RFHS to semis: Rams outrun, outgun Faith Christian
FORT COLLINS – The fourth quarter was frantic, just the way Nic Lough likes it.”Aaron Markham is the best point guard in the state,” Lough said. “Aaron is a press-breaker by himself; it is almost pointless to run a press against us.”With Markham quarterbacking the Roaring Fork boys basketball team offense, the Rams (21-3) turned an eight point third-quarter lead into a 76 60 victory over the Faith Christian Eagles in the quarterfinal round of the 3A State Tournament at Moby Gym.The Eagles, who trailed throughout the game, had to rely on 3-point attempts on offense and grabbing on defense. Although they connected on seven 3-pointers, they also committed 29 fouls (15 in the fourth quarter alone), and the Rams scored 24 points from the free throw line.”Defensively, they’re (Faith Christian) a super-talented team,” Rams coach Roger Walters said. “We just had to outwork them tonight.”Early on, the Rams relied on the scoring of Lough (18 points in the first half, 26 for the game), but Adam Joiner contributed 22 as the Rams repelled Eagles’ scoring surges with big baskets.Although Roaring Fork led 14-11 at the first-quarter break, Faith Christian clawed back to within one at 18-17. But Lough hit a big 3-pointer, and Markham added a basket to push the lead back to six.In the third quarter, with the Eagles on a seven-point run, it was Joiner who hit the 3-pointer, followed by Parker Nieslanik’s basket for an eight-point (37-29) advantage.”For the most part, anybody on our team can shoot it,” Joiner said. “Aaron Markham did a great job to get the ball to us, and down the stretch, we hit some big ones.”Walters praised his team’s composure as the game got ragged down the stretch. He also credited Roaring Fork’s bench strength (Derek Parker had 10 points), a vital cog as Markham finished the game with four fouls and Christian Tena fouled out. “Christian has a two-inch screw in his foot,” Walters said. “He had surgery on Monday, and he has a gigantic heart.”The Rams were forced to contend with a much bigger Eagles team, but Lough said that this had been the norm for the season. “We’ve been the smaller team for just about every game,” Lough said. “We’re used to it.”The Rams face Yuma at 7 p.m. tonight. Yuma upset top-seed Kent Denver 53-51 Thursday. It is the second straight year Roaring Fork advanced to the semis.The Rams face Yuma at 7 p.m. tonight. Yuma upset top-seed Kent Denver 53-51 Thursday. It is the second straight year Roaring Fork advanced to the semis.
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