Rams roar on in district tournament
CARBONDALE – The Roaring Fork boys led from the opening minute and blew out rival Basalt for a third time this season, 66-47, in the opening round of the Class 3A District Basketball Tournament Tuesday.
Junior forward Dan Markoya led the No. 3 seed Rams (now 13-7 overall) with 27 points, including four three-pointers, and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds. As a team, the Rams out-rebounded No. 6 Basalt (7-13) 30-15 on the night.
“Basalt’s a good team, and we came out and played them like we had to,” Markoya said. ” It’s always tough to beat any team three times in a season. Tough defense; that’s what you have to base it on.”
The Rams forced the Longhorns into 10 first-half turnovers and only single- digits in the scoring column for each of the first two quarters, opening a 32-14 lead at the half. The Rams outscored Basalt 18-15 in the third to maintain the big lead and held on for the win.
The Rams’ win sets up a rubber match with No. 2 seed Aspen, 73-27 winners over No. 7 Olathe in Aspen Tuesday, in the semi-final game at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Palisade High School.
“We have to play them just like we played them last time; work the low post and let Nic (Lough) and I take it in and score a few points inside,” Markoya said.
Roaring Fork coach Mike Fahrenkrug returned to the sideline after sitting out the final regular season game last week in Basalt with the flu.
“If we keep working as hard offensively and defensively as we did tonight, that’s the key,” Fahrenkrug said. “These guys love to help each other score, and they know everybody out there can score.”
Senior Travis Schwan led all Basalt scorers in the Tuesday game with 12 points, while senior Ryan Thompson added seven in the losing effort.
The loss for Basalt sets up a 3:30 p.m. Friday game with Olathe, as the Longhorns will attempt to gain the final Regional playoff berth if they can manage two wins and a fifth place finish in the District Tournament.
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