Coal Ridge girls hold on; Rifle boys pull away from Titans
PEACH VALLEY — Coal Ridge High School’s girls basketball team left a window of opportunity open for the Rifle Bears on Tuesday night. Paige Ryan made sure to slam it shut.
The Titans senior scored a game-high 22 points, and her two foul shots following a dry spell at the line for Coal Ridge sealed a 47-40 nonleague victory against Rifle.
“I think our girls have done a great job every game in the second half,” Coal Ridge coach Damon Martinez said. “They just pick it up. Rifle had a great second quarter, so our girls had to pick it up.”
They certainly did, especially when the Titans (2-1 overall) were down 22-18 at halftime before taking the lead for good in the fourth quarter. And Ryan was the biggest part of that comeback, scoring 17 points in the second half of what turned out to be the program’s first victory over Rifle since the school opened in 2007.
“Oh yeah,” said the 5-foot-4 Ryan, who also pulled down 10 rebounds. “This definitely feels great.”
Mariela Martinez finished with 14 points — eight coming in the first quarter — and Brittany Young chipped in five points on 5-of-6 shooting from the foul line in the second half. In all, Coal Ridge finished 19 of 35 from the foul line, but there was a stretch in the final minute where the Titans’ misses from the charity stripe gave the Bears a chance to rally late.
The difference right now is us not being able to make the tough, disciplined plays,” first-year Rifle coach Kristy Wallner said. “I like our effort, and it’s getting to the point where our effort is getting consistent. Now we just need to be more disciplined.”
Chante Church scored 17 points with six rebounds to pace Rifle, but she was carried off the court following a knee injury with 3 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the game. It was unclear how severe the injury was, but Church was walking around with an ice pack on her right knee following the game.
A running jumper from Church, followed by a jumper from Emily Neuroth, gave the Bears (0-3) a 36-31 lead with just a little more than 7 minutes remaining. But Coal Ridge chipped away and eventually took a 44-38 lead with 2:13 left when a pair of foul shots and a 3-pointer from Ryan sparked an 8-0 Coal Ridge run.
The Bears pulled within four at 44-40 on a layup from Carsyn Copeland with 2 minutes left. Rifle was forced to foul, but Coal Ridge missed each of its next six foul shot attempts to give Rifle an opportunity.
Rifle wasn’t able to capitalize on those chances, however, and Ryan’s two foul shots with 11.2 seconds remaining sealed it.
Rifle 52, Coal Ridge 37
PEACH VALLEY — Tanner Quick scored a game-high 21 points, and his scoring in the second half helped the Bears (2-1) win their second consecutive game.
Trenton Brown added 10 points, and Nick Kosht chipped in six for Rifle, which led 29-20 at halftime. That’s when the 6-5 senior Quick stepped up, scoring 10 of the next 14 Rifle points to give the Bears a 43-26 cushion with 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Andy Bowles scored a team-high 13 points and Richie Winkler added eight, finishing with 6-of-7 shooting from the foul line. Alec Herrera added five points, including a 3-pointer, for The Titans (0-3), who open Class 3A Western Slope League play on Friday at home against Roaring Fork.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.