3A WSL district hoops tourney starts Thursday
Post Independent sports editor
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Roaring Fork High School’s boys basketball team has had its best season in more than half a decade. It turns out it’s a season that might end as quickly as Thursday night.
Despite the Rams’ first Class 3A Western Slope League championship, the league handbook does not include a protection clause that would give a league champion an automatic berth in the Class 3A state tournament.
What that means is that if the Rams (15-1 overall) are beaten by the Coal Ridge Titans (4-15) in the first round of the Class 3A Western Slope League District Tournament on Thursday, the Titans will move into the tournament semifinals at Palisade High School on Friday. Meanwhile, the Rams would clean out their lockers after the season-ending loss.
“We agreed on it but, for some reason, it didn’t get into the handbook,” Williams said.
“It does put some pressure on us,” the coach continued. “But our primary focus all year has been getting better each game and each week while letting the results take care of themselves. We just have to do the little things right.”
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The Rams, who host the Titans at 7 p.m., won’t be the only ones focusing on the little things come Thursday. The fourth-seeded Roaring Fork girls will host Coal Ridge at 5:30 p.m. Thursday as part of a girls-boys postseason doubleheader.
Grand Valley’s boys and girls hoops team will also play Thursday, but at different sites. The Grand Valley girls (14-5) will host Cedaredge at 7 p.m. Thursday, while the Grand Valley boys will play at Basalt at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Winners from all district-tournament games will move into the tournament’s semifinals Friday at Palisade High School.
Williams, of course, feels his team can reach the tournament semis. The Rams’ inside-out play, led by senior post player Trae Moxley, has been a key force for Roaring Fork along with their guard play.
That helped the Rams win their first league championship since 2007, when Rifle coach Roger Walters was coaching the Rams. Roaring Fork, of course, had its sights set on its most recent accomplishment at the beginning of the season.
“I was sure hoping we could do this, but I never would have expected it,” Williams said. “All I was hoping for was for us to be in contention for a league title. Now we’d like to be in contention for something more.”
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Aspen Glen residents and other speakers at a public hearing lobbied the Garfield County commissioners to keep a protective buffer in place on about 25 acres of the golf club to protect wildlife. No decision was reached.