CARBONDALE — So how’s it going, Dwayne Yin?
“Things are good,” the Roaring Fork High School senior post player said following the Rams’ 52-30 win over Basalt on Thursday. “Now, if we win on Saturday and make the regional, I’ll be great.”
Roaring Fork (10-11 overall) has that chance thanks to its victory in the consolation round of the Class 3A Western Slope League District Tournament. The Rams can clinch the tournament’s fifth and final 3A regional berth with a victory in the tournament’s fifth-place game, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Palisade High School.
The Rams will play Gunnison (7-14), a 67-53 winner over Cedaredge on another Thursday consolation game.
Yin and Jack Fisher each finished with a game-high 12 points to pace the Rams’ balanced scoring. Ben Jenkins and Timmy Nielsen each chipped in 10 points as Roaring Fork never really let up after taking a 32-9 halftime lead.
“Maybe there was a little more effort since we knew it was a do-or-die situation for us,” Fisher said. “But we also knew that we’d play much better with us playing together as a team.”
Roaring Fork dropped into the tournament’s consolation bracket thanks to a 43-41 loss at Coal Ridge on Tuesday night.
Kris Krueger finished with a team-high eight points to go with a six-point effort from Michael Glen for the Longhorns (3-18), whose season ended with the loss. Still, Basalt showed glimpses of improvement, playing league champion Aspen to within single digits while winning three consecutive games — including a 44-25 win over Olathe in the tournament’s play-in game this past Monday — to make it into the district tournament.
And the Longhorns didn’t go down quietly. After the Rams took a 36-10 lead halfway through the third quarter off a jumper from Fisher, Basalt responded with a 12-4 run to pull within eight at 40-22 near the end of the third quarter. The Rams, however, buckled down on defense and pulled away with six unanswered points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Roaring Fork, which last season won the district tournament title and hosted a regional, is hoping they can again make the 3A bracket.
“One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to make it to a regional,” the 6-foot-3 senior Yin said.
“If we could make it to state, too, that would be great,” he continued. “But we’ve got to focus on Saturday’s game first.”