Roaring Fork’s bigs too much for Olathe |

Roaring Fork’s bigs too much for Olathe

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Trae Moxley, all 6-foot-5 of him, poses matchup problems for teams of all sizes. That’s because he’s built like a football player, which makes sense since that’s his fall sport.

Count Olathe among Moxley’s latest victims on the basketball court.

Pouring in a team-high 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds, Moxley and the Roaring Fork boys basketball team opened the 3A Western Slope League district tournament with a 64-50 win over the visiting Pirates.

“They couldn’t stop Trae,” Roaring Fork coach Larry Williams said. Then he grinned. “And he’s a sophomore.”

Moxley did all sorts of offensive damage in the paint, hauling in entry passes and converting easy layups or working the boards for putbacks. And he had help down low from fellow big man Jake Strack-Loertscher, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

When Moxley and Strack-Loertscher weren’t terrorizing the Pirates in the paint, the Rams’ guards were connecting from long range – particularly in the first half.

Roaring Fork drained six 3-pointers before the break, including four in a 20-point second quarter that turned a 16-14 lead after one into a 36-22 halftime advantage.

“When our guards shoot like that, then our posts, we’ll pick up the slack and get boards and get those easy shots,” Moxley said.

Olathe had no answer.

“We had a poor second quarter,” Pirates coach Lance Ready said. “We knew that it’d be real tough for us if they could shoot from the outside and their bigs played well. Their bigs are so tough to defend. They shot the ball really well in the first half.”

Dakotah Grett connected on three from beyond the arc to finish with nine points for the Rams, who improved to 13-7 overall. Clay Gross hit a pair of 3-pointers to finish with seven points. Dalton Handy also finished with seven points.

Richard Tafoya finished with 21 points for Olathe (8-12). Carston Byers added eight points and Ben Taylor finished with seven.

Next up for Roaring Fork is a semifinal date with Grand Valley at Palisade High School on Friday. Tipoff for that one is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.

Olathe will play host to Rifle in Thursday’s consolation semifinals.

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