West Grand girls drop close game to Soroco
Special to the Sky-Hi News
Kremmling CO Colorado
KREMMLING – Winter sports action is in full swing for high school athletics as January draws to a close. The West Grand girls basketball team dropped a pair of games, the boys basketball team swept its two games in thrilling fashion and Austin Faeth is leading the wrestling squad as it gets closer to the year-end competitions.
The varsity girls had an outstanding fourth quarter against Rangely, outscoring the Panthers 17-5 and narrowing the final margin to 59-46. “It took us too long to get into our rhythm with all the fouls called,” Coach Sara Mortensen said. “We finally pressed in the fourth quarter and made it a great finish. Now, if we could play like that for four quarters, we might get more wins. We have to decide to show up for the whole game.”
Kaitlyn Adams played very well and aggressively, Coach Mortensen said. Adams led with 12 points, Hannah Howell came off the bench strong in the second half, in which she scored all of her 10 points and Chyenne Sims contributed with eight points.
On Saturday, the Lady Mustangs just couldn’t make the plays it needed down the stretch and they lost to Soroco, 42-40. “We played a tight game, the entire game and had over eight chances in the last two minutes to pull ahead,” Mortensen said. “We just couldn’t capitalize on the great defense that the girls played.
“Again, turnovers cost us the game. When the girls learn to control the ball and take care of it on offense, we will be playing and ending these games a whole lot differently,” Coach Mortensen added.
“Sims led with 13 points and played excellent on defense. Howell pitched in with another 10 points and showed us some very aggressive playing time. It is good to see these seniors stepping up and putting the ball in the basket,” Mortensen said.
Adams had some great steals, Mortensen said, and ended up with seven points. Kira Stone also played great defense and ended up with five points. “Although Courtney Matney only had three points,” Mortensen said, “she played very tough defense and was a strong key player all four quarters. It was a great game and the girls played hard.
In junior varsity action, the Lady Mustangs defeated Rangely, 44-25, and lost by two points to Soroco. Against Rangely, Bailey Amundson led with 11 points, Kayla Tanton and Sky LePage contributed with six points, Anna Cunico scored five points and Matney and Payton Coleman chipped in with four points apiece.
In the Soroco game, the junior varsity outscored Soroco in the fourth quarter, 13-6, and were led by Matney with five points, Bailey Monnahan with four points from the free throw line and Sarah Vance and Sky LePage, who both added four baskets.
The girls host Vail Christian on Friday night and travel to Plateau Valley on Saturday for two important league games.
The boys played two close games and came away with nail-biting wins against Rangely, 38-33, and Soroco in overtime, 52-51.
In a home contest on Friday night against the Panthers from Rangely, the Mustangs dug an early hole for themselves and trailed, 21-13, at halftime. It was fairly apparent that Rangely couldn’t run away with the game, but it was one of those nights when every break seemed to go against the Mustangs. Surefire shots would rim out and every whistle served as a harbinger of more bad news for West Grand.
In the second half, Coach Leo Pesch’s charges started to slowly eat away at the lead, cutting it to a deficit of five points by the end of the third quarter and finally gaining the advantage, 30-29, when Zach Ahrens scored off of an offensive rebounding. In the decisive fourth quarter, in which West Grand outscored the Panthers, 15-5, the timely rebounding and tough defense of Ahrens, Hunter Gasvoda and Travis Gore proved to be decisive factors.
Travis Gore led the team in scoring with 16 points and in rebounds with 18. Ahrens and Gore led the team in steals with three apiece while Travis Gore had three assists to lead the team in that category.
Other key contributions came from Casey Gore, who had to fill in for part of the game at point guard for Nick Ritschard, who was battling an illness and from Leo Pesch who made a key basket at the end of the game to give the Mustangs a safer cushion.
The tables were turned a bit on Saturday, when West Grand held the early lead and then saw Soroco come back and tie the game in the fourth quarter and send the contest into overtime. The Mustangs showed character, however, and earned a hard fought victory to extend the team’s winning streak to seven games.
Travis Gore led with 20 points, while Gasvodo and Casey Gore scored eight points apiece and Ritschard added six to the winning effort. Gore snared 20 rebounds while Gasvoda grabbed eight caroms. Casey Gore and Ritschard led the team in steals with five apiece and Pesch led the team in assists with three.
The boys will host Vail Christian on Friday night and travel to Plateau Valley on Saturday for two important games that will help determine seeding for the district tournament.
Coach Jeff Matney has six wrestlers this season and his charges have been getting increasingly competitive as the season winds toward the regional tournament in Palisade on February 10-11. The team is led by seniors Landon Schneider (138 lbs.), Max Wall (132 lbs.) and Michael Lengel (120 lbs.). Faeth wrestles at 126 lbs. and he is joined by fellow sophomore Daniel Terwilliger at 120 lbs. The squad is rounded out by Cole Tracy at 113 lbs.
Faeth has had the most consistent results, Coach Matney said, and has placed in every tournament this season. All of the grapplers have gotten better this season and Matney hopes they remain healthy for the last few weeks of the season.
The team travels to Center this Saturday for a tournament.
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