Steamboat Springs As Rangely prepares to do battle with Steamboat's girls basketball team today at 4:30 p.m., the Panthers will be out to stop seniors Natalie Muth and Brienna Combs, said head coach Kurt Douglas.
"I know that Steamboat's a really good team," said Douglas, who leads his 1-2 Panthers into the Sailors' gymnasium. "They have two really, really good players Muth and Combs. I don't think we can stop either one, but we're going to have to slow them down."
Combs, who averages 13 points per game, scored 19 against Glenwood Springs in last weekend's double-overtime loss to the Demons.
Muth, meanwhile, put up 18 points against West Grand during a 51-47 victory.
But Steamboat coach Bruce Alston says Rangely will have to concoct a better game plan than simply focusing on its two big guns.
Junior Emily Hines has 14 points through two games and senior Ashley Rogers has 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Janike Combs, a sophomore starter, averages five points per game.
Rangely, which defeated Grand Valley 39-36, is 1-2 on the season. The team has losses to Green River, Wyo., and to Rifle.
Rangely was defeated by Rifle 60-21.
Candice Brown, who plays guard for the Panthers, is the only senior on the ball club. She is joined in the starting lineup by juniors Rylee Miller, Sara Peacock, Casi Wright and Arianne Morrison.
Peacock and Wright are the team's forwards and Miller plays guard. Morrison, who is 6-foot-1, is the Panthers' center.
Even though Rangely competes in the 3A classification, Alston says Douglas will have his team fired up as it makes the road trip to Steamboat.
The key for Steamboat in shutting down Rangely, Alston said, is to crash the offensive and defensive boards and to reduce making turnovers.
The team also must better its free-throw percentage, which was costly for the team during its 49-48 loss to Glenwood Springs.
Despite the close loss to the Demons during the Roaring Fork Tourney, Alston said that his players have bounced back and are prepared to take down the Panthers. The coach expects to play a number of sophomores and juniors during the game, he said.
"We're going to go out and have a good time and hopefully come out with a win," Alston said.
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