With two key league games on the schedule this week, and a final showdown against Hotchkiss on the horizon, Paonia head basketball coach Chase Roeber isn't overly concerned that his team has had a relatively easy go of it the last two weeks.
Its Jan. 31 conference game against then-No. 1 Vail Christian was canceled due to snow.
After almost two weeks without a game, the Eagles pummeled Plateau Valley (2-11 overall, 0-6 2A/1A Western Slope League) Friday with a 63-28 win in Collbran. On Saturday, Roeber put every last man on the court and still outscored the young yet feisty De Beque Dragons, 93-23.
The last game before this weekend's wins, which Roeber described as "warm-up games, basically," was a 24-point win over North Park on Jan. 25.
"We've been beating each other up in practice a lot for two weeks now," said Roeber after the De Beque win. "So we were just really happy to see somebody else to beat up on."
Roeber isn't concerned about the lack of competition because the break allowed players some needed time to recover from minor illnesses and strains. "The week off ... it actually helped us out a lot," said Roeber.
Sophomore post Taylor Walters had his best scoring game of the week at Plateau Valley, with 17 points. Two treys each helped push Josiah Spano and Ben Linnell to double-digit scoring against the Cowboys, and Eric Carney added eight.
Freshman Colby Simpson came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points in Paonia's conference win over De Beque Saturday, and freshman Dagan Rienks dropped five goals for 10 points. Linnell scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half.
The Dragons' only senior, David Aiuto, had 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks for De Beque.
Roeber is concerned about the lack of competition because that make-up game at Vail Christian was scheduled for last night (Tuesday), followed by Rangely (11-4, 6-1) this Friday at home, and Meeker Saturday, at Meeker.
Vail Christian was in first place in the 2A/1A WSL and dropped to fifth place this week with last week's losses to Meeker and Rangely.
The Saints are ranked fifth in Class 1A by Colorado Preps.
"We're just going to kind of do what we do. We're going to play tough man-to-man and execute," said Roeber, who credited the Saints' 6-foot, 6-inch lead scorer Parker Poage's 26 points and solid defense for the one-point come-from-behind win over Hotchkiss last week. "As long as he doesn't get hot, I think we're fine. If he gets hot, they're a scary team."
While Paonia won its early-season games against Rangely and Meeker, neither team can be overlooked, said Roeber. Meeker (12-4, 7-0) debuted this week at No. 9 in Colorado Preps rankings.
Saturday's game against Meeker is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Next Tuesday, Paonia will host rival Hotchkiss (12-4, 6-1) in the final game of the regular season.blog comments powered by Disqus