Roaring Fork basketball sweeps Aspen in league matchup
Post Independent contributor
The Roaring Fork girls overcame a slow start at home on Saturday night and rode a late first-quarter scoring flurry to easily roll past the Aspen Skiers 53-18 in a 3A Western Slope League contest.
“We may have been a little tired early on from the long trip to Gunnison on Friday, but we just needed to stop putting pressure on ourselves, loosen up, and play with confidence,” said Jade Bath, Roaring Fork’s head coach.
Cold shooting was the order of the day for both teams to start the game. Aspen’s Zuleika Hanson hit a bank shot to get the Skiers on the scoreboard with 4:48 showing on the first quarter clock.
The Rams finally got on the scoreboard a minute later when sophomore Maya Lindgren and senior Logan Erickson each hit a free throw to tie the game at 2-2. Roaring Fork then took control of the game early by reeling off 10 straight points.
Junior Isabella Hernandez got things going with an inside banker off the glass. Erickson then got consecutive scores for the Rams — one of them a 3-pointer — to put Roaring Fork up 9-2. Junior Caroline Wisroth gathered in a rebound on the offensive end and put the ball back in the hoop to put the home team up 12-2.
Using full-court defensive pressure to rattle the Skiers, Roaring Fork got a basket by senior Kendall Bernot to open the second quarter. Erickson scored on a length of the court layup and junior Emily Broadhurst scored twice, tallying the first basket by zipping down the left side of the lane, and the second hoop was dropped in on the opposite side, as the Ram lead ballooned to 22-8.
Lindgren and Wisroth both scored just prior to the half as Roaring Fork put things on cruise control.
“Maybe we were thinking a little too much at the beginning,” said Erickson. “Then we started to relax and run the plays.”
Dominating the rebounding department the entire evening, Roaring Fork senior post Gaby Santana hit two midrange jumpers in the third period, putting the Rams up a comfortable 34-12. Erickson dropped in a couple more long shots before bench players began to take center stage.
Scoring leaders for the Rams were Erickson with 13 points and Hernandez with 12 points. Bernot, Santana, Lindgren, and Broadhurst all contributed 6 points.
Roaring Fork (10-4, 3-1 WSL) will be off until next Friday night when they will host the rival Basalt Longhorns.
Roaring Fork 47, Aspen 34
Losing standout senior center Joe Salinas to an injury early in the first quarter put a hush in the Roaring Fork gymnasium, but the Rams, playing basically with a five-guard lineup, hustled and scrapped their way to a 47-34 victory on Saturday night in Carbondale over the visiting Aspen Skiers in 3A Western Slope League play.
When senior guard Leo Loya hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc, the Rams had built a quick 10-0 lead on the Skiers. Senior Aidan Sloan scored twice to help propel Roaring Fork. Sloan’s second basket near the hoop was made possible by a nice assist from fellow senior guard Ronald Clemente.
Loya hit a left-handed layup to open the second quarter that gave the Rams a 20-8 lead, but Aspen crept within 20-13 on a basket by Jon Woodrow. With Sloan crashing the boards in the absence of Salinas, Roaring Fork took a 27-17 lead after senior Mikel Mayo converted a conventional 3-point play with a drive and free throw.
Head Coach Larry Williams must have had some wise words for his Rams at the half, as Roaring Fork came out blazing with a basket by Clemente, two buckets by Sloan, and a 3-pointer by Graham Pietch.
The confident Pietch added two more outside shots and dropped in 3 free throws to help the cause.
“We talked at the half about cleaning up our defense and just slowing things down a touch offensively,” said Williams.
Aspen refused to go quietly, though. Ben Appleby hit a driving layup to bring the Skiers within 42-31 with 4:45 left to play. Williams responded by putting his Rams into a spread offense to try and salt the game away.
The Skiers shot themselves in the foot moments later when the Aspen coach was whistled for a technical foul with 3:20 to play. Clemente calmly stepped to the line and hit two free throws to give the Rams the final edge they would need on the night.
The Rams received 11 points from Sloan, Loya, and Pietch. Clemente chipped in with 9 points in the win.
The Rams (7-6, 3-1 WSL) welcome the Basalt Longhorns to Carbondale Friday for another 3A Western Slope League tilt.
Mike Vidakovich is a freelance writer for the Post Independent.