PREP ROUNDUP: Rifle girls basketball sinks Steamboat, claims first win of the season; Coal Ridge boys fall to Gunnison, snapping 24-game league winning streak | PostIndependent.com

PREP ROUNDUP: Rifle girls basketball sinks Steamboat, claims first win of the season; Coal Ridge boys fall to Gunnison, snapping 24-game league winning streak

Josh Carney
Post Independent

Hosting the Steamboat Springs Sailors Saturday afternoon inside Jack Smith Gymnasium, the Rifle Bears girls basketball team put it all together for four quarters of action, claiming a 47-40 win over the Sailors, snapping an eight-game losing streak to start the season.

The win gave first-year head coach Eric Caro his first win as the head coach of the Rifle program.

Against the Sailors, Rifle started slow in the first quarter but erupted for 15 points in the second quarter and 11 points in the third quarter, opening up a sizeable lead on the Sailors before hanging on for the win.

In the win, senior forward Masi Smith led the Bears with 13 points, hitting eight free throws in the winning effort. Freshman Jamie Caron chipped in with 9 points, while junior Delany Phillips added 10 points, hitting two 3-pointers in the third quarter to pace the Bears. April Quinones added 9 points, five of which came from the free throw line.

Rifle (1-8, 1-1 4A Western Slope League) travels to Parachute Tuesday for a non-league matchup with the Grand Valley Cardinals at 5:30 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

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COAL RIDGE 37, GUNNISON 31

Making the long road trip to Gunnison Saturday afternoon for a 3A Western Slope League battle with the Cowboys, the Coal Ridge Titans girls basketball team grinded out a 37-31 win to stay unbeaten in league play.

Against the Cowboys, the Titans started off slow and saw a couple of key players get into foul trouble, but the Titans found secondary scoring in the win, as senior guard Kashley Morgan poured in 8 points, while guard Vanessa Gonzalez added 4 points off the bench for the Titans.

Coal Ridge was led by senior guard Adriana Varges, who scored a game-high 10 points, while sophomore center Taylor Wiescamp added 6 points.

The Titans (8-3, 2-0 3A WSL) return to action Friday, Jan. 18 against Delta at home.

BOYS BASKETBALL

GUNNISON 70, COAL RIDGE 65

For the first time in 24 league games, the Coal Ridge Titans boys basketball team came up on the losing end, dropping a 70-65 decision to the Gunnison Cowboys Saturday afternoon on the road.

"Gunnison played a great game and shot the ball well," said Paul Harvey, Coal Ridge's head coach. "Our guys battled, but we had a few errors here and there that tripped us up. Hopefully this serves as a wake up call to push the team to get ready for this stretch of eigth games to finish the regular season."

In the loss to Gunnison, senior center Kevin DiMarco led the Titans with 19 points, while senior guard Jan Hernandez added 18 points, hitting two 3-pointers. Junior guard Austin Gerber added 11 points for the Titans, while senior forward Payton White added 7 points.

Coal Ridge (10-1, 1-1 3A WSL) hosts the Delta Panthers Friday, Jan. 18 in a league matchup.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 61, RIFLE 47

Taking on the Steamboat Springs Sailors Saturday afternoon inside Jack Smith Gymnasium, the Rifle Bears boys basketball team came up short in an upset bid, falling to the Skiers 61-47.

Against the Skiers, seniors Omar Chavez and Joel Lopez led the Bears with 13 points each, while juniors Tanner Cotner and Trey Lujan added 8 points each.

Rifle found itself trailing 35-21 at the half before storming back in the second half to make a game of it.

The Bears (7-4, 1-2 4A WSL) travel to Parachute Tuesday for a non-league matchup with the Grand Valley Cardinals at 7 p.m.

GLENWOOD WRESTLING

Traveling to Mead High School Saturday morning for the Maverick Duals, the Glenwood Springs Demons wrestling team went 2-3 in duals, defeating Faith Christian and Wheat Ridge, while falling to Mead, Arapahoe, and Lewis Palmer.

Against Mead to start the tournament, Glenwood fell by a score of 48-24.

In the loss to Mead, Amos Wilson won by fall in 2:58 of the 195-pound match, while Max Burrell added a win by fall in the 126-pound match in 1:43. Mathew Flores, and Joaquin Garcia added wins by fall in the 132-pound and 138-pound matches against Mead.

The Demons bounced back from the loss to Mead by defeating Wheat Ridge, 48-22.

Burrell won by fall in 1:30 of the 126-pound match, while Garcia added a win by fall at 138 pounds in just 1:24. Ray Rosenmerkel, Dakotah Aguirre, Joshua Sanchez, Spencer Cloud, Flores, and Wilson added wins by forfeit.

Glenwood stayed on a roll against Faith Christian, winning 66-12.

Bryce Wheeler pinned Roland Parscal in 25 seconds of the 285-pound match to get the Demons off to a fast start, while Burrell, Garcia, Sanchez, Wilson, and Cloud all won their matches by fall to pace the Demons.

That would be the last team win for Glenwood though as the Demons fell to Arapahoe 52-21, and Lewis Palmer 57-23.

Against Arapahoe, Rosenmerkel picked up a 6-0 decision win in the 106-pound match, while Sanchez and Wilson won by fall, and Aguirre added a forfeit win.

In the Lewis Palmer match, Burrell, Flores, and Sanchez all won by pin fall, while Wilson picked up an 18-1 technical fall win over Cade Burton in the 182-pound match.

The Demons return to the mat at home Thursday night against the Grand Valley Cardinals.

RIFLE WRESTLING

On the road Friday and Saturday for the Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah, the Rifle Bears saw three wrestlers place in the top six of their weight class.

At the two-day tournament, Cauy Smith was the highest finisher for the Bears, placing third in the 132-pound weight class.

Smith pinned Paonia's Dawson Morgan in 36 seconds to start the tournament, before then pinning North Sevier's Brendon Maxwell in 15 seconds to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.

Smith tripped up in the quarterfinals, losing by fall in 3:31 to Uintah's August Harrison, but the Rifle wrestler bounced back with wins by fall in 1:15, 45 seconds, and 2:39 to set up a third-place match against Juab's Kalob Nybo. In the third-place match, Smith rolled to a 14-4 major decision to finish third in his weight class.

Conrad Demann placed fifth for the Bears in the 145-pound weight class.

Demann started the tournament with a win by fall in 1:34 over Union's Jake Shepperd, but then slipped up in the second round with a 14-9 decision loss to Green River's Garrett Harris, sending him into the consolation bracket.

Demann battled back in the consolation bracket, winning by fall in 43 seconds, 46 seconds, 3:31, 4:40, and 2:31 to set up the fifth-place match against Paonia's Zeb Etter. Demann made quick work of Etter, winning by fall in 2:53 to place fifth in the tournament.

Dillon Tiffany placed sixth for the Bears, rounding out podium finishers for the Bears at the two-day tournament.

Tiffany won by fall in 4:25 over Montrose's Emmanuel Betos to start the tournament before then taking a 6-4 sudden-victory win over Lander Valley's Jack Sweeney to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal matchup, Tiffany fell to West's Jack Lang in 39 seconds. The Rifle product battled back to place sixth by winning a 6-2 decision, winning by fall in 2:04, and winning by major decision (13-3), before falling by pin in 1:50 of the fifth-place match to Juab's Tyler Lynn.