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Rams gearing up for a strong season in Cdale

New Roaring Fork girls basketball coach Jade Bath is very familiar with her team and what she expects out of them in the upcoming season. Though this is her first year seated in the head coach’s chair, Bath has been with the program as an assistant since this year’s group of seniors entered high school as freshmen.

“Myself and all of the assistant coaches have been here since these girls started in the program four years ago,” stated Bath. “They know what to expect from us as coaches, and we know what they are capable of as players.”

The Lady Rams, with all five starters back from a year ago, will look to make a big jump up the 3A Western Slope League ladder, after garnering just four conference wins during the 2015-2016 campaign.

“Being a top four team in the league is one of our goals, and I think these girls certainly can achieve that,” said Bath, who is a former Ram basketball player and graduate of Roaring Fork High School. “Grand Valley and Olathe are probably the league favorites, but it’s really pretty much wide open. We have the capability to play with those teams.”

Among the five senior starters for Roaring Fork, point guard Ashley Hall and post player Cindy Salinas could be the keys to the Rams upward mobility this season. Hall will direct the Ram offensive attack from the perimeter, and Salinas, one of the top players in the WSL, will need to control things near the basket on both ends of the court in order for Roaring Fork to get more marks in the win column this season.

Bath and her charges are ready and chomping at the bit to turn up the lights and commence with the new season. The Rams will take to the court on Friday, Dec. 2, as they play host to the Steamboat Sailors in the annual Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale.

Roaring Fork boys

Veteran boys coach Larry Williams always seems to put a competitive team on the floor in Carbondale, and this year will be no exception.

Williams, in his ninth season guiding the Rams, doesn’t hesitate to move all of his chips to the center of the table when talking about what his team will be betting on this year.

“As always, we try to base our success on our defense,” said Williams, who also had a successful stint as the Roaring Fork girls coach in the mid 1990s and early 2000s.

The ultra-quick Rams will play good defense under Williams, that is a given. With Roaring Fork’s team speed a definite strength, look for the pace of offensive play to keep the fans at RFHS on the edge of their seats also.

“A big key for us will be to run the fast break, but to also recognize when we don’t have the numbers in our favor, and to set things up and run the offense,” said Williams.

The Rams are coming off a 7-7 league mark in the WSL last year and a trip to regionals where they lost in the first round to the Denver Science and Tech School. With experienced senior guards Aldo Pinela and Jassiel Petatan running the show, look for Roaring Fork to have a good chance to improve on their .500 conference showing in 2015-2016.

As is the case with the girls team, the Ram boys will open the season on Friday, Dec. 2, against the Steamboat Sailors.

The next afternoon, Dec. 3, both Roaring Fork squads will take on the Rifle Bears in the Brenda Patch Tourney in Carbondale.