Roaring Fork girls charge past Aspen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Megan Gianinetti’s words were telling.
“We’re getting better,” the Roaring Fork junior said in the wake of Friday’s 50-29 girls basketball win over visiting Aspen.
Gianinetti and the Rams have every reason to be content with where they’re at right now. After winning just two games last season and none the season before, Roaring Fork is 9-7 overall and 8-2 in the 3A Western Slope League. Those marks are good for third place in the conference standings.
But Gianinetti’s words suggest there is more work to be done, that the Rams want more. And, on Friday, they looked like a group that’s capable of some pretty big things.
Behind 23 points and 11 rebounds from Gianinetti, 14 points from Kaleigh Wisroth and a stifling defense, Roaring Fork took down the Skiers in lopsided fashion.
The Rams jumped out to an 8-0 lead before weathering an Aspen charge late in the first quarter. The Skiers cut it to 12-8 at frame’s end.
A short shot by Savannah Johnson 1 minute, 17 seconds into the second cut it to 12-10, but Roaring Fork didn’t surrender another basket in the frame. The host squad scored the first half’s final 16 points to take a 28-10 advantage into intermission.
It didn’t get any better for the Skiers in the second half, whose biggest deficit was 29 points.
“I think we started working within the parameters of our defense,” Gianinetti said. “We kind of had a plan going into it. We stayed within that. Our turnovers were down, and everybody had a good game.”
Megan’s twin sister, Hattie, finished with seven points for the Rams, who travel to face Basalt today at 2:30 p.m.
“The kids are getting it figured out,” Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney said. “They’re understanding the scheme of basketball now. They’re understanding that they don’t have to do it on their own. They’ve got four other people out there with them. When we utilize everybody, good things happen.”
Anna Stevens led the Skiers (8-9 overall, 5-6 in the 3A WSL) with eight points. Bailey Everhart and Olivia Porcaro finished with six points apiece. Everhart grabbed nine rebounds.
Larry Williams couldn’t veil his disgust, and rightfully so.
The Roaring Fork boys basketball coach watched his team get outworked in virtually every phase of the game in Friday’s 44-35 loss to Aspen.
“Aspen stepped it up and we didn’t answer the call,” Williams lamented. “They outworked us tonight. They out-executed us and outsmarted us. In every phase of the game, they took it to us the last three quarters.”
The coach pretty much summed up the night right there.
The Rams were rolling early on, going up 5-0 on a 3-pointer and short jumper by Sam Carpenter. They never trailed in that opening quarter, benefiting from an uncharacteristically clumsy Aspen squad that regularly turned the ball over.
At quarter’s end, Roaring Fork owned a 17-11 lead.
But the Skiers put their struggles behind them in a big way in the second quarter, limiting the Rams to just two points in taking a 20-19 halftime lead.
Aspen surrendered just six points in the third to go up 28-25 entering the fourth.
The Skiers iced the win at the foul line down the stretch, hitting at a 6-for-8 clip on freebies in the final minute.
“I was scared to death after the first quarter,” Aspen coach Steve Ketchum said. “They were hitting and we were turning it over. We looked nervous. We felt like we had jitters.”
Once those jitters dissipated, the Skiers came alive.
“It took us a quarter to settle down, and the next three quarters we played great, lockdown defense,” Ketchum said. “I was so proud of the defense. It was phenomenal.”
Big man Austin Roark’s 16 points paced first-place Aspen, which improved to 13-4 overall and 10-1 in the 3A WSL. James Powell added 10 points, a total that included a trio of 3-pointers. Clayton Crawford finished with eight points and Jake Nugent scored six.
The Skiers were without their speedy, sharp-shooting guard, Quinn Morehead, who is battling illness.
Dakotah Grett led the Rams (10-6, 7-3) with 14 points. Trae Moxley ended his night with 12 points.
“I’ve been hoping all year we’ll do the little things, like block out on defense and get offensive boards,” Williams said. “We haven’t done it yet. If they’re not going to do it against Aspen with an opportunity to win the league, I don’t know if they’ll ever do it.”
Roaring Fork visits Basalt today at 4 p.m.
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