Roaring Fork boys defeat Cedaredge, stay in race for league title
The Roaring Fork Rams boys basketball team stayed in the chase for a 3A Western Slope League title with a decisive 53-21 win over the visiting Cedaredge Bruins on Friday night in Carbondale.
Utilizing precise ball movement against the Cedaredge zone defense, Roaring Fork got a host of Rams into the scoring book to begin the game as they raced out to a 29-11 halftime lead.
Seniors Leo Loya, Mikel Mayo, and Aidan Sloan all converted early baskets to give the Rams some early separation from the visiting Bruins. Loya tallied three first-half 3-pointers, and junior Frankie Harrington joined him with a trey as all five Rams touched the ball at the offensive end and producing favorable results.
Sloan scored a couple of baskets inside and sophomore Graham Pietch hit a 3-pointer to keep Roaring Fork in sync and well ahead on the scoreboard as Cedaredge showed no signs of being able to mount a serious charge at the Rams.
Senior Ronald Clemente picked off a Bruin pass and converted a layup to start the second half. Clemente then dished a driving assist to Sloan to give the Rams a 37-13 advantage with 2:09 to play in the third quarter. Clemente and Mayo added 3-pointers from deep along the left and right baseline respectively as Roaring Fork was cruising home at 43-16. Reserves then took over a good portion of the final quarter of play.
“When we share the ball and are patient on the offensive end, we can be pretty good,” said Larry Williams, Roaring Fork’s veteran head coach. “These are good kids. It’s been fun.”
Leading scorers for the Rams were Sloan with 14 points, Loya with 11 points, and Clemente with 10 points.
The Rams (9-6, 5-1 WSL) will travel to Craig Saturday to take on the Moffat County Bulldogs.
Cedaredge 54, Roaring Fork 44
Locked in a battle with several other contenders near the top of the 3A Western Slope League, the Roaring Fork girls dropped a tough 54-44 decision to the Cedaredge Bruins on Friday night at home.
Things looked promising at the game’s start for the Rams as they jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a baseline hook-shot by senior Gabriela Santana and a 3-pointer by senior guard Logan Erickson. Senior Kendall Bernot hit a baseline jumper for Roaring Fork and junior Isabella Hernandez got a bank shot to fall inside the paint as the first quarter ended with the Rams and Bruins tied at 9-all.
The turnover bug then bit the Rams hard in the second quarter of play. The Bruins outscored Roaring Fork 18-11 in the frame, primarily behind a 6-0 scoring run that included baskets by freshman Paige McGovern, senior Courtney Freeman, and junior Makayla Kehmeier. The Rams faced a 21-11 deficit with 3:31 to go until intermission, but a banking score by Bernot, and a momentum-changing 3-pointer by Erickson to close the half drew Roaring Fork to within 27-20.
To start the second half, the Rams decided to attack the basket and look inside for Santana who scored twice to give the Rams a brief lead at 36-35. The post-play strategy also produced four free throws from Bernot and two from Santana. Erickson opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and sophomore Lily Nieslanik converted a leaning layup as the Rams outscored Cedaredge 16-11 to draw within 38-36 with eight minutes to play.
After another 3-pointer and a free throw by Erickson, the Roaring Fork scoring dried up. McGovern scored on two drives to the basket and Kehmeier hit a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner to give the Bruins an edge they would not relinquish at 46-41.
From that point, Cedaredge spread the court and converted charity tosses when they counted most to raise their WSL record to 5-2. The Bruins made 19 of 35 free throw attempts on the night.
“Turnovers and offensive rebounds cost us,” said Jade Bath, Roaring Fork’s head coach. “We stopped moving our feet and weren’t disciplined enough on the defensive end of the court or boxing out.”
Scoring leaders for the Rams were Erickson with 15 points — including four 3-pointers, Bernot dropped in 11 points and Santana hit for 10 points.
“We just have to show up as a team against Moffat and it will come down to who wants it the most,” said Erickson.
Roaring Fork (10-6, 3-3 WSL) travels to face another top 3A WSL team Saturday as they visit the Moffat County Bulldogs.