Giacomo LaLonga challenges a shot by Mitchell Schwab of Cody on Feb. 11 in Meeteetse. (Photo by Angie Erickson)

The Meeteetse boys basketball team didn’t shy away from their mid-week challengers, but fell in a pair of games against the other Park County schools’ JV squads.

Powell JV 51, Meeteetse 39

Meeteetse came out strong in its season rematch Tuesday with the Powell JV, but fell 51-39. The Longhorns (3-12, 2-2 1A Northwest) ran up an 18-13 lead in the opening quarter. It wouldn’t last though, as the Longhorn shooters couldn’t find the bottom of the net, though defensively they did everything they could to stay in the game.

The Longhorns held the Panthers to just 11 points in the second quarter, but lost some of their fight out of the halftime break and the Panthers took advantage.

“What hurt us was the third quarter,” coach Zeb Hagen said. “We came out flat, we lost that competitiveness we had in the first half. That ultimately is what got us.”

Senior Dale McBride scored 26 points in the loss. Junior Mickle Ogden filled in down low for an injured Dace Bennett, grabbing rebounds and finding buckets. Ogden scored the second-most points for the Longhorns with five.

Cody JV 55, Meeteetse 53

In the second rematch of the week, Meeteetse welcomed the Cody JV to town for a game that came down to the wire. The Longhorns came back from being down a dozen points in the final frame, but a couple of key foul shots at the end iced the game for Cody.

Cody sophomore Kamden Niemann and McBride battled all night last Thursday, with Niemann going 6-for-7 from 3-point range en route to a 34-point night and McBride collecting a 28 point, 10-rebound double-double from a variety of places around the court, his third double-double of the year.

McBride has been on a tear lately, averaging 23.6 points per game over the last six contests, nearly eight points per game higher than his season average.

Freshman Ethan Salzman got the start for Bennett and fellow freshman Joe Piña saw increased time on the court filling in for the junior.

“I’m nervous before every game, but I was a little more nervous than usual for this one,” Salzman said. “I think the team really helped me out and pumped me up before the game.”

Hagen said he expected Bennett to be available for the conference matchups against Burlington and Dubois this weekend.

“I knew he wanted to play against Cody,” Hagen said. “He wanted to play against Powell too. I had to force him to not play. We got into it a little bit there with that. He’s competitive, but it wasn’t worth it for a game that doesn’t matter in the conference standings.”

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