Rams pick up two big wins over Pirates in league action
After a big win against the Basalt Longhorns on Friday night, the Roaring Fork boys came out a little flat on Saturday afternoon, but were able to execute and muster up key plays when they were needed most to outlast the Olathe Pirates by a count of 67-56 for a key Western Slope League win.
“Give a ton of credit to Olathe tonight,” Roaring Fork Head Coach Larry Williams said. “They outworked us and out executed us, but we were fortunate to execute enough to pull it out.”
The Rams made things look easy initially as senior Justin Thompson got two early baskets and Irving Anchondo scored off an assist from Ronald Clemente as Roaring Fork jumped ahead early 8-2.
Little did the Rams know that a 3-point shooting barrage from Olathe guard Mackenzie Cox was soon to follow. The sharpshooter would drop in four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone to get Roaring Fork’s attention and put the Pirates up 19-15 after one period.
There was cause for concern when Olathe’s Dominique Gonzalez hit a floater in the lane to expand the lead to 24-17, but that’s when the Rams figured out they were in a scrum and needed to awaken from their slumber.
Junior post Joe Salinas hit a baseline jumper, Clemente scored on a leaning basket, and a steal by guard Oscar Miranda resulted in a layup as Roaring Fork started to punch back. Salinas, going out to the perimeter, netted a 3-ball, and the Rams took a slim 30-29 lead to the locker room.
Jorge Gonzalez opened the third with a 3-pointer for Olathe, but Thompson hit a jumper from the top of the key for the Rams, as Clemente and Anchondo came up big with 3-pointers, which were followed by a soft banker down low from junior Aidan Sloan. It was 47-47 at the end of the third period and anyone’s ballgame.
Salinas, who finished the contest with 13 points and 10 rebounds, got a rebound and putback to lift Roaring Fork back in front. Clemente then found Thompson scurrying down the lane for a 2-pointer, and Sloan got a steal and layup to give the Rams a decisive 58-52 cushion nearing the end of play.
Thompson had 20 points to pace the Rams. Salinas was at 13 points, with Sloan and Clemente garnering 11 points.
ROARING FORK 40, OLATHE 38
The drought is finally over.
The Roaring Fork girls had not defeated the Olathe Pirates since the 2007 season when current Rams head coach Jade Bath was a junior in high school. The long dry spell came to an end Saturday afternoon in Carbondale as Roaring Fork held on for an exciting 40-38 Western Slope League win.
“We came out a little tired after last night in Basalt. Our legs were a little bit dead early on in the game,” Bath said. “But Emily [Broadhurst] was our spark in the first half and Logan [Erickson] got us going in the second half. I told them it was going to come down to who wanted it more.”
The Rams can be thankful for sophomore guard Emily Broadhurst, who swished a couple of long shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter to account for most of the Roaring Fork offensive output early on. The other tally for the Carbondale group came on an inside basket from junior Caroline Wisroth as the Rams led 8-6.
The first half of play could not be described as an offensive explosion, but in the second stanza Karen Henwood, Megan Young, and Bailey Harris all got baskets for the Pirates as they took a 15-13 lead into intermission. The highlight play for Roaring Fork during that stretch of play was a nice perimeter lob pass from Broadhurst to junior post Kendall Bernot for an inside banker.
The game continued to be a seesaw affair in the second half as Young, who ended the game with 27 points, would catch fire for Olathe. The crafty Pirate left-hander, with a variety of moves from the perimeter and down low, hit a 3-pointer and scored on a baseline move to give her team a narrow 25-23 lead with 2:56 to play in the third. Senior Megan Nieslanik got two baskets for the Rams, and Roaring Fork’s sparkplug off the bench, 6’1” junior post Gabriela Santana got a basket, which was followed by an Erickson 3-pointer and a putback by Wisroth as the score was knotted 28-28 entering the game’s last 8-minute session.
With Young still doing her thing offensively, the Rams needed to come up with an answer to the Pirate puzzle. Broadhurst scored on a baseline shot after a nice bounce feed from Erickson to give the Rams their first lead in many moons. Bernot scored two big baskets and Erickson hit her second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter, a pressure-packed toss that found the net, putting the Rams up to stay at 40-36 with 1:38 to play.
“I don’t mind the pressure situations,” Erickson said. “I had my shot, and it went in.”
Erickson led the Roaring Fork scoring ledger with 11 points. Broadhurst had 8 points, with Bernot and Nieslanik tallying 6 points.
Roaring Fork (9-5, 3-3 WSL ) will next take to the court on Friday when they will host the Gunnison Cowboys.
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Six prep volleyball players from Garfield County schools earned first-team 3A Western Slope League honors.