Balance on offense, defense lifts Roaring Fork
CARBONDALE — Employing an unselfish offensive philosophy and a tenacious half-court defense which led to multiple steals, the Roaring Fork High boys basketball team was able to race past Vail Christian on Friday night, 55-42.
The Rams actually came out of the gates a bit slowly to start the game and found themselves looking up at a 4-0 deficit. But when senior Raul Leyva scored on an inside bank shot off a feed from Ben Carpenter, followed by a Ray Acuna score in the paint and a long Carpenter 3-pointer, the home team had started a 15-0 run that lasted until the 5-minute, 47-second mark of the second quarter when Vail Christian’s Daniel Caballero hit a twisting layup to make the count 15-6 in favor of Roaring Fork.
Vail Christian did make things interesting for a time in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 16-10. A steal and layup by Ram sophomore Aldo Pinela gave Roaring Fork some breathing room at 18-10. Pinela’s theft was followed by another Carpenter 3-pointer, and then it was Pinela’s turn again as he lofted a deep 3-ball of his own that found the nylon, giving his team a comfortable 30-12 lead at intermission.
Roaring Fork’s first possession of the third stanza typified the ball movement the Rams exhibited on the offensive end all night as first Leyva, then Pinela, and Acuna all touched the ball on a fast break before Leyva got the ball back again and finished the play with a short, inside bank shot. When Carpenter went flashing down the lane and gave a nifty assist to senior post player Adrian Chavez for a layup, the Rams’ lead had increased to 36-17.
Vail Christian’s Ethan Pence hit two fourth-quarter 3-pointers to give his team a boost, but the swarming Ram defense had taken its toll on the visitors from Vail, and a big comeback was not in the cards.
Veteran Roaring Fork coach Larry Williams was happy with his team’s outing, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’ve really stressed defense this year. We will have to create a lot of offense off of our defense,” the Ram mentor said.
Williams also wanted to talk about his all-around hustler, Raul Leyva.
“Raul always does a great job for us. He works his tail off all the time. That’s why he is one of our captains along with Ben Carpenter,” Williams said.
Leyva pointed to his team’s defense also as a focal point of the season.
“It starts with our defense. Hopefully, we will play that well each night,” Leyva said.
Roaring Fork, now 2-1 on the season, featured a balanced scoring attack with Pinela scoring 12 points, Leyva 11, Carpenter 10 and Acuna and Chavez chipping in with nine and eight points, respectively. Vail Christian was led by Daniel Caballero with 11 points.
GIRLS: Roaring Fork 41, Vail Christian 34.
CARBONDALE — Roaring Fork senior post Lindsay Hansen scored two late field goals inside, and Vail Christian failed to convert on several fourth-quarter free throws as the ladies of Roaring Fork grabbed their first win of the season.
“We got all the shots we wanted tonight,” first-year Ram coach Chris Hall said. “We just need to do a better job of putting them in.”
The Ram leaders were Emily Fisher with 16 points, Hansen with 10, Lily Ramos with eight points and Ashley Hall, who delivered eight assists.
Vail Christian was led by Jessie Raitt with 12 points and Jessie Hartley with 11.
Both Roaring Fork teams will travel to Cedaredge for games on Saturday.
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In an eerily quiet Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the masked Glenwood Springs Demons hosted the Basalt Longhorns Tuesday to kick off the Covid-shortened 2021 high school basketball season.