Paonia hardwood teams unleash stifling defenses

By Wayne Crick

The Bulldog boys suffered a pair of losses last week with Paonia coming to town on Jan. 19 to score a 57-33 win. Vail Mountain's Gore Rangers held on for a 44-42 win on Saturday.

Hotchkiss' girls lost, 72-26, to Paonia on the 19th.

Paonia 57, Bulldogs 33

The Eagles remembered the last time these two teams met and they were prepared for a different outcome this time around.

Hotchkiss played the Eagles to a 44-40 loss back in December at Delta's First Colorado National Bank tournament.

Coach Chase Roeber knew this game's outcome would be different. "You bet that close game, (in December) was on our minds. We prepared well, and hard, for this game. It's a prep for playoff games each week heading into the crucial part of the season."

Paonia owned a 24-15 halftime lead and blew the game open with a 23-point third quarter.

Dagan Rienks was virtually unstoppable for the Eagles. His 11 points in the third quarter ignited a Paonia run that was game-changing. The talented senior finished with 22 points to lead all scorers in the game.

Colby Simpson directed the offense and made sensational drives to the rim for Roeber's Eagles. He finished with 16 points.

Zach Allen led Hotchkiss scorers with nine points with Braxton Trujillo and Sam Rodriquez adding eight points each.

VMHS 44, Bulldogs 42

The Gore Rangers' first period run of 11-7 was the difference in this game. Their four-point edge was trimmed to two when Hotchkiss won the second quarter 5-3.

Both teams scored 30 points in the second half allowing Vail Mountain to claim a 44-42 victory.

Allen and Sam Rodriguez shared game-high honors with 13 points each. Allen had eight of his points in the fourth quarter and Rodriguez nailed three 3s for nine counters in the fourth.

Marc Phillipon scored 11 points for the Gore Rangers.

Paonia 72, Bulldogs 26

Paonia's girls had one of their faster starts to a game against the Bulldogs last week. A 27-2 first quarter signaled a well-oiled scoring machine, which was set up by a stifling defense.

Another 24 counters in the second quarter ballooned Paonia's lead to 51-12 at halftime.

Second half play produced an additional seven point bulge for a 72-26 league win.

Sophia Anderson, scored nine points in the first quarter and finished with 17 points for the winners.

Mckenna Hartigan tossed in seven points in the second frame and finished with 15 points. Brianna Van Vleet had 14 points and Brittany Kendall finished with 12 for the Eagles.

Shay Glaser was Hotchkiss' leading scorer with eight points.

Hotchkiss' game schedule includes a lengthy road trip this weekend. The Bulldogs are in Hayden on Friday for varsity (G/B) games scheduled for 6 and 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday the Bulldogs are in Soroco (Oak Creek) where varsity games begin at 4 p.m.