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February 22, 2012
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Bears roll in district tourney opener

Chante Church led a balanced effort as Rifle's girls basketball team opened the 3A Western Slope League district tournament with a 53-32 win over visiting Hotchkiss on Tuesday.

Ashley Rickstrew and Joey Kuheim added 12 points apiece for the Bears, who improved to 17-3 overall. They will face Grand Valley at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals at Palisade High School.

The Bulldogs hung around for much of the night, but Rifle charged out of the gate in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

"We made a big run," Bears coach Stephanie Heald said. "We got up by about 20 points finally. It's something we needed."

The Bears have struggled on offense of late, so Tuesday's fourth-quarter awakening was a sight for Heald's sore eyes.

"I'm OK with how we've been playing defense, but offensively we've been rushing a lot of shots," she said. "Our shooting has to get better."

It didn't take long for Rifle's boys basketball team to put Monday's 3A Western Slope League district tournament play-in game out of Basalt's reach.

Rocketing out to a 42-14 lead by halftime, the Bears downed the winless Longhorns, 86-31.

"We came out pretty good," Rifle coach Chris Lowther said. "We took care of it. We were able to rest some boys after that."

Tanner Quick led a balanced Bears' attack with 14 points. Trenton Brown added 11 points, Adam Rice 10, Tanner Rust 10, Jacob Withee eight and Parker Peterson seven. Eleven different Rifle players scored points.

Rifle visited Olathe for Wednesday's district quarterfinals.

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 22, 2012 10:26PM Published Feb 22, 2012 10:25PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.