RFHS girls knock off defending champs
GSPI Sports Editor
CARBONDALE ” If the Roaring Fork players were lacking confidence two weeks ago, they should be all set now.
The Rams girls basketball team, which ended an epic losing streak to rival Basalt last weekend and claimed the Class 3A Western Slope League district crown, continued its postseason roll Saturday by winning the regional championship.
And, just for an added boost, the Rams beat the defending state champs in the title tilt.
“I think our team has realized how good we are,” junior Megan Zeigel said.
The balanced attack of Roaring Fork was too much for Machebeuf, as the Rams never trailed in their 60-45 victory.
“They actually started to believe,” said Roaring Fork head coach Jacky Gaddis of her players.
“We weren’t too worried,” said senior Tarn Udall of playing the defending state champs. “We knew if we came out and played our game we wouldn’t lose.”
Udall and the Rams (22-2) certainly played their game.
The senior post finished with her typical double-double, finishing with 15 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. But it was the balanced play early, when the Buffs (19-4) were keying on Udall, that set the tone for the contest.
Four different Rams players scored as Roaring Fork opened the contest with a 9-0 run from which Machebeuf never fully recovered.
“Everyone was hitting their shots, especially early,” Udall said. “It took pressure off me and took pressure off the whole team.”
After fending off a Buffs charge, Roaring Fork had another run of 12 straight points and entered the halftime intermission with a 32-23 advantage.
“At halftime (the players) had a sense of confidence, calm and ‘OK, let’s go out and finish,'” Gaddis said.
And the Rams needed that confidence to hold off the stubborn Buffs in the second half.
Freshman point Cheri Palmer scored seven points to key a 10-2 Machebeuf run to open the second half and cut the Roaring Fork lead to 35-33.
Roaring Fork, however, didn’t waver, outscoring the Buffs 12-4 in the final five minutes of the quarter for a 47-37 cushion.
Machebeuf came out with a press in the fourth quarter that was effective in causing turnovers, but the Buffs couldn’t turn the Rams’ miscues into points.
Roaring Fork was held to just one field goal in the frame, but shot 11-for-16 from the charity stripe and never allowed Machebeuf closer than seven.
In all, seven Rams players scored, with Zeigel and Whitney Campbell joining Udall in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Palmer led all Buffs’ scorers with 18 points, while teammate Lauren Issaeff scored 13.
Roaring Fork advances to the Class 3A State Tournament ‘Great 8’ round which starts Thursday at Colorado State University’s Moby Arena in Fort Collins.
CARBONDALE ” Four Rams players finished in double figures as the Roaring Fork girls basketball team posted a 65-43 victory over Manitou Springs in the Class 3A regional semifinal round Friday night.
Ashley Jensen and Udall each scored 14 points, while Laura Wright and Carly Velasquez finished with 13 and 10, respectively.
Keyed by a 13-2 run midway through the first quarter, the Rams upped their lead to 28-16 early in the second frame. Manitou never got closer than nine points after that point.
Julia Steinbach paced the Mustangs (14-9) with 12 points.
– In other Friday night girls action at Roaring Fork High School, Bishop Machebeuf downed Roosevelt 71-46. Roosevelt finished the season with a 13-11 record.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.