Bears hoops teams dismantle Rams |

Bears hoops teams dismantle Rams

Baron Zahuranec
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

Carbondale, Colorado”The boys and girls basketball teams from Rifle have their seasons off to a good start. They are both 2-0 as the girls routed the Rams 62-18 on Saturday at the Brenda Patch Tournament at Roaring Fork High School, the boys beat the Roaring Fork Rams 61-46.

Defense led the way for the Rifle Bears girls in their win over Roaring Fork.

Bears head coach Stephanie Heald knew her girls shut the Rams down but didn’t realize they only gave up eight points in the first quarter, and 10 for the rest of the game.

“Our quickness at the beginning and getting into the passing lanes really helped us,” Heald said. “Whether we were in full or half-court (defense), the girls were seeing what was coming around.”

Rifle opened a 12-8 lead after one, and were up 29-13 at halftime. The Rams couldn’t find their offensive stroke in the second half, only netting five total points, while the Bears scored 33 points.

“We’re young still,” Rams head coach Nancy Zeigel said. “For a lot of them, this is only their second varsity game. Our defense always kept at it, but on offense we weren’t moving enough.”

The Rams only have two seniors on the team, and Kathy Vega is out with a broken arm so that leaves just one in Maria Flores.

“We were just being tentative,” Zeigel added.

The Bears, though, seemed to be firing on all cylinders. They were moving on defense and staying big, Heald said.

Makayla Wilkins led an even scoring barrage from the Bears with 10 points, Cortney Cordova and Sandy Samson each had nine, and Kelsey Pyle and Quincey Snyder each had eight points.

“We started out slow but picked it up,” Snyder said. “I think we started with a full man press and that got them frustrated. We backed off to half-court and weren’t getting the same results, but we went back to full and got a lot of points off of it.”

In the second quarter the Bears put on a 10-point run and in the third went on a 16-point run to really open the game up for them. They made sure to convert the Rams turnovers into easy fastbreak points.

“They had composed shots on the break,” Heald said of her team. “We made shots that we were supposed to make. It’s about time.”

The late boys game started out well enough for the Rams when they had a 10-10 tie going into the second quarter. But, from there on out the Rams couldn’t keep pace with the Bears.

For the second night in a row, Tyler Rust led Rifle in scoring with 20 points, Irving Gomez had 11, and Eric Laudick had eight points.

“We talked about it last night, the rebounding,” Bears head coach Chris Lowther said. “We did a much better job on the boards but will still have some work.”

The Bears had some trouble adjusting to the Rams trap early in the first quarter, but they were able to figure that out and took advantage of the double teams thrown at them. That’s how they were able to stretch the lead, Lowther said.

“Our rebounding was definitely better,” Bears forward Jacob Massey said. “We improved 100-fold. It was a whole team effort for us out there tonight, inside we were good, outside we were good.”

Rifle opened a 27-15 halftime lead, and moved that out to a 47-26 lead at the end of three quarters.

“When we tried to start a run, turnovers would catch up to us and snowball,” Rams head coach Larry Williams said. “They were able to convert our mistakes and we couldn’t get back over the hump.”

While they still had a lot of turnovers, the Rams made an improvement over the previous night’s loss to Steamboat Springs.

“We cut the turnovers and were more aggressive with the ball,” Williams said.

“Overall, we showed more hustle and the kids really left it on the court.”

“I think it ultimately came down to the turnovers,” the Rams Ryan Weimer said. “You can’t win a game with over 20 turnovers.”

Weimer led the Rams with 21 points and Jon Araujo and Michael Black each had six points.

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