Longhorns outhustle Rams
CARBONDALE – Toward the end of Tuesday’s game with visiting Aspen, an errant pass landed in the hands of Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney, kneeling in front of his team’s bench.The pass was delivered by one of his players, and that pretty much summed up the beleaguered coach’s night.Too much of Dayne Toney and Kathryne Fitzpatrick buried Cheney’s Rams, who emerged on the wrong end of a 56-47 score. The former poured in 21 points and grabbed 20 rebounds and the latter put up 11 as the Longhorns – save a second-quarter lull – coasted to victory.”Between (Toney) and Fitzpatrick, if you don’t get up and down the floor with them, they’ll eat you alive every night,” said Cheney, whose team dropped to 3-3 overall and to 0-1 in the Class 3A Western Slope League. “Congratulations to Basalt. They wanted it.”Melissa Stewart complemented the Toney-Fitzpatrick scoring punch with 10 points of her own.The Longhorns, who improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in league despite playing without injured starter Emily Peetz, came out of the gates firing. Behind six points from Toney and a defense that held the Rams without a field goal, Basalt built an 18-6 first-quarter lead.Roaring Fork chipped away at that deficit in the second quarter, finally hitting their first shot from the floor with 5 minutes and 29 seconds left in the half. That shot, a layup by Maria Flores, spurred an 8-0 run that brought the Rams to within six at 20-14.Much to the grin of the sizable home crowd, Basalt answered its midvalley rival’s rally with a 12-4 half-ending run to up its edge to 32-18 at intermission.From there, the Longhorn lead hovered at around 10 as they kept the Rams at bay at every turn.”It feels good to take a game from them,” Toney said. “They’re our rival.” Rebecca Roeber, who gutted out the second half despite a shoulder injury, led Roaring Fork with 13 points. Celeste Comings chipped in 12 points and Flores added nine.The Rams didn’t have their best shooting night, hitting just 13 of 67 shots from the floor.A displeased Cheney hopes the loss boosts his team’s sense of urgency heading into a two-plus week winter break.”They’ve basically got three weeks to reflect on it,” he said. “Hopefully they take something away from it.”
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