Bears primed for big year on hardwood
With a large amount of talent returning to Rifle High School, the boys and girls basketball teams should be primed for big years in the 4A Western Slope League in 2015-16.
For the Bears boys basketball team, with senior guards Avery Lujan and Luis Carreon, along with skilled two-way junior forward Jacob Boone, the talent is available and maturing quickly for fourth year head coach, Roger Walters.
“We had a really good summer of work,” Walters said in regards to this year’s version of the Bears. “We played quite a few games that allowed the kids to put in a lot of time and effort into getting better.”
Thanks to plenty of size, speed and shooting, the Bears will be a tough matchup for everyone they play, especially on defense where Walters’ physical zone defense will give traditional offenses fits.
The biggest strength for the Bears will be the defense, but don’t count out an offense that can turn stops into points faster than most teams in the region thanks to a balance of outside shooting, size inside and smart guard play from Lujan and Carreon, as well as reserve guard Blaine Vance.
While the talk in Rifle might be about the Bears’ boys team under Walters, the girls basketball team under Kristy Wallner will likely compete for a league title thanks to sophomore guards Elly Walters and Jessie Pressler, as well as junior forward Samantha Hinkle, providing the Bears with a deadly inside-outside combination.
In fact, this past summer Hinkle, Pressler and Walters played AAU basketball, which should help them reach another level this year playing in the Western Slope League.
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Rifle police are investigating a one-vehicle crash that killed a pedestrian Wednesday morning.