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Rams force issue, beat Aspen

CARBONDALE ” On the rare occasion when a bad night pops up, good teams find a way to win.

The 59-46 final score indicates that the Roaring Fork girls had few problems with Aspen in Thursday’s Class 3A Western Slope League contest, but the 12-1 (7-1 WSL) Rams know better than that.

Head coach Jacky Gaddis stressed that point while discussing the Skiers outside the loud, victorious Ram locker room.



“Aspen is probably the scrappiest team that we play,” the coach said. “They play us close every time and they are a quality team.”

And the Skiers (4-9 overall, 2-6 WSL) had enough quality players on their roster to allow them to stay close to the Rams until the fourth quarter.



Aspen led only twice, both early in the first quarter. But, despite falling behind by eight points at three separate points in the contest, the Skiers refused to go down without a fight.

Roaring Fork took a 17-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second period, Aspen pulled within three at intermission by holding the Rams to two field goals in 12 attempts and six points in the quarter.

The Rams’ 23-20 margin shrank to one when Aspen junior Liz Floyd, who scored 17 points, opened the second half with a bucket.

Gaddis responded to Aspen’s challenge by turning to a full-court defensive press.

“We wanted to try the press just to change it up a little bit, because we hadn’t pulled ahead enough,” said Gaddis. “We’re trying different things all the time and it happened to give us some quick points at the time.”

Turning to the press, the Rams scored six points in 44 seconds.

Senior Tarn Udall zipped in a couple of press-created buckets and Carly Velasquez concluded the Ram 6-0 run on another Skier turnover as the Rams went up 29-22.

Down by eight later in the third quarter, Aspen mounted another rally.

A Skier free throw and baskets from Leandra Sivess and Carly Magill dropped the Ram advantage down to three with just over a minute left in the period.

Then Roaring Fork’s Megan Zeigel uncorked a badly needed trey from the left side of the arc to put the Rams ahead 39-33. Floyd scored on Aspen’s next possession, but it turned out to be the Skiers’ last offensive push.

Udall, who finished with a game-high 21 points, scored twice in a 7-0 Ram rally that was started by Carly Velasquez’s 3-pointer and put Roaring Fork ahead by 12.

In the remaining five minutes that followed after Udall’s bucket, Roaring Fork’s lead never got below 11 points.

The Rams resume WSL play on Saturday at Olathe.

Boys

Roaring Fork 74, Aspen 47

CARBONDALE ” Four starters, paced by Jake Boyle’s 18 points, scored in double figures in the Ram boys’ 74-47 blowout win over Aspen as Roaring Fork raised its season-long undefeated winning streak to 13 straight games.

Roaring Fork (13-0 overall, 7-0 Western Slope League) opened a 21-8 lead in the first quarter and had the game well in hand with a 42-23 cushion at halftime.

Aaron Markham and Dan Markoya each had 16 points. Nic Lough added 11.

Brothers Moss and Brock Strasbourger led Aspen with 12 and 11 points, respectively.


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