays well. We played solid defense, and I think that contributed" to the win.
The Bulldogs also defeated Meeker, 51-43, in a non-conference match-up Friday at Meeker. Hotchkiss was down by six to end the first period, but trailed by only one at the half.
Early in the game, "We had a lot of good looks at the basket and we didn't convert as many as we should have," said Crowder.
The defense held the Cowboys to six points in the second and third periods to take a 34-28 lead to start the fourth period. Hotchkiss used a zone defense against them that really spread them out and put them in a tough situation, said Crowder. Meeker "didn't really get hot until the fourth quarter when they shot three 3-pointers. Other than that, they didn't have much momentum."
Bulldog sophomore Clayton Oxford also gathered momentum, scoring nine of his game-high 16 points in the fourth.
Hotchkiss shot 14 of 28 from the free-throw line, "And that was enough for the win," said Crowder.
With only three seasoned players — Wes Hardin, River Panish and Andrew Tiedeman — and the team working hard and starting to gel, Crowder said they can only get better.
The Bulldogs are now 5-2. They travel to Hayden (1-7, 0-1) Friday and face Soroco (4-2, 1-0) Saturday. On Jan. 21, the Bulldogs will host arch rival Paonia in a rescheduled game.blog comments powered by Disqus