‘Horns prove to be tough test for Rams
BASALT – A different Basalt boys basketball team trotted out on the court for its third meeting of the season with Roaring Fork.This was a team with a swagger.The Longhorns, who lost to Roaring Fork by 21 and 22 points in their first two meetings, gave the Rams their toughest league game of the season before Roaring Fork was able to pull out a 48-38 victory Saturday.”This is the third time we’ve played them, and they’ve gotten better each game,” Roaring Fork point guard Aaron Markham said. “They were kind of unreal at the beginning. They were hitting everything.”Basalt got the crowd into the game off the opening tip with a 9-2 run. Typically, that’s no big deal, Roaring Fork can make up the deficit with a few quick trips down the floor. But at the end of the quarter the Rams found themselves still trailing.”That was the thing we wanted,” Basalt coach Michael Green said. “I think we hit the first five or six shots we took. We made Roaring Fork aware that this would be a dogfight all night.”Roaring Fork evened the score on the first basket of the second quarter, but the Longhorns refused to go away quietly.Ben Pollock hit two of his five treys in back-to-back fashion to put Basalt up 21-20, only to have Markham answer with a three of his own and a steal and layup. Roaring Fork, accustomed to being comfortably ahead at halftime, held a tenuous 25-21 edge at the intermission.The Rams built a 10-point lead in the third quarter, but Basalt rallied back to 38-35 with 3:17 left in the game.Then came the Roaring Fork timeout.”Coach (Roger Walters) said, ‘Focus. Have you heard the word focus?'” Markham recounted.The speech worked.Roaring Fork, aided by a couple of Basalt miscues, closed out the contest with a 10-3 run.”Some turnovers and key plays for them basically made the difference in the game,” Green said.Markham tallied 15 points for the Rams and Nic Lough and Christian Tena had 15 and 12, respectively, for Roaring Fork.Pollock led all scorers with 19 points. Cody Burkholder notched seven.The Rams improve to 7-0 in league (11-3 overall), while Basalt drops to 5-2 (7-6). On Friday, the Longhorns broke open a tight game against Hotchkiss in the fourth quarter for a 58-48 victory.Basalt outscored the visiting Bulldogs 21-9 in the final period. Pollock scored nine of his game-high 21 points in the frame. Burkholder chipped in six points, en route to a 18 point effort.
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