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Patient approach key to success for Bears

Phil Sandoval

RIFLE ” Patience is more than a virtue. It’s also useful on the basketball floor.

That’s what Rifle High School boys basketball coach has been drilling into this year’s Bears.

“I think we’ll be a team that runs when it can,” head coach Chris Lowther said.

“We’re trying to teach the kids the proper time to run, and to be patient. We’re really preaching on being patient of the offensive end and looking for the good shot for the right player at the right time.”

The right time for those scoring opportunities will be easier with eight seniors on the Bears roster.

“As a class, the seniors have played together for quite a while,” Lowther said. “All of them are very good kids and have leadership ability.”

Key returnees from last season’s 9-13 team include 6-foot, 4-inch Bryan Cloninger, 6-3 forward Derek Roberts, and guards Ryan Muldoon and Adam Krick. Others Lowther is looking to for help are lettermen Jesse Harris, Zach LaCount, Travis Jensen and junior Stuart Stapleton.

When it comes to determining positions, Lowther said there will be a lot of shuttling of players in the front- and backcourts, depending on who’s in the game.

When it comes to the teams in the Class 4A Western Slope League and how they shape up against one another, Lowther sees a balanced group.

“I think the league, top to bottom, is going to have a lot of competitive games. I don’t see any team blowing out anyone.”

Rifle opens its season Thursday against nonleague opponent Basalt.


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