Rams step up and claim regional win
CARBONDALE – Christian Tena has been the Roaring Fork boys basketball team’s go-to guy all season, but in the Rams’ 51-45 Class 3A regional playoff win over Ignacio Friday night, it proved it can find other ways to get the job done.Tena compiled an impressive first half, scoring 14 points, pulling down 10 boards and helping Roaring Fork (20-2) to a 25-20 halftime lead.Then in the third quarter, he got in foul trouble and was benched after committing his fourth personal foul with 2:30 left in the frame. He left the game with Roaring Fork only ahead 35-32, but that’s when the Ram’s turned the game around.
An A.J. Joiner jumper ignited a 11-0 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes of the game and put the Rams up for good. Three Rams contributed to the run with Parker Nieslanik hitting a 3-pointer, Kade Gianinetti sinking a layup and Joiner scoring four more.Ignacio (10-13) didn’t give up however.The Bobcat’s kept fighting. Roaring Fork fouls, along with 10 Ram fourth-quarter turnovers, kept Ignacio in the game. Brandon Cundiff sank a 3-pointer and then Anthony Ortiz hit a layup to bring the Bobcats within seven with two minutes to go. Ignacio’s Shane Silva found the bottom of the net after and offensive board to make the score 50-45 Rams, but only four seconds remained in the contest.
Derek Parker then sank a free throw in the final seconds to clinch the Ram’s victory.Tena finished with 23 points as the top Ram, while Parker had 10 and Joiner another added seven. Derek Rodriguez led the Bobcats in the losing fight, scoring 13 points and recording five steals.With the win, the top-seeded Rams now face No. 5 Weld Central (17-7), which beat No. 4 Holy Family 44-37 earlier Friday. The two teams will take the court in the Ray Lutz Regional Championship at 3 p.m. today at Roaring Fork.
The winner advances to the Great 8 March 9-11 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.n In other 3A action, The Basalt boys basketball team (14-9) moved on in the Steve Hill Regional Class 3A tournament after beating Valley 54-47 Friday night at Denver Christian High School.No. 4-seed Basalt now faces top-ranked Denver Christian, which beat Platte Valley 60-41 on Friday. The teams battle for the regional championship today at 3 p.m.
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The Coal Ridge High School boys and girls basketball teams will both be home Tuesday night to open the Class 3A state basketball tournament.