Devils halt spirited Roaring Fork rally
CARBONDALE — Roaring Fork High School’s girls basketball team experienced a role reversal on Saturday, and it almost worked to the Rams’ advantage against Eagle Valley.
The Class 3A Rams rallied from an early 15-point deficit to take the lead near the end of the third quarter, but the clutch long-range shooting by the Devils helped them pull away for a 60-47 victory on the second day of the 27th-annual Brenda Patch Tournament at Roaring Fork High School.
“[Friday] night when things started to go bad, we inverted. We felt sorry for ourselves,” said Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney, whose team had led 8-1 against Steamboat Springs before falling 37-22. “Tonight when things weren’t going our way, we didn’t get down on ourselves. We worked harder and picked each other up.”
Things really weren’t going the Rams’ way in the first quarter. The Devils scored the first nine points of the game and, at one point, held a 16-1 lead before Roaring Fork rallied and took a one-point lead with 3 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Eagle Valley pulled away, however, thanks in part to he performances of Taylor Martin and Megan Asmussen. Martin finished with 19 points, and Asmussen, a senior, scored a game-high 20 and hit two of her four 3-pointers during a push that helped Eagle Valley retake the lead for good.
Maddie Nieslanik finished with 10 points, Autumn Grandberry had nine and Daniela Santana chipped in eight points to pace the Rams, who finished the weekend 0-2. They would have liked to have finished off the Devils after taking the lead, but the comeback attempt was hard enough as it was.
“I think we spent a lot of energy getting there,” Cheney said. “We worked really hard to get to that point, which was great. Then we started doing some silly things and had some big turnovers. Eagle Valley is a good team, and to battle with them like we did, it says a lot.”
Roaring Fork had gone from being down 16-1 with 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter to only being down 26-20 at halftime. And the Rams stayed aggressive and attacked the basket to continue their comeback, going up 33-32 at the 3:22 mark of the third on a pair of foul shots from Nieslanik. But a jumper from Mariel Gutierrez on the Devils’ next possession gave the lead back to the Devils for good, and Asmussen nailed a pair of 3s in succession as part of an 8-1 run that essentially put Eagle Valley back in control for the rest of the game.
League play begins for both teams this week. Eagle Valley begins Class 4A Western Slope League play Tuesday at Glenwood Springs.
Roaring Fork begins league play Friday at home against Coal Ridge.
Eagle Valley 30, Roaring Fork 27
CARBONDALE — Jack Fisher had nine points and Duane Yin finished with five points and 12 rebounds for the Roaring Fork boys, but Eagle Valley rallied from an 11-8 halftime deficit to earn the victory in the tournament’s last game of the day.
Roaring Fork hit 8-of-9 attempts from the foul line.
“We’re still trying to find our identity,” Roaring Fork coach Larry Williams said. “We have to work on our basketball IQ, because we’re making a lot of choices that we shouldn’t be making now. A lot of that will come with experience.”
The Rams dropped to 0-2 following a 48-33 loss to Steamboat Springs on Friday.
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The brackets are set for the 12-team 4A girls lacrosse state championships, and the Roaring Fork Rams are dancing as the No. 9 seed.