Free throws and defense help lift Roaring Fork girls to round of eight |

Free throws and defense help lift Roaring Fork girls to round of eight

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson Roaring Fork's Megan Zeigel, left, fights for control of the ball with Kent denver's Jennifer Moore, right, during Saturday's Class 3A regional championship game. RFHS won, 60-48.

CARBONDALE – Maybe field goals are overrated.The Roaring Fork girls basketball team didn’t hit a shot from the field in the final 6:21 of play, but had little trouble turning a five-point advantage into a 60-48 victory over Kent Denver Saturday in the Sheila Quillen Thompson Region championship at Roaring Fork High School Saturday.”We did not want this to be the last game,” said senior Mollie Honan.And it won’t be. Roaring Fork plays Estes Park Thursday in the Class 3A State Championships round of eight at Moby Arena in Fort Collins.Laura Wright, who led all scorers with 14 points, scored the Rams’ only two field goals of the fourth quarter, then it was strictly a team effort from the charity stripe and on the defensive end. The Rams went 17-for-25 from the line in the stanza and was 31-for-44 in the game.

“Is that where games are won this time of year or what?” said first-year Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney of his team’s showing down the stretch.During the same span, the Rams shut down a potent Kent Denver inside game.”We were worried about their big girls. We were trying not to give them inside shots and trying not give up second shots,” Honan said. “We just started picking it up, going with the flow and playing our parts. That’s all it is. It’s hustle.Kent’s inside players – Kiki Broe and Cambrie Nelson – were effective in the first half, accounting for 13 of the Sun Devils’ 23 points. In the second half Roaring Fork switched back from man to a 1-3-1 zone and it seemed to do the trick against the bigger Kent paint players.After halftime Broe sunk one free throw and Nelson was held without a point.”We weren’t playing tough man, and once we went back to the 131 we were able to neutralize them inside,” Cheney said. “We were outrebounded pretty badly in the first half but I felt we controlled the boards in the second.”

The game featured five ties and eight lead changes in the first half as the Rams went into intermission with a slim 24-23 edge. Midway through the third quarter Roaring Fork went on a 6-0 run – only the second time in the game either team strung together three straight field goals – and took the lead for good.Megan Zeigel started the run with a steal and a hoop, then Honan drained two straight baskets to put the Rams up by the biggest margin to that point – six points.Roaring Fork held a four-point lead headed into the fourth before it took over on defense and from the foul line.”Two minutes to go and we’re up by four or five, then win by 12. That’s huge. That’s confidence,” Cheney said. Carly Velasquez and Ashley Jensen each finished with 11 for the Rams (21-2). Broe was the High scorer for Kent Denver (19-5) with nine.

Friday’s semifinalsRoaring Fork 63, Bennett 31The Rams held the seventh-seeded Tigers (10-14) to single digits in all four quarters as Bennett finished the night hitting just 20 percent (11-of-54) from the floor.Roaring Fork broke the game open in the second quarter, extending its five-point lead to start the period to a 32-17 advantage at halftime.Rams guard Whitney Campbell led all scorers with 17 points. Wright finished with 12. Jenna Crock paced Bennett with six points.In Friday’s other girls semifinal, Kent Denver advanced on a 75-66 win over Roosevelt.

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