Roaring Fork girls pull away from Coal Ridge in fourth for 3A district tourney win |

Roaring Fork girls pull away from Coal Ridge in fourth for 3A district tourney win

Kelley Cox Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Roaring Fork’s girls used their dominating size to overcome the hot outside shooting of Coal Ridge, as the Rams pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 54-40 3A Western Slope District basketball tournament win Thursday night.

The quarterfinal victory sends No. 4 Roaring Fork (12-8) to the tournament semifinals this afternoon against the top seed, Moffat County. Game time is 3 p.m. at Palisade High School.

The Rams opened an 11-2 lead early in Thursday’s game, before Coal Ridge stormed back with a 16-0 run to go up by seven.

Roaring Fork senior Shaeley Lough suffered a leg injury on an awkward fall while driving to the basket early in the second period, and wouldn’t return.

“That really changed things,” fellow Rams senior Hattie Gianinetti said after the game. “We really missed her, and we knew she wasn’t going to come back. But I think that made us all play a little harder.”

The Rams struggled to find their rhythm through the remainder of the half, and the Titans maintained a six-point lead at the break, 25-19.

From that point on, the Rams swarmed the Titans on defense and went on a 35-15 scoring tear through the final 16 minutes of play to oust tournament’s fifth seed.

“We couldn’t keep the momentum in the second half,” Coal Ridge coach Damon Martinez said. “Their zone defense was effective against us, and we didn’t attack the way we should have.”

Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney credited his team for regrouping after a tough first half, and after losing one of their floor leaders when Lough went down.

“To have success, we know we have to control the tempo, and Shaeley helped us do that at the beginning of the game,” Cheney said.

“Coal Ridge took advantage when we lost our tempo, and took us out of our game,” he said. “But we found a way to get it back in the second half.”

Megan Gianinetti paced the Rams with 21 points, followed by her twin sister, Hattie, with 13.

Coal Ridge, which closed out its season at 10-10, was led by junior Paige Ryan who had 15 points. Sophomore Mariela Martinez had 10 points for the Titans, including two 3-pointers.

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