Roaring Fork girls even the score with Basalt
CARBONDALE – The Roaring Fork girls basketball team wasn’t about to let rival Basalt sweep the 3A Western Slope League regular season series, especially not on the home court.Roaring Fork applied tough defensive pressure throughout and finally found some offensive rhythm in the second half to claim the 54-45 win Saturday night.”The girls decided they’re not quite done being league champs,” Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney said. “They believe in themselves right now, and defensively they’re willing to take on anyone.” After dropping the league opener at Basalt, 65-58, on Jan. 6, Roaring Fork has won five straight. The Lady Longhorns came into Saturday’s game undefeated in league at 6-0, including a win over Hotchkiss on the road Friday night.The win puts the defending champion Rams (6-1 league, 10-4 overall) in a tie with Basalt (6-1, 11-2) for the league lead headed into the final three weeks of the season. Down by seven, 25-18, early in the third quarter, Roaring Fork kept the defensive pressure on and finally reaped some benefits.Sophomore Celeste Comings nailed a three-pointer two minutes into the period and converted two free throws on the next series to pull the Rams to within two. Basalt clung to the slim lead for a short time, until Rams senior Sarah Armstrong hit a three-pointer to give Roaring Fork its first lead since the opening minutes, 28-26, with 4:12 to play in the third.Basalt regained the lead after a layup from Allison Brumet, and another basket underneath by sophomore Dayne Toney to make it 32-28 Basalt.But Comings and Rebecca Roeber combined to tie it back up, and a tip in at the buzzer by Armstrong give the lead back to Roaring Fork, 36-34.Basalt kept it close to start the fourth. But another three-pointer from the Rams, this one by senior Whitney Campbell, put Roaring Fork up by three, 39-36, and gave the Rams the edge they needed.”We did a good job of protecting the lead from there,” Cheney said. “The girls haven’t had a chance to play the slow-down game much, but we have worked on it a lot. They executed well, and that gave us some good looks.” Armstrong, who finished with a game-high 19 points, made a pair of key baskets down the stretch and was three-of-four from the free-throw line to help seal the deal.”I knew I had to make those shots,” Armstrong said. “We kept our composure and didn’t freak out. We’re just getting better every time we go out there.”Rounding out the Rams’ scoring were Laura Wright with 13 and Comings with eight.Toney paced the Longhorns with 14, while Brumet had 12 and Lindsey Soucie chipped in eight.Fouls were also a problem for Basalt, and the Rams capitalized, hitting 15 of 29 from the line.”We’ve been playing great defense, but we’ve got to decrease the foul count and find some offense,” first-year Basalt coach Carolyn Compton said.”We knew when we came in here that (Roaring Fork) was going to be prepared, and they came at us,” she said.
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Fishing the Roaring Fork Valley during fall is the stuff of dreams, at least for me. This goes for the Crystal, Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers, and everything in between. The shorter periods of light…