A 26-point fourth quarter and a game-high 25 points by Josiah Spano helped give Paonia a 66-59 come-from-behind win Friday against Rangely.
Tracy Sturgis photo Guard Josiah Spano outpaces Connor Phelan of Rangely in Paonia’s win Friday over the Panthers. Spano scored a game-high 25 points in the win.Paonia was down by as many as 10 points, and trailed by six at the end of the first period following six unanswered points by the Panthers. The Eagles started picking up momentum in the second period after trailing 16-24 with 3:55 remaining in the half.
Rangely's Cameron Enterline, who scored a team-high 18 points, returned from a time out to score a quick two and put the Panthers ahead by 10.
Spano scored two from the free throw line, then was fouled on a scoring drive, allowing another point from the line and bringing Paonia to within five. Spano made another field goal, and Jason Sturgis followed with two more Eagle points to trail 25-28 at the half.
Ben Linnell scored nine of his 15 game points in the third, but Paonia still trailed, 40-44, going into the final period.
Paonia took advantage of Panther fouls to score 8-12 from the line in the fourth. Lane Clawson dominated the board in the final moments of the game, making key rebounds and keeping the ball out of Rangely's possession. Taylor Walters sank two clutch free throws to tie the score at 57-57 with just under a minute and a half remaining.
Rangely's Chas Byerly scored from the paint to give the Panthers the lead, and Spano answered with another field goal.
Rangely's Andrew Morton drew a foul down low, but missed his shot from the line.
Taylor Katzer sank a three to give Paonia its first lead. With 32 seconds remaining, Katzer was fouled and went to the line, hitting his first shot and missing the second. Clawson grabbed the rebound and took it to the net for a 65-59 lead.
Linnell scored 15 for the Eagles, and Katzer added 10. The Eagles were 13-20 from the line, with Walters shooting 4-4; Spano was 4-5 from the line and sank three, three-pointers.
The Eagles didn't fare so well Saturday at Meeker, suffering a 49-62 loss. Three Meeker players combined for 45 points.
The Eagles open Western Slope conference play this Friday at Soroco (3-4 overall, 0-1 WSL), then host Hayden (6-2, 1-0) Saturday at 4 p.m. The Tigers are coming off of a 39-point win over Vail Mountain and a 38-point win over West Grand.