Rams top Devils
GYPSUM, Colorado – When in doubt, go to the big guy.
Roaring Fork and Eagle Valley boys basketball were meeting for the second time in a week Friday night in Gypsum, so it was no secret that the Devils were missing their big man, Zeth Ramsey.
So, down 32-28 in fourth quarter, the Rams went to their counterpart, sophomore Trae Moxley.
Moxley scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Roaring Fork (3-3) was able to pull away from Eagle Valley (3-5) for a 47-38 victory in the final game before the holiday break for both teams.
“That was the strategy, to go inside,” said Roaring Fork head coach Larry Williams. “We still have to work a lot on our execution. We executed when we had to, but not nearly where we have to be.”
And, alas, that is the lament of every basketball coach, regardless of classification, in the state of Colorado at this point of the season.
It was another tight loss for the Devils who are rebuilding under new head coach Brent McConaghy.
“We’re not used to being in those situations because of the past. It’s something we’ll learn,” he said. “We have been within five points in four of our last six games. The thing I like about high school or college ball is that it starts to count when you get into your conference. That’s what we’re looking at.”
Both teams return from the break with league games. Roaring Fork is at Olathe Jan. 7, while Eagle Valley is at Delta Jan. 4.
After Moxley had his first bucket of the fourth quarter, Dalton Handy tied it at 32 with a layup. Roaring Fork broke Eagle Valley’s press twice within a minute with easy baskets going to Moxley.
With 4:38 left in the game, the Rams’ Dakotah Grett dropped in a 3 for a 39-34 Roaring Fork lead.
Moxley capped an 11-2 run by the Rams with another inside bucket. Eagle Valley was slow to get the Rams to the foul line, and when the Devils did, they picked the wrong guy. Grett coolly sank four straight from the charity stripe to ice the game.
Grett ended with 10 points, while Handy had eight.
Tim Wells led the Devils with 14 points.
After practice, Eagle Valley’s Bri Roth doesn’t leave the gym until she’s hit 10 free throws.
“I practice after practice a lot,” Roth said. “I usually shoot 10 before I go home. Usually, I can get them.”
And for that she gets a gold star, as the senior knocked down 11-of-12 from the line Friday night as the Eagle Valley girls basketball squad topped visiting Roaring Fork, 54-43.
In fact, give all the Devils gold stars because they shot 70 percent from the line as a team.
“They’re contagious,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “One person starts making them, the whole team starts making them.”
The Devils evened their record at 3-3 by breaking Roaring Fork’s press successfully. From there, they pounded it into the paint and did a good job of getting to the line in both halves.
“We tried to pick them apart defensively,” Rams coach Justin Perdue said. “But they got it inside and got to the free-throw line. That was the difference in the game. We couldn’t make ours. They did. That’s the difference in the game.”
Roth had 13 points total, while center Kayla Gagnon topped Eagle Valley with 15. Eagle Valley guard Cori Cramer added 10. The Devils led comfortably 38-20 after three quarters, but the Rams (0-6) almost made a game of it in the fourth.
“It’s definitely good to see them keep fighting. Definitely, no quit,” Perdue said. “We had a good halftime talk. They just have to start out the game like that.”
Megan Gianinetti led Roaring Fork with 19 points.
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