Rifle hoops ends season on a high note | PostIndependent.com

Rifle hoops ends season on a high note

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE ” With seniors Kristin Guettler, Lindsay Bowen and Billie Blackwell playing their final regular season game in the Bears’ Den, the Rifle girls basketball team easily dispatched the visitors from Delta by a 57-33 count Friday evening.

“It’s going to be sad leaving everyone,” the departing Blackwell said. “They’re going to be a good team next year.”

Both teams had trouble finding their rhythm early in the game, but the Bears got going on a feed from guard Kendall Babler to Megan McWilliams, who scored underneath at the 6-minute mark of the opening period to get the Rifle offense going.

Moments later, it was Delta’s Ariel Halverson connecting on a 3-pointer to put her team up 5-4. But the lead was short-lived, as Guettler, who led the Bears in first-half scoring with 12 points, connected on a nice move inside and then it was McWilliams scoring at the buzzer off a nice bounce pass from Alissa Skinner to put Rifle up 18-7 at the end of the first period.

Delta opened the second stanza in a zone defense only to see Chelsea Webb and Skinner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the Rifle lead to 24-7.

Play got a little chaotic as the half neared, but with John Stockton-like point guard Babler running the Bear offense and spotting McWilliams for a foul-line jumper, things settled down for the home team.

Freshman Quincey Snyder got into the scoring act for the Bears after receiving an assist from Guettler and the score was 39-19 at the half.

Rifle showed its usual offensive patience and defensive tenacity in the second half and when guard Sandy Samson hit Snyder for an inside basket, the score was 49-22 and the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

The Bears were led in scoring by McWilliams with 20 points, followed by Guettler with 14 points. Chelsea Webb also contributed 10 points to the winning cause.

Delta was led in scoring by Heather Rux with 13 points.

Up next, the No. 5-seeded Bears (11-3 Class 4A Western Slope League, 15-6 overall) will look forward to thier state playoff game against No. 12 D’Evelyn Tuesday at home.

The Rifle boys basketball team also ended its regular season on a high note, downing Delta 65-61 on Friday.

Delta’s Michael Bear made it hard for Rifle, scoring 23 points in the game.

The Bears were up by 11 points in the third quarter, when Rifle post Drew Blatchford had to take a seat with foul trouble. Rifle switched to a zone defense to try and make up for Blatchford’s absence, but Delta still managed to cut down Rifle’s lead to five.

Blatchford came back in with six minutes to go, and helped his teammates slow down Delta’s scoring. The Bears then his 9 of 13 free throws to preserve the win.

Rifle ends its regular season with a 7-7 WSL record and 11-11 overall. The No. 9-seeded Bears will be on the road for the first round of the 4A playoffs against No. 8 Skyline.

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