Rams can’t hold lead, fall to Kent Denver
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,”
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,”
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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