Rough start to year for Grand County basketball
It’s been a rough start to the New Year for the basketball teams of Grand County, with the boys and girls’ teams from West Grand and Middle Park high schools going a combined 2-10 this month. But with each team looking at a slate of league games on the horizon, there’s still hope to salvage the season.
Middle Park Girls
The Lady Panthers, led by Mike Reigan, are sitting relatively pretty at a 4-4, but have slowed down since the break. The Panthers dropped their first home game on Jan. 6 against the St. Mary’s Academy Wildcats in a 59-28 affair, before heading to Salida for a brutal 54-17 pounding from the Spartans.
Despite an up and down season Middle Park is still in a good spot to make a move late in the season. They’re 1-0 in league play after a 54-21 victory over The Pinnacle Timberwolves in December, but face a deceptively tough matchup against the 5-6 Denver Science & Tech Stapleton Knights on Saturday.
The Knights may have a losing record, but they’re averaging over 40 points per game and allowing only 28. In contrast the Panthers are scoring 35 a game and giving up over 36.
The league slate continues after DSSHS, with the Panthers taking on the 5-5 Platte Canyon Huskies on Jan. 26 before going on the road for a favorable matchup against the 2-8 Bruce Randolph Grizzlies on Jan. 27.
Middle Park Boys
The Middle Park boys finally notched a one into the win column after ending 2017 0-6. So far this month the Panthers are 1-1, taking home a nail-biting 45-44 victory over the Aspen Skiers on Jan. 13. The Panthers suffered a harsh 76-29 defeat at the hands of the Salida Spartans on Jan. 16 to bring their record to 1-7.
Middle Park starts their league schedule in earnest on Saturday with a difficult matchup against a good 8-2 DSSHS Knights team. The Knights are scoring nearly 70-points-per-game this season, dwarfing the Panthers’ 43-per-game. The Knights also allow only 55 points-per-game, compared to Middle Park’s 59.
The schedule lightens up a little big after DSSHS, with matchups against the 3-7 Platte Canyon Huskies on Jan. 26 and the 3-5 Bruce Randolph Grizzlies on Jan. 27.
Note: The Middle Park boys team had a game against Arrupe Jesuit on Thursday after the print deadline.
West Grand Girls
West Grand started the season off right with a 45-30 win over Loveland Classical back in November, but things turned sour after that. The Mustangs finds themselves on a miserable 10-game skid, and are just 1-10 on the season.
The Mustangs dropped a tough matchup to the 7-4 Meeker Cowboys on Jan. 5, 51-25, to start the New Year.
And they’re yet to bounce back.
They fell to the 10-0 juggernaut Vail Christian team 44-29 on Jan. 6, lost to the 4-8 Summit Tigers 45-36, and tumbled against the 7-2 North Park Wildcats 65-33.
Up next is a home game against the 4-4 Plateau Valley Cowboys, who are averaging more then 10-points-per-game better than the Mustangs. More concerning is the fact that West Grand is averaging a 13-point deficit per game.
After the Cowboys the Mustangs will have a chance to do some damage to weak conference opponents.
They take on the winless Caprock Academy Eagles at home on Jan. 26, before going on the road against the 2-9 Hayden Tigers on Jan. 27.
West Grand Boys
The Mustangs started the year on a three game losing streak, dropping a game 58-30 against the 7-3 Meeker Cowboys, 61-51 to the Vail Christian Saints, and 60-37 to the Summit Tigers. West Grand was able to snap the skid last week, however, with a convincing 59-41 win over a decent 3-5 North Park team on Jan. 13. The win brought the squad to 4-6 on the year, and gave them their first league victory.
West Grand will head to Vail for an important matchup against conference opponent Vail Mountain on Jan. 19. The 4-6 Gore Rangers should prove a good test for the Mustangs, as the teams are relatively evenly matches statistically. Vail Mountain boasts a better offense scoring over 50-points-per-game compared to just 44 for the Mustangs, but give up more points, 55-per-game compared to 51. Meanwhile West Grand has been good on the road this season with a 3-1 away record, and Vail Mountain is undefeated at home, 2-0.
The Mustangs get the 4-3 Plateau Valley Cowboys at home on Jan. 20, and a favorable matchup against the winless Caprock Academy Eagles on Jan. 26.
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