Prep basketball: Quick turnaround doesn’t bother Rifle boys
CARBONDALE — Most of the players on the Rifle High School boys basketball team on Saturday sure didn’t look like they’d been on the football field the previous week.
Thanks to a balanced scoring attack and a second-quarter scoring spurt that was sparked by senior forward Austin Boone, the Bears raced past the Roaring Fork Rams, 46-23, to win the annual Brenda Patch Tournament held at the Roaring Fork High gymnasium.
“They’re good athletes,” Roaring Fork coach Larry Williams said of Rifle. “Even though they don’t have a starter left from last year’s league championship team, every one of those kids played or practiced against those starters. Plus they’re fundamentally sound. This didn’t surprise me.”
Luis Carreon finished with 11 points, Morgan Robinson had 10 and Boone finished with nine points to pace the Bears (2-0), who had only practiced as a full team since Monday. Five of the team’s 12 varsity players were on the school’s football team that, the Saturday before, were in Pueblo playing for the Class 3A state title.
“I just didn’t want us to embarrass ourselves,” longtime Rifle coach Roger Walters said of how he was looking forward to the tournament. “It’s good that the kids have remembered some of the things from last year.”
Chering Sherpa finished with a team-high 10 points to pace the Rams (1-1), who had convincingly beaten Class 4A Eagle Valley the night before. His jumper at the start of the second quarter pulled Roaring Fork within 10-6.
Boone, however, scored the next five Rifle points that gave the Bears a 15-10 cushion, and Carreon followed with a three-point play that pushed Rifle’s lead to eight points with 3 minutes, 58 seconds remaining before halftime. Those buckets wound up being the start of a 16-4 run that Rifle reeled off to end the first half, resulting in a 29-14 lead for the Bears.
Roaring Fork wasn’t able to recover, and two unanswered putbacks by Boone in the fourth quarter pushed Rifle’s lead to 41-21 with 5:55 remaining in the game.
Roaring Fork is off until Dec. 12 when it hosts a nonleague game against Vail Christian. Rifle is back in action much sooner, continuing nonleague play on Tuesday at home against Coal Ridge.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.