Coal Ridge boys in the mix for 3A league title, depending on how the chips fall
Road games at Roaring Fork, Moffat are must wins
The Coal Ridge High School boys basketball team finds itself in position to steal the 3A Western Slope League title this week, but they’ll need a little help to do it.
First order of business: the Titans, at 6-1 in league and 13-4 overall, have a pair of must-win road games to close out the regular season.
On Tuesday night, they face a surging Roaring Fork team in Carbondale that’s had a rough season at 5-12 overall but stands at 4-3 in league on the heels of a two-game winning streak — Friday over Cedaredge, 50-37, and Saturday versus Moffat County, 60-52.
After that, for the Titans, it’s on to Craig Thursday night against the Moffat County Bulldogs, which is the only league team to beat the current WSL leaders, the 7-1 Gunnison Cowboys — a 65-61 Moffat win Jan. 17.
Even with a pair of wins, Coal Ridge would need Delta (4-3, 7-10) to pull off the upset at Gunnison on Thursday for the Titans to retake the title they last won in the 2017-18 season.
It’s not out of the question. Delta has had a down season after winning the league title last year, but the Panthers did score a 79-75 overtime win at Moffat County on Feb. 7, and played Coal Ridge to within four points on Jan. 24. The Titans prevailed 59-55.
Gunnison has the upper hand should the Cowboys and Titans conclude with identical league marks, by virtue of a 73-66 win at Coal Ridge on Jan. 18. However, the current state RPI power rankings have Coal Ridge at No. 9 and Gunnison at No. 14.
Coal Ridge enters the final week of play before the post-season run begins averaging 64.3 points per game and 33.2 rebounds per game.
Senior Austin Gerber leads the team averaging 18.5 points, with an impressive 49% field goal percentage. He’s also pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game, in complement to junior Hank DiMarco’s 6.1 rebounds per game.
3A girls all about seeding
On the girls side of the league title hunt, Delta is in the driver’s seat at 7-0 (14-3 overall), followed by Cedaredge at 7-1 (15-3).
That pretty much leaves Roaring Fork at 5-2, Moffat County and Grand Valley at 5-3 each, and Coal Ridge at 4-3 to play their way into the other top-5 seedings going into next week’s District tournament.
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The 4A state softball playoffs ended for the Rifle Lady Bears Saturday with a pair of shutout losses to Elizabeth 10-0 and Roosevelt 8-0 in the regional round at Johnstown.