3A State, a new season for Rams
One more season.
That’s how Roaring Fork High School senior Dan Markoya and his teammates approach this weekend’s Class 3A boys basketball tournament, to be held at Colorado State University’s Moby Arena in Fort Collins.
“Coach (Roger) Walters broke up each set of games we’ve played this year like a separate season,” Markoya said. “First it was the regular season, then districts and then the regional tournament.
“Now we’re looking at state as another three-game season coming up.”
The coach’s method has produced an undefeated record so far for the 24-0 Rams, who open the 3A boys state tournament at 10:15 a.m. Thursday morning against 19-5 Estes Park.
Part of the basketball team’s success, Markoya said, is due to the success they had last fall with the school’s football team, which made the state quarter finals.
“We had a pretty good football season and we got used to winning,” said Markoya. “We just worked off that.”
Due to the Rams positive mind-set, the wins just kept on adding up.
“Have to play really good defense”
In becoming only one of two 3A boys teams to take undefeated records into this weekend’s “Great 8”, Roaring Fork blitzed its way to league, district and regional titles.
At last weekend’s regional tournament in Carbondale, the Rams breezed to wins over Salida and Denver Christian, advancing to the state quarterfinals.
Markoya played a pivotal role in both victories, scoring 27 points against Salida, followed by a 22-point effort in the Denver Christian game.
But that season’s over, according to Markoya.
And, while he and the Rams are starting a new campaign, Roaring Fork is not taking the Patriot League Bobcats lightly.
“They have a balanced scoring attack and they have some players that can shoot,” Markoya said. “So our No. 1 thing is that we have to play really good defense.”
Markoya’s 20-point per-game average ranks him among the state’s top 10 in 3A in scoring.
Roaring Fork’s other main offensive weapons are Nic Lough, Aaron Markham and Jake Boyle.
Estes Park has three players who rack double figures regularly. Brian Hansen leads the Bobcats with a 13.8 per-game scoring average. Hansen is complemented by brothers Luke and David Letdtke, who hit for 11.7 and 10.9 points, respectively.
Markoya stopped short of predicting how the Rams will fare in their attempt of bringing a boys state championship to Carbondale.
“We’re going to play some basketball and if we do what we do, we should do well.” he said.
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