Rams shoot to keep winning ball bouncing in regional game
Post Independent Staff
CARBONDALE ” Having won 15 of its last 17 games, the Roaring Fork girls basketball team is looking good.
Coming off their Class 3A District 2 championship victory last weekend, the Rams (16-6) have now rolled into Anita Stites-Rowland regional tournament with a No. 2 seed.
“We had a good week of practice,” said Roaring Fork head coach Kirk Cheney. “The girls are psyched. We had a lot of energy (Thursday night) and I think we are good to go.”
They have the advantage of playing on their home court.
“(Home-court) advantage is huge,” Cheney said. “That was our number one goal at districts.”
One of the biggest reasons leading to Roaring Fork’s success is the play of the Ram with No. 2 pasted on the back of her jersey. In an patient, slow-down offense, Laura Wright averages nine points per game. Considering the fact that Roaring Fork only averages 40 points per game as a team, she makes almost one quarter of what goes up on the scoreboard.
But perhaps the place where Wright has been most effective is not on the scoreboards, but in pulling down offensive and defensive boards. Having grabbed 130 rebounds this season, 5-foot-11 forward is averaging six rebounds each contest. She also holds a pivotal role of helping lead the team.
“She is a great leader,” Cheney said of Wright. “She has high energy all the time, she just leaves it all on the floor and gives it all she’s got.”
During last weekend’s district tournament, Wright combined for 10 points in the semifinal game against Cedaredge and the final against Hotchkiss. Despite not meeting her scoring average, Wright still played hard.
“In the Cedaredge game, she only scored four points, but she played a whale of a game,” Cheney said. “Then she didn’t have her best game on Saturday (against Hotchkiss), but I told her ‘we wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for you last night.'”
While her nine-point average is tied for the best on the team with fellow senior Sarah Armstrong, she holds the rebound title alone.
But for Wright, it isn’t enough. Each day she steps on the court, she looks to be better than she was the last day.
“She’s tough on herself, she strives for perfection and she is just a joy to be around,” Cheney said.
Rounding out the Rams’ offensive attack is 3-point threat Whitney Campbell, who averages eight points per game, and Jessica Smeins and point guard Celeste Comings who average seven and six points respectively.
The battle for the regional title begins tonight at 6 p.m., when the Rams take on the No. 7 Estes Park Bobcats (11-11) at home in the first round of the regional tournament.
Estes Park is led by senior Sarah Tierney who puts up 11 points, six rebounds and five steals each game. She is also pretty effective from the perimeter, having cashed in on 22 3-pointers this season.
“We have to come out ready to go. We have to hit the boards and rebound,” Cheney said. “We are going to have to show up. We’ve made it through this season with only some girls showing up each night, but we need them to all show up.”
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