Broncos bust RFHS again |

Broncos bust RFHS again

FORT COLLINS ” In the quarterfinals of any state tournament it’s often the little things that swing a game.

The Roaring Fork girls basketball team led for more than three quarters of Thursday’s “Great 8” Class 3A state tournament contest against Platte Valley, but the Broncos took advantage of some missed Roaring Fork free throws and layups to rally for a 64-61 victory.

“We didn’t convert some layups when we needed to and didn’t convert our free throws,” Roaring Fork head coach Jacky Gaddis said. “(Platte Valley) is a pretty seasoned team and they came back hard.

“When you’re at a place like this, here at (Colorado State University), with so much excitement, I’ve got to give the girls credit,” she added. “We’ve got one senior but the rest are all sophomores and juniors. It’s their first chance at anything like this and to play so well and so close. I’m proud of them.”

It was the second time in as many years the Broncos (24-2) handed Roaring Fork (22-3) a postseason loss. Last year Platte Valley eliminated Roaring Fork in the regional round, downing the Rams by six points.

“I think we missed six or seven free throws in the fourth quarter and we didn’t shoot free throws well against them last year either,” Gaddis said.

As a team, the Rams were 12-of-23 from the charity stripe ” well below the their 67 percent season average ” while the Broncos hit 8-of-11 shots.

“Those critical things make a difference at state tournament games,” Gaddis said. “They converted their free throws and we didn’t.”

The Rams got off to a solid start with a 30-21 lead heading into halftime. In the third quarter the Broncos started their rally. Platte Valley cut the lead to five points heading into the fourth frame and outscored the Rams 25-17 in the final stanza.

“It wasn’t like we let up when the charge came, we just didn’t answer it,” Gaddis said.

Stevie Hagemeister paced the Broncos with a game-high 18 points and Kim Naibauer added 10.

Megan Zeigel was the high scorer for Roaring Fork with 15 points, while Whitney Campbell and Tarn Udall added 13 and 12, respectively.

Platte Valley advances to face Kent Denver, which downed Basalt 38-33, in the semifinal round today at 7 p.m.

Roaring Fork takes on rival Basalt for the fourth time this season in the consolation semis today at 11:45 a.m., and Gaddis expects the crowd to be even bigger than Thursday.

“Everybody warned me that at 8:45 a.m. (Thursday) there would be no fans, but it was unbelievable how many fans we had at our game.”

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