Rams can’t hold lead, fall to Kent Denver | PostIndependent.com

Rams can’t hold lead, fall to Kent Denver

Joelle Milholm
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

FORT COLLINS ” With 30 seconds left to play, the Roaring Fork fans and coaches rose to their feet and welcomed seniors Torrey Udall, Matthias Weissl, Alex Hernandez and Oscar Alvarado to the bench along side the court at Moby Arena at Colorado State University.

Their season, their high school careers were over and they were being thanked and congratulated for their efforts.

As the younger players took the floor in their place, the final seconds ticked off the

clock and just like that it was over. The Rams had lost 56-49 to Kent Denver in the

consolation semifinals of the Class 3A state basketball tournament and ended their

fifth straight state tournament run.

“It’s great to get back here, that’s just awesome,” said 6-foot-8 Udall. “It’s a bummer to

always lose, but it is still an accomplishment to get here.”

After jumping out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter, Roaring Fork (19-7) appeared to

be in control. Weissl had drained three 3-pointers and going into the second quarter

the Rams were up 16-4.

Knowing his team was disappointed to be in the consolation bracket, Kent Denver

head coach Todd Schayes wasn’t sure how the Sun Devils (19-7) would respond to

the 16-2 deficit.

“I really didn’t think we could come back, especially playing against Roaring Fork and

knowing how good they are,” he said.

Kent Denver did come back however, slowly chipping away at Roaring Fork’s lead.

Weissl stayed hot, hitting two more 3s as part of his 20-point first half and the Rams

took a 27-22 lead into half.

“I think we kinda thought we had already won,” Weissl said. “We had such a big lead

and everything was going perfect for us and we just kinda laid back and that

shouldn’t have happened.”

The Sun Devils changed things up in the second half and shut down Weissl, putting

two men on him and stopping his drives and getting in his face on the perimeter.

“We just decided we couldn’t go half court any more so we tried to go full court,”

Schayes said.

Outside of one final 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, Weissl couldn’t put much more on

the board for the Rams.

“They were just chasing me all over,” Weissl said.

So the Austrian transfer went to dishing and recorded five assists in the second half,

finding either Hernandez, Alvarado or Udall for layups or short jumpers. His fellow

seniors scored enough to keep Roaring Fork ahead 37-34 going into the fourth


That’s when Sun Devils Ben Stewart and Holt Dunlap took over, combining for 10

points in the quarter and 28 in the game. With Stewart hitting layups underneath and

Kent Denver forcing turnovers, the Sun Devils assumed control of the game.

“We made them turn it over a little bit and everybody got tired and it kinda got sloppy

at the end of the game which was in our favor because they are better players,”

Schayes said.

They ended with a 12-2 run before Roaring Fork’s Diego Rubio hit a 3-pointer just

before the final buzzer.

“Anytime you get over here usually all eight teams are really, really good,” said

Roaring Fork head coach Roger Walters. “You have to play a full 32 minutes and we

just ran out of gas.”

The Rams had their chances in both of their games at the state tournament, working

to leads against Eaton on Thursday and Kent Denver on Friday but couldn’t convert

opportunities into wins.

Against Kent Denver Weissl finished with 23 points, while Udall had eight and

Hernandez and Alvarado combined for 10. Hernandez, who at 5-foot-10 was one of

the shortest players on the court, led the game in rebounding with nine.

The final outcome didn’t hinder Walters’ opinion of his senior class as he was still

very proud of them.

“They are just great kids,” he said. “It’s never easy to say goodbye, but they’ll do

awesome because they are hard workers and just awesome kids.”

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