Rams split against Sailors in Brenda Patch Tourney
Coaching in the Brenda Patch Tournament for the Roaring Fork Rams was something that current first-year girls basketball head coach Jade Bath always dreamed about.
As a Roaring Fork alum, the tournament has had a special meaning to Bath ever since she was a kid. After playing in it as a high school athlete and now serving as a head coach in it, Bath was able to check off a few boxes on Friday night. Adding the sugar on top was a Roaring Fork win over the visiting Steamboat Springs Sailors, 40-29, in which the Rams simply dominated on both ends of the floor in Bath’s debut, leaving fans in attendance excited about what’s to come this season.
“I had chills down my back all day,” Bath said following the win over the Sailors. “This win means a lot to; it’s a dream come true. Ever since I came back here three years ago and wanted to coach right here at Roaring Fork to give back to a community that gave so much to me, being able to do this tonight is honestly just a dream come true. Being that it’s the Brenda Patch Tournament, the 30th year and having Brenda’s niece [sophomore forward Kendall Bernot] on the floor wearing her number,the list can go on and on. To throw the win on top of everything here tonight, it just keeps getting better and better.
“It was an honor. I’m honored and blessed to be back here at Roaring Fork and to be part of this tonight.”
Against the Sailors, things didn’t start out so well for the Rams in Bath’s debut as Roaring Fork scored just four points in the first quarter — all of which came from standout senior forward Cindy Salinas. Fortunately for the Rams, Steamboat scored just five points, sending the two teams into the second quarter with the Sailors in front 5-4.
To start the second quarter, Steamboat knocked down two straight three-pointers to stretch the lead to 11-4, but Salinas and the Rams wouldn’t go away as the senior score six straight points for the Rams, pulling Roaring Fork to within 14-10.
Senior guard Katie Weimer got into the mix for the Rams, knocking down two straight mid-range jumpers to tie the game at 14-14 midway through the second quarter, energizing the large crowd inside the gymnasium, allowing the Rams to build off of the energy created. Following two free throws from Steamboat, Roaring Fork sophomore guard Logan Erickson hit one of two free throws to send the Rams into the half trailing just 16-15.
While the break was a welcome relief for both teams following the intense first half, the Rams were able to channel their energy at the half, while the Sailors seemed to let it go by the wayside, which would hurt them coming out of the break.
“I told the girls at the half that the goal was to start the season 1-0,” Bath said. “These seniors have never started a season with a win, so I told them that this game was going to set the tone for the year.”
Bath’s words seemed to hit home for the Rams, who stormed out of the half to put the Sailors on their heels early.
Roaring Fork converted two free throws to start the half before senior guard Lily Ramos hit a floater in the lane to extend the lead to 19-16 out of the half. Steamboat would then tie the game at 19-19, but senior forward Lyndsay Hansen — a started in years past but now coming off the bench under Bath — started to assert herself in the paint against the Sailors.
Hansen got a layup to fall, drawing the foul before then hitting the ensuing free throw for the three-point play to put the Rams back on top. Weimer then added a jumper before Hansen then hit one of two free throws to give the Rams a 25-19 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Sailors would sandwich two three-pointers around another Salinas bucket to head into fourth quarter trailing the Rams, 27-25.
In the final quarter, Roaring Fork would take control defensively, holding the Sailors to just four points in eight minutes while forcing multiple turnovers in the full court press.
“That’s what we are starting to pride ourselves on this year,” senior guard Ashley Hall said. “Defense wins games and that’s what we turned to late.”
As the defense ratcheted up the intensity, Roaring Fork rattled off seven straight points to extend its lead to 34-25 as Erickson and Weimer hit two free throws, while Hansen converted a tough layup and Ramos hit one of two free throws.
Following a Steamboat free throw, Hansen would again convert a layup, drawing the foul and draining the free throw for the three-point play. Late in the quarter Weimer would hit another mid-range jumper and Hansen would knock down one of two free throws to cap off the 40-29 win.
Salinas led the way for the Rams with 12 points, while Hansen and Weimer added 10 points each. With the win, Roaring Fork sets up a showdown with the Rifle Bears today at 4 p.m.
SAILORS 50, RAMS 49
A three-point attempt from sophomore forward Joe Salinas came up just short of the buzzer as the Roaring Fork Rams fell to the visiting Steamboat Springs Sailors on Friday in the nightcap of the Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale.
Salinas got an open look off of an inbounds play with the Rams trailing the Sailors 50-49, but his attempt was off just slightly to finish off the come-from-behind win for the Sailors.
At the half, Steamboat found itself in a 13-point hole as the Rams ran roughshod in the first half, led by standout senior guards Jassiel Petatan and Aldo Pinela.
Looking to capitalize on the Roaring Fork girls’ win, the boys team came out on fast, taking a 4-0 lead on a Petatan floater and two free throws from Pinela.
Steamboat senior guard Ethan Riniker then converted two free throws to get the Sailors on the board before Petatan connected again from the floor to give the Rams an early 6-2 lead. Following Petatan’s second bucket of the quarter, Steamboat then went on an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 lead before Roaring Fork sophomore guard Ronald Clemente splashed home a mid-range jumper at the first quarter buzzer off of a terrific feed from Petatan to pull the Rams to within 10-8 after eight minutes of play.
Behind Petatan’s pass and Clemente’s finish, the Rams found a spark, embarking on an 11-0 run as Pinela and junior guard Justin Thompson made layups, while Pinela then hit a three-pointer. Petatan capped off the run with two free throws to get the home crowd rocking.
Leading 19-10 midway through the second quarter, Petatan traded threes with Riniker to make it 22-13 Rams before Clemente came up with a steal and a layup in transition to force a Steamboat timeout.
Riniker would hit two free throws following the timeout, but Clemente answered with a floater, leading to Thompson’s picturesque jumper at the halftime buzzer to give the Rams a 28-15 lead at the half.
Coming out of the break, the Rams found themselves leading 33-23, but the Sailors would right the ship as Riniker and his younger brother, Mac, would score five straight points for the Sailors to pull within 35-30.
Pinela would answer with a layup of his own off of a terrific backdoor cut, but Ethan Riniker would hit another three-pointer to tie the game at 37-37 later in the quarter.
A jumper from senior forward Lorenzo Andrade and a jumper from Pinela would give the Rams a slight 41-37 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter of the night.
Unfortunately for the Rams, things unraveled quickly as Riniker picked up a steal, racing the length of the court to get the layup to fall while drawing the foul. He would hit the free throw to give the Sailors their first lead of the game since the first quarter at 42-41.
Mac Riniker then grabbed an offensive board and got the putback to fall, extending the lead to 44-41, but Thompson would answer with a turnaround jumper, setting up Salinas’s perfect shot from beyond the arc, splashing home his only three-pointer of the night. Making things even more impressive on the shot was the fact that Salinas’s right shoe was untied and about to slip off.
Holding a 46-44 lead, Roaring Fork looked to turn to its defense to seal the win, but the Sailors were able to do just enough as Mac Riniker picked up a steal, converting the layup at the other end.
Pinela would hit a three-pointer to give the Rams a two-point lead, but a layup and one of two free throws from Ethan Riniker would prove to be the difference in a thrilling game between the two teams to start the season.
Roaring Fork will take on Rifle tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in Carbondale.
BEARS STRUGGLE AGAINST MUSTANGS
Taking on the Ponderosa Mustangs to start the regular season, Roger Walters and the Rifle Bears boys basketball team had its work cut out for them against a powerful team from the Front Range.
What made things harder to deal with was the fact that Rifle would play the game without four key players due to injury and discipline. That forced Walters to start a relatively young, inexperienced group against the Mustangs. Unfortunately for the Bears, the inexperience showed early and often as Rifle struggled to break Ponderosa’s half court trap, causing the Bears to be unable to get into their half court offense.
However, Rifle would start the game strong as senior forward Jacob Boone got a layup to fall and drilled a three-pointer to give the Bears an early 5-1 lead. Boone’s early five points would be all Rifle would score though in the first quarter, trailing the Mustangs 11-5 after eight minutes of play.
In the second quarter the Mustangs pulled away from the Bears thanks to some great defense, but once the young Bears were able to figure out how to play against the trap, Rifle started to heat up.
Sophomore forward Carter Sturgeon connected on three three-pointers in the second quarter, helping the Bears to pull to within 27-24 at the half, giving fans hope for the young team early in the season.
Unfortunately for Rifle, the hope would dwindle quickly in the second half as the Mustangs upped the pressure in the trap, eventually scoring 16 straight points in the third quarter to take a 46-30 lead after three quarters of play.
Rifle and Ponderosa would trade points throughout the final quarter as the Bears never got closer than 15 points until the final buzzer, falling to the Mustangs 63-50. On the bright side for Rifle, Sturgeon had a night to remember in his first varsity start, scoring a team-high 18 points from the floor.
DURANGO SLIPS PAST BEARS
Things looked bleak through three quarters of play for the Rifle Bears on Friday against the Durango Demons to start the Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale, but a 13-point fourth quarter by junior guard Elly Walters, who finished with a game-high 24 points, made things interesting. However, the offensive explosion was too little, too late as the Demons held on for a 46-37 win over the Bears.
Rifle held a 9-6 lead after eight minutes of play, but in the second quarter the Demons really took advantage of the Bears down low as the Demons scored 11 straight points to take an 18-9 lead before Rifle junior guard Jessie Pressler splashed home a three-pointer to stop the run momentarily.
Following Pressler’s three, Durango then went on an 8-4 run to close the half with a 26-16 lead over the Bears.
In the second half, Durango would extend its lead to 30-16 before Walters hit a tough left-hand floater in traffic to get Rifle on the board in sign of things to come in the second half.
Senior forward Samantha Hinkle would hit one free throw before Walters followed with another floater in the lane to pull Rifle to within 31-21 at the end of the third quarter, setting up her impressive final eight minutes of play.
Of the 15 points the Bears would score in the fourth quarter, Walters scored 13 of them and had a hand in the other two , a jumper by Pressler.
In the loss, Walters finished with 24 points, while Pressler added nine points of her own. Hinkle added two points on 2-of-4 shooting from the free throw line, while Carley Rice added two points.
Despite falling to Durango to start the season, Rifle has a chance to get back on track today against Roaring Fork in the final game of the Brenda Patch Tournament at 4 p.m.