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Paonia teams off to good start in hoops

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Photo by Eric Goold Emily Pieper (4) applies pressure defense along with Ashley Van Vleet (24) and Chey Christian (5) during Paonia's game played earlier this season against Coal Ridge.

The Paonia High School girls' basketball team saw the highs and the lows this past week.

The latter came last Tuesday on the road in Olathe, where the Eagles suffered their first loss of the season.

The Eagles used a big second half to force overtime, but Olathe, which is seemingly always tough at home, rallied and beat the Eagles after two overtime sessions, 58-55.

The Pirates came out firing at home and led 14-11 after the first quarter and 29-20 at halftime. Vanessa Ceballos paced the home team with 15 points including three 3-pointers.

Paonia won the third and fourth quarters and forced overtime at 49-49. Senior Ashley Van Vleet led all scorers with 19 points and Sophia Anderson chipped in 11 points in the defeat.

The first overtime session was 4-4 and Olathe won the final session 5-2 to secure the victory.

Fouls became an issue as the game went on. The Eagles had four players foul out of the contest while Olathe lost two players to fouls.

Paonia finished 11 of 22 from the charity stripe while the Pirates netted 18 of 32 foul shots.

The Eagles recovered quickly, taking their second road trip of the year last Friday to Telluride. Paonia won that game 70-4 and improved to 4-1 on the season.

Paonia was in Gunnison last night for a game versus Sargent, then plays at Grand Valley on Saturday in its last game before Christmas break. The next game for the Eagles is slated for Jan. 9 at Plateau Valley.

Boys win

The Paonia boys' team continued its strong start to the season and beat Telluride on the road 56-39.

The Eagles fell behind 28-22 at halftime, but used a strong defensive second half to prevail. Paonia held Telluride to four points in the third and seven points in the fourth quarter.

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