Bullpups bring home trophies

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The Craig Middle School boys basketball teams had a successful showing Saturday at the district tournament in Meeker.

The eighth-graders claimed the championship by beating the Meeker Cowboys, 32-31, in the first round and then in the title game the Bullpups edged the Rangely Panthers, 37-34.

"The players gave me a few gray hairs this weekend with both the games being close," said eighth-grade coach Norm Yoast. "It was the first time in five games that this group has beaten Rangely going back to when they were seventh-graders. They were really pleased with the win."

The seventh-graders bid for a title came up short. The Bullpups beat Meeker by three points to advance to the championship game against the Rangely Panthers. In the title game Rangely ran past the Bullpups to end the season.

"The Meeker game was rough and it was a close game all the way," said senventh-grade coach Lori Dodge. "In the second half they did things much better. Against Rangely we were a little tired and the Panthers beat us by a lot of points.

"Even when Rangely was way ahead they never gave up. We only had four losses during the season and the players should have nothing to be ashamed of."

In the eighth-grade championship game Kyle Eitel and Anthony Loughran both finished with 14 points.

Cody Palmer and Aaron Sanchez chipped in with five points.

"In the championship game the kids played outstanding," said Yoast. "We played really good defense and they dominated the rebounds. It was just an overall good team effort."

For the eighth-graders, against the Cowboys, Loughran poured in 16 points and Aaron Sanchez finished with eight points.

"Meeker is much improved and we didn't play a very good game," said Yoast. "We got out-rebounded and we didn't run the court like we normally do. We had chances to dominate Meeker like we did before but we didn't capitalize on them."

The eighth-graders A team finished the season with a 9-2 record, the B team was 4-6 and the C team was 2-2.

"If the guys get some time in open gym this summer and go to a couple of camps they will be ready to play high school basketball," said Yoast. "This group was a fun group to work with.

"They were always energetic at practice and they did what you asked them to do.

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