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PHS boys win 11 straight

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Photo by Eric Goold Senior Taylor Walters (22) goes up for two in the battle of the Eagles. Paonia beat Caprock Academy and won its 11th game in a row.

The boys' basketball team from Paonia has been in cruise control for a couple of weeks now and has reeled off 11 wins in a row.

The Eagles are 17-1 overall and 11-0 in 1A/2A Western Slope League play.

The only close game Paonia has played all season came at Hotchkiss on Feb. 2, when Paonia rallied to score the last six points in an exciting game and won 63-62.

"That game against Hotchkiss put us back on track. It tested us," Eagles coach Chase Roeber said. "We fought from behind the whole way. That kind of showed us what we're made of. I'm grateful for that game. We just have to take care of our business from here on out."

Paonia plays its final game of the regular season Thursday night at home against Plateau Valley.

The Eagles will then host District quarterfinals on Feb. 23.

Eagles 70, Panthers 42

Paonia exploded for a strong first half and then dominated the rest of the way last Friday at home.

The Eagles jumped ahead 18-4 after the first quarter and kept the pressure on the Panthers, taking a 39-13 lead at halftime to put the game away.

Rangely was able to win the fourth quarter 16-11 as Roeber worked the bench, but the Eagles' lead was just too big to overcome.

Paonia has followed a simple mantra through the winning streak.

"We just have to keep getting better every day," Roeber said. "Our practices just have to keep getting better as the year goes on. Just continue to make sure we get better."

Paonia 59, Caprock 22

Suffocating defense led the way as Paonia held the visiting Eagles to 12 points in the first half and 10 in the second.

Meanwhile, the offensive machine kept churning and Paonia led 35-12 going into halftime.

"We're playing fine right now," Roeber said. "These last couple of games we settled a bit for jumpers. We need to make sure we're working for good shots all the time, so work on shot selection, things like that.

"The basis is always going to be defense," he added. "And we played defense really well the past couple of games."

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