After a 60-34 win against Hotchkiss' boys on Jan. 19, Cedaredge was looking for a sixth consecutive win heading into last Friday's encounter against Paonia's Eagles. Paonia, after starting the season with six straight wins, was dealt a loss by Grand Valley on Dec. 19. Since that time the Eagles had put together a four-game streak that grew to five with a 66-44 decision over the Bruins last Friday.
Bruins 60, Bulldogs 34
The game was nearly even in first-quarter play with Cedaredge holding a two-point edge heading to the second period.
There was more offense for both teams in the second frame with the Bruins outscoring Hotchkiss 14-9 and taking a 24-17 halftime lead.
The Bruins stretched their lead by seven in the third quarter with a 14-7 run and finished with a 16-10 fourth quarter, making the final score 54-39.
Cedaredge got 19 points from Christian Reynolds, 13 from Garrett Meyers and eight from Chris Lindley.
Eagles 66, Bruins 44
After coming from behind in the first quarter to take a 16-15 lead, Cedaredge found the going rough after that. Christian Reynolds was the spark Cedaredge needed to come from behind as he scored nine of the 16 Bruin points.
Paonia overtook the Bruins in the second quarter with 21 points from its offense and limited the Bruins to 12 points defensively.
Paonia's Colby Simpson scored nine of his team-high 20 points in the run, including seven of eight points from the free-throw line.
Cedaredge suffered its worst setback in the third quarter when the Eagles soared to a 17-6 run that essentially put the game out of reach with a lead of 53-34 and one period left in the game. Dagan Rienks and Francisco Lopez provided six and five points, respectively, in the Paonia run.
Paonia finished the game with a 13-10 fourth quarter to account for the final score of 66-44.
Simpson finished the game with 11 of 12 free throws included in his 20 points. Rienks had 15 points and Lopez 11 to lead Paonia's offense.
Reynolds had an offensive game that produced at least five points in each quarter of the game and finished with 24 points for the Bruins.
Paonia coach Chase Roeber has some potent weapons that have helped the Eagles start the season with six straight wins before losing to Grand Valley, 60-49, earlier in the season. After Friday's win at Cedaredge, the Eagles are enjoying a five-game win streak. Visits to Meeker (Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.) and Hotchkiss (Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.) are next for the Eagles.
When asked what practice was like as the Eagles prepared for Cedaredge, Roeber responded with, "Practice was pretty much the same with all 14 guys on the varsity roster helping make us better in practice and during the games."
During last week's game against the Bruins, Simpson appeared to be unstoppable at times. Roeber was asked what makes the talented junior so hard to defend. "He's just a great shooter and great shooters are hard to defend."
Roeber noted this year's team ranks high in regard to previous teams. "This is a special team and a special year. We should be able to make some post-season noise as long as we stay focused."
Cedaredge played at Basalt on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and is on the road to Meeker on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tipoff in 2A District 5 play.