Paonia boys secure second place in 2A/1A WSL
PAONIA — Paonia scored the final six points Tuesday night to edge Hotchkiss 47-42 and secure a second-place finish in the Class 2A/1A Western Slope League boys basketball standings.
Although the outcome was important to determine positioning in the upcoming postseason, Paonia coach Chase Roeber said when it comes to the Bulldogs-Eagles rivalry, records don’t matter.
“It’s always going to be a good game when these two get together,” Roeber said. “We came out and we really needed this win for an emotional boost going into the playoffs.”
A seesaw affair found the visiting Bulldogs ahead 24-23 at halftime. Clayton Oxford scored for Hotchkiss, the Bulldogs (12-7, 6-4) followed with four free throws, then Cesar Gonzales scored off the glass to complete an 8-0 Hotchkiss run that resulted in the one-point halftime advantage.
Paonia (13-5, 9-1 WSL) regained the lead by winning the third quarter 13-8.
Roeber said it was about the Eagles’ offense getting back into gear after the loss to league champion Meeker, which lost Tuesday night at Rangely, but the Cowboys win the head-to-head tiebreaker over Paonia.
“We needed to execute offensively. That’s the one thing we didn’t do at Meeker,” Roeber said. “We executed fairly well tonight. We moved the ball pretty good, and when we do that we’re a really good team.”
Jason Sturgis and Taylor Walters each scored a game-high 14 points for Paonia, and each scored to open the third quarter. Then, Josiah Spano scored the final three points of the third quarter for a 36-32 lead.
Hotchkiss took a brief 42-41 lead with 1:15 left in the game, but Walters hit a pair of free throws and an eight-foot shot, and Sturgis added two free throws to close out the scoring for the Eagles.
Hotchkiss was paced by 13 points from Gonzales and 11 from Chris Allen.
The Eagles are confident going into the postseason after the bounce-back win.
“Tonight’s win was important,” Roeber said. “We executed our offense like we wanted to. Defensively we had some miscues and some miscommunication, but I feel like we cleaned it up in the end, and we played well, so I feel like we’re in a really good spot going into the tournament.”
Rangely 52, Meeker 49: The Panthers led 45-36 going into the final quarter and held on to hand the Cowboys (14-5, 9-1 WSL) their lone loss in 2A/1A WSL play. Cameron Enterline led Rangely (14-5, 8-2) with 16 points.
Jordan Scott scored 16 points to lead Grand Valley to an easy 78-14 victory over Basalt in a 3A Western Slope League game.
Kyra Chenoweth scored 12 points and Hanna Cornelius added 10 points for Grand Valley (15-3, 14-1 WSL).
Paonia 74, Hotchkiss 31: The Eagles outscored Hotchkiss 25-4 in the second quarter to take control of a 2A/1A WSL game with second place in the league at stake.
Carson Pipher scored 16 points and Ashley Vanvleet added 14 points for Paonia (15-4, 8-1 WSL).
Hotchkiss dropped to 11-8, 7-2.
Meeker 41, Rangely 18: Meeker (17-2, 9-0 2A/1A WSL) held Rangely (2-17, 2-7) scoreless in the first quarter and led 24-6 at the half.